Jul 4, 2015

The Gay Origin of Yankee Doodle

When I was a kid in the 1960s, we had to sing "Yankee Doodle" in music class every five minutes.

They told us "It's a great patriotic song, nearly as great as our national anthem!  It celebrates rugged American masculinity."

Like this Currier & Ives print of a muscular American trouncing the effete British dandies.

Except it didn't make sense.  Yankee Doodle was the dandy.

And what's the nonsense about sticking a feather in your cap and calling it macaroni?

And the immeasurably heterosexist "With the girls be handy"?

Turns out that the song was a British satire intended to signify that American men were prissy, feminine, and not interested in the ladies.

The high "macaroni" wig with a tricorner cap atop it was popular among British fops of the era, and an all-around term for feminine or gay men.

Rictor Norton's sourcebook of gay history reprints a British newspaper article from the 18th century complaining that: "the country is over-run with Catamites...or Macaronis."

A broadside explains:

Macaronies are a sex, Which do philosophers perplex;
Tho’ all the priests of Venus’s rites agree they are Hermaphrodites.

The admonition to be be "handy" with the girls was pure sarcasm.  Yankee Doodle would never dream of putting his hands on a lady.  A man, maybe.

The gay coding of "Yankee Doodle" continues in the famous painting "The Spirit of '76," by Archibald Willard.  It was originally entitled "Yankee Doodle," intended to be humorous.

Willard only decided to make it serious after seeing the determination in the eyes of his models, especially the younger drummer (modeled by railroad magnate's son Henry Devereaux) gazing with sullen admiration at the older (modeled by Willard's father).

And in the 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, a fictionalized biography of composer George M. Cohan. James Cagney as Cohan falls in love on schedule and sings the obsessively heterosexist "Yankee Doodle Boy":

I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart -- she's my Yankee Doodle joy.

But his mannerisms are so flamboyant that the gay coding seems almost deliberate.  Cagney's movies are generally loaded down with gay subtexts, and he may have been bisexual in real life.

Jul 3, 2015

Dream of the Red Chamber: Gay Chinese Literature

When I was a kid in the 1960s, China didn't seem likely as a "good place."  There was a My Village in Japan, but no My Village in China.  Chinese art involved vast natural landscapes rather than the muscle gods of Greek myth, and all of the movie adaptations of the travels of Marco Polo gave the Italian explorer (Alfred Drake, Horst Buchholz, Desi Arnaz Jr.) a girlfriend.

Then came Bruce Lane and the kung fu craze, and the late 1970s was all awash with muscular Chinese  martial artists: Sonny Chiba, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao (left).  Sometimes they got girls, but often they enjoyed homoromantic bonds with fellow martial arts students, kung fu masters, and "blood brothers."

So I took a course in East Asian Culture and Civilization, and found some hints and signals.

Chinese poetry minimizes heterosexual romance to concentrate on the manly love of comrades:

Drawing up the green silk coverlets,
placing our pillows side by side;
like spending more than a hundred nights,
to sleep together with you here (Bo Yuji)

In West Hollywood in the 1980s, I took a course in Chinese literature at USC.  The professor assigned The Dream of the Red Chamber, the 18th century masterpiece by Cao Xueqin, but  "forgot" to mention that the main characters are all bisexual.

When Pao-Yu, is an adolescent, he meets Chin Chung, handsome "but too shy and effeminate."  They become inseparable friend -- or more.  "Let's not talk about it now," Pao-Yu said.  "I'll settle with you later, after we go to bed."

The narrator continues: "It is not known what settlement Pao-Yu made with his friend that night nor how, and we will not venture any speculations."

See also: Confessions of a Mask

Jul 2, 2015

Summer 2002: Getting the Shy Boy in the Third Row into my Bed

When I moved to West Hollywood in 1985, I joined the All Saints Metropolitan Community Church, and I saw John there every Sunday.  He always sat by himself in the third row.  Eventually he joined the Food Bank Committee, and then he served on the church board, but he still sat by himself.

He was about five years younger than me, a junior at UCLA when we met, short and slim, with ruddy blond hair and blue eyes.  Very cute.

But I never even thought about asking him out.

Maybe it's because I usually dated Asian guys, or  gym rats like the Pentecostal Porn Star and the Thug on my Sausage List.

Or because I never saw him at the French Quarter, the Different Light, the gym, or anywhere in West Hollywood.  He seemed to exist only in church.

The rest of the story is on Tales of West Hollywood.

But it's probably because John just didn't seem like the dating kind.  He never sat with anyone; he never cruised anyone.  At the coffee hour after church, he was all Attitude, staring into the crowd without making eye contact.  He would talk to you about business, the church's financial goals and Food Bank program, but offered few personal details.

The only conversation we ever had on another topic:  he came up to me one day and said "I hear you work for Muscle and Fitness."

"Just part time.  I'm mostly in it to meet bodybuilders."

"Oh."  He  walked away.

In four years, I probably saw John 200 times, and said 200 words to him.

When I started dating Lane in 1989, I dropped out of MCC.  We attended the gay synagogue, Beth Chaim Chadashim, or the Episcopal Church.

A few years later, around 1991, I was visiting a friend in the San Fernando Valley, and we went to the gym together.  As I walked into the locker room, I saw John!  He was just out of the shower, with a towel around his waist.  He had bulked up a bit, with nice six-pack abs.

"John, how are you!" I exclaimed.  "Small world!"

"Yeah, hi, Boomer."  He caught me sneaking a peak at his rather small endowment, and quickly turned away.

As he got dressed, I got undressed.  I told him about Beth Chaim Chadashim, and he told me about MCC and his job doing some kind of statistical analysis.

Then he said, in a rather odd, stilted voice, "I might go for... um... coffee... um... um... never mind."  And he was gone.

He had been trying to ask me for a date!

I started wondering about John.  What was his story?  Why was he so standoffish?  Or maybe I just didn't express any interest.  Maybe there was a hidden gem at the All Saints MCC that I was too caught up in the big, loud gym guys to notice.

Too late now.  I was in a relationship, and besides, I didn't even remember his last name.

But gay neighborhoods are small.  Sooner or later, everyone you have ever met will show up again.

The years passed.  I moved to San Francisco, then New York, and then Florida, where I shared a house with Yuri and Barney, a former bodybuilder who owned a gym in Wilton Manors.

 Every morning Barney prepared us a bodybuilder's breakfast of egg white omelets, seven-grain pancakes, or oatmeal infused with spinach and kale (try it). On special occasions, cinnamon buns.

All three of us were dating and hooking up, and we often got out-of-town guests, so you never knew who would be sitting at the breakfast table in the morning.

But I never expected to see John!

One morning in the summer of 2002, I came into the kitchen, where Barney was making whey-protein French toast with apple slices and strawberry yogurt.

"Boomer, this is my friend John from Seattle," he said.  "He's here on vacation for a few days."

"Nice to meet you," I said, glancing at the kitchen table, where Yuri was drinking coffee with -- John from West Hollywood!

Not the slim, shy college kid I knew at the MCC.   Nearing middle age, graying at the temples, a little craggy, and heavy muscled, a semi-pro.  But umistakable!

We stared at each other.

"This is my other housemate, Boomer," Barney continued, his back to us.

"Small world," I managed.

"Oh, do you guys know each other?"

"Yeah, from West Hollywood."

"From the All Saints MCC!" John exclaimed.

"Is this one of your church boys?" Yuri asked.  "He's so hot -- did you date him?"

"No."  I sat down next to John, and we hugged.  "I would have liked to, but it never happened."

Over breakfast John told us about being a shy, closeted college student going to his first gay venue, the All Saints MCC, but too self-conscious about his scrawny body and undersized endowment to approach a guy.

Who didn't have sex until 1988, when he was 23.

Who started weight training to increase his self-confidence, found a lover who dumped him for a celebrity, found another lover, and now was immersed in a community of gay bodybuilders and fans in Seattle.

Not bad for a guy who, a few years before, couldn't even ask someone out for coffee.

Oh, and I finally did make it into his bed. Barney did a lot of sharing that weekend.

See also: The Pentecostal Porn Star and The Thug on My Sausage List

Jul 1, 2015

Paul Anka: The Gay Next Door

Paul Anka was the first teen idol to be known for his physique as well as his music.  Other teen idols of the 1950s -- Bobby Rydell, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone -- may have been dreamy, but the teen magazines emphasized their cool threads, not their muscular chests. Paul not only had a face and a voice, he had a body, and he knew how to use it to his advantage.

His first single, "Diana," hit the top of the charts in 1957,  pushing hits by Jerry Lane Lewis and Elvis Presley out of the way.  "Puppy Love," "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," and "Lonely Boy" followed, all chart toppers, mostly about lost or unrequited love.

In the early 1960s, as the British invasion limited the appeal of the 1950s-era teen idols, Paul re-invented himself as an adult contemporary performer, and continued to enjoy a string of hits: "In the Still of the Night," "You're Having My Baby," "One Man Woman."

And he made movies that required more underwear, swimsuit, and semi-nude shots than any other teen idol of the era.  Look in Any Window (1961) is particularly memorable.

Craig Fowler (Paul), the teenage son of dysfunctional parents, has a paralyzing "sexual abnormality."  He goes to a youth center and ogles the buffed athletes working out.

Then he spies on his hunky neighbor (Jack Cassidy, David Cassidy's dad), kissing his wife in the swimming pool.

Meanwhile rumors of his sexual deviance run through the neighborhood.  Two teenage boys chase him, yelling threats, and the cops are on his trail.  "Let me get my hands on any guy that isn't normal!" one grunts.

Craig tries to pursue a "normal" life by courting girl-next-door Ellen (Gigi Perreau), but eventually even "true love" can't repress his aberrant desires.

Nope, Craig's not gay -- that would have been too controversial for Hollywood in 1961. There are still almost no gay teenagers in mainstream film.  Craig's a Peeping Tom.  But the gay symbolism is obvious.

Assumed gay in real life, Paul was actually heterosexual, though he was friends with gay teen idol Sal Mineo and bisexual Rat Packer Sammy Davis Jr..

Jun 30, 2015

Fall 2002: Cruised by a Young Republican

When I was a teenager, I could get away with any stupid mistake by claiming that I had been trying to meet girls or impress a girl.  Actually, everyone assumed that the reason every boy did anything, from joining a school club to selecting a college, was to meet girls or impress a girl.

In gay communities, they don't make such assumptions.  If you join a garden club, everyone assumes you like gardening, not that you're trying to meet guys or impress a guy.

So I have no excuse for going to a meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Except this one:

He was a short, tightly-muscled, amazingly goodlooking 22-year old named Tom, who took my Sociology of Religion class at Florida Atlantic in the fall of 2002.

He kept grinning at me during class, especially during the lecture on gay Christians, and after the final grades were posted, he stopped by my office to cruise, just as I had with my own professor back at USC in 1986.

Over coffee, Tom told me that he grew up in, and was still attending, the Calvary Chapel, an ultra-fundamentalist mega-church.

Religious!  Just my type!  We bragged about the deprivations we faced growing up fundamentalist.  No movies -- no theater -- no eating out on Sunday -- and so on.

"Of course, I'm not out to my parents.  They would just start yelling.  Almost as loud as if I told them I turned Democrat!"

I interpreted this to mean that he was not out to his parents as gay or a Democrat.

"There's a Christmas party at the club next week," Tom offered.  "I'll have to introduce you as my professor, not my date, and we can't dance, but...anyhow, can you come?"

The Club turned out to be the St. Andrew's Club, the most exclusive and elegant of Boca Raton's many country clubs.

It was fun going undercover in a roomful of conservative, rich, straight people.  I met Tom's teenage brother and trio of hunky country-club buddies, and his parents, who said things like "Tom just thinks the world of you!  He found your class so enlightening!"

Everyone asked about "my wife."  I said she wasn't feeling well.

The dancing was a bit uncomfortable.  Tom had no problem cozying up to teenage debutantes, but I stood on the sidelines, being cruised by innumerable middle-aged ladies and not one man.

Afterwards we drove (in separate cars, of course) to the beach to walk in the moonlight, and then we went back to my house in Wilton Manors to spend the night.

I should have guessed earlier, but I was having so much fun deceiving the straights that it didn't occur to me that Tom's conservative-speak was not part of the act.

I figured it out over breakfast in the morning, when Tom praised some statement by President Bush.

"That homophobic a*hole!" my housemate Barney exclaimed.  "He's worse than Reagan!"

"Reagan did a fine job, considering what he had to work with," Tom said.  "Remember, it was the 1980s."

Then Tom came out: he was a Republican!

"How can you be a gay Republican?" Barney asked.  "It's like being a Jewish Nazi, or a black Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan!"

"You can be gay and still want a strong economy.  I know that some of the Republican leaders need to be educated."

"Educated?"  I said.  "President Bush is trying everything he can to keep us second-class citizens.  But he's a lot better than Governor Jeb Bush, who doesn't think we should grant civil rights to 'sodomites.'"

"What about the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Jim Naugle?  He doesn't like the Sun-Sentinel because there are too many 'homos' on the staff, and he's a Democrat.  All of our leaders need to be educated about gay people.  That's what the Log Cabin Republicans are all about."

Log Cabin Republicans!

So this guy wasn't just pretending to be straight among his parents and their friends, to make sure he got his inheritance.  He was Tom the Uncle Tom, actively collaborating with our oppressors.

I should have showed him the door. But....

Remember what he looked like?

We went out again after I got back from my Christmas visit back home.

And I ended up going to a meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans with him!

It was full of doddering, elderly, elegant gay men wearing fancy rings, sipping martinis, complaining about America's faltering role in world politics, and cruising.  They approached the few young guys shamelessly, ignoring the rule that younger must always approach older.

I kept my arm tightly attached to Tom to signify that he was taken, but he still got extensively cruised.

"Guys who are into Daddy types must get a lot of action here," I whispered.

"Oh, you have no idea!" Tom said with a smile.

The "celebrity" guest speaker was Ruta Lane, an elderly actress who was in some Westerns and sitcoms during the 1950s.  She said "You should keep trying until the Republican Party gives you a place at the table."

"Wait -- your own party won't acknowledge you?"  I asked.

Tom squirmed in his seat, embarrassed.  "We're still working on them.  They need a lot of education."

So they weren't even Uncle Toms.  They were Uncle Tom Wannabes, just hoping for a chance to collaborate with our oppressors.

Or were they all just there to meet guys, or to impress a guy?

Tom and I went out two more dates.  I may be liberal, but I'm not crazy -- did you see what he looked like?

The Log Cabin Republicans were finally recognized by the California GOP in 2015.  The national organization still won't acknowledge them.

See also: I Hook Up with the Most Conservative Professor on Campus

Jun 29, 2015

The 10 Worst Drives in America, and Why They're Worth It

I hate driving: the congestion, the rude drivers, the lack of parking.  I try to live in a gay neighborhood, where everything is in walking distance, or barring that, at least walking distance from work.

Here are the worst cities for driving in America, and the reasons they are worth it.

1. Washington, DC.  It's a big square bisected by the Potomac, with streets all the same, except for NW, NE, SW, or SE.   If you mix them up, you end up in a war zone on the south side.

Worth the drive: the Mall at dawn, just as the sun is rising over the Capitol, followed by the National Museum of Art and Kramer's Books and Afterwords on Dupont Circle

2. Oklahoma City. It's 40 miles from one end to the other, and the only way to get anywhere is to go through the heart of downtown.

Worth the drive: The National Cowboy Hall of Fame, La Salsa Grille for Tex-Mex, and then Oklahoma City's gay neighborhood" on 39th Street.

3. Fort Lauderdale.  The highways are Road Warrior death zones.  Where else can you see a car zoom sideways across eight lanes of traffic to squeeze in between two cars at 80 miles an hour?

Worth the drive: The Sebastian Street Beach, Thai food, and The Club on Oakland Park.

4. San Francisco.  If your destination is 2 miles away, it will take you 20 minutes to drive there and an hour to find a parking space, which will be 2 miles from your destination.

Worth the drive: Castro Street at dawn, South of Market after dark

5. Los Angeles.  Don't ever go on the freeways.  Not at 2:00 am on a Tuesday morning.  They are bumper to bumper 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Worth the drive: Brunch at the French Quarter, down to Melrose for the Pacific Design Center and the Bodhi Tree, and then hang out in West Hollywood.

More after the break.

My Wild Night: Pancakes, Massage, and a Wiener

One day in the winter of 5th grade, when I was ten years old, a cute boy named Mark approached me after school.

"Wanna go out to eat?" he asked.

That was an odd dating request.  Boys usually just invited you over to play, or to Dewey's Candy Store.  If they were were rich, they invited you to a movie downtown.

But I said "Ok" anyway.  Mark was short and solid, with blue eyes and a severe military crew cut, and his brother Darryl was a high school wrestler.  "Out to eat" meant the whole family, so I could see them both!

"When do you want to go?" I asked, expecting him to say "Friday night."  But he said "Right now."

"Is your Dad here?"  I looked around for a car.

"No, just you and me."

"That's dumb! There's no restaurants in the neighborhood."

Our "neighborhood," the parts of Rock Island we could roam freely through without supervision, was bordered by 18th Avenue on the north, 31st Avenue on the south, 38th Street on the west and the city of Moline on the east.

There was nothing in it except Dewey's Candy Store and Schneider's Drug Store.

Was there some new place that I didn't know about?

"I have to go home first, and tell my Mom where I'm going."

"Don't be a baby!" Mark exclaimed.  "We'll be back before Captain Ernie is over."

We walked right past my house -- it would take only a second to go in and tell Mom.  But Mark, and his blue eyes, and his muscles, led me on, past 20th Avenue, all the way to the corner of bustling 18th Avenue. There were cars streaming in both directions, and the only traffic light was way down on 38th Street.

There were several restaurants on the other side of 18th Avenue, but the one that caught my eye was the Hasty Tasty Pancake House.

I had never seen anything so beautiful.  It glittered in red and gold like a palace from the Arabian Nights.

The Forbidden Fruit.

"I'm not allowed to cross 18th Avenue by myself," I protested.  "It's too busy.  We'll get run over."

"I do it all the time!  It's easy -- watch."  Mark waited until there was a momentary lull in the traffic and darted across the street.  My heart pounding, I followed.

The other side of the world!

Everything was different here.  The sky was darker, the air was cooler.  The houses were small and grey and shabby.

We went inside and sat at a garish red booth, and Mark bought us pancakes and milk.

They didn't taste good.  I felt too guilty for being on the other side of the world without telling Mom.

It was 4:00.  Sometimes I played after school, or went to Dewey's, but I always got home by 4:00, in time for Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat.  Mom would be wondering where I was.

"I have to get home to watch cartoons," I said.

"Come to my house. We can watch Captain Ernie there."

"Well...it's late, and..."

"I'll let you feel my wiener," Mark offered with an evil grin.

 "Um...well..."  I had only seen a few wieners before, and I never felt one. Bill never let me.  And Mark was cute...

"It's real big,  As big as my brother's, and he's in high school."

That sealed the deal.  We darted back across the street and walked to Mark's house, on 20th Avenue near the border of Moline.

Mark had a portable black and white tv set in his room. We sat side by side on the floor, watching Cartoon Showboat for a while. There was no clock, so I couldn't tell what time it was.

Dad got home at 4:00, and we ate dinner at 5:00.  I had to go!  What was the hold up?

Finally, after an eternity of cartoons.  Mark turned the tv off and drew the blinds.  Smiling, he took my hand and pressed it against his crotch.

"No fair!  All I can feel is your pants!"

"Ok."  He started to unzip.

Then we heard a noise in the hallway outside, and he quickly zipped up.  The door opened, and a big boy came in.  Darryl, the high school athlete!  He had his shirt off -- he had muscles!

"What you dorks doing in the dark?" he asked, leaping onto the bed and turning on the light. "Whoa, what a workout!  I need a massage!  Either of you guys an athletic trainer?"

"I am!"  I said with a grin.

"Ok, great -- it's right there in my shoulder.  Dig in good."

I got to sit on the butt of a semi-naked high-school boy and rub his muscular shoulders!  But still, I felt guilty.  I shouldn't be here!  Dinner is at 5:00 -- Mom and Dad will be worried!

Eventually Darryl said "Thanks, little man" and left.  Mark shut the door behind him.

It must be almost 5:00 by now.  I had to hurry.  "You said I could..."  I began.

"Oh, sure."  Mark unbuttoned his pants, and pushed my hand inside.

It was nice, bigger than mine, with an impressively solid shaft.

"Now I get to feel yours, too."

I unzipped, and we fondled each other for awhile.

"I know how to make it get bigger," Mark said.

"But I have to...."

Then a voice yelled up the stairs, "Mark, is your friend staying for dinner?"

We quickly zipped up again.  He looked at me.  "Do you want to?"

"If my parents say it's ok," I said.  "Can I call them?"

"Sure.  The phone's in the kitchen."

There was also a clock in the kitchen.  6:30!  

My heart started to pound with fear.  "6:30!  But you said it was dinnertime!"

"That's right -- we eat at 7:00."

I was three hours late!  Without saying goodbye, I rushed out the door, into the winter darkness, and raced home.  Mom was calling all of my friends, and Dad was out scouring the neighborhood.  They thought I had either been kidnapped or fell into a ditch.

Years later, I learned that I could get away with any misdeed by claiming that I had been trying to meet a girl or impress a girl.

But "I was trying to feel a wiener" obviously wouldn't work.  I was grounded for two weeks, and forbidden from playing with Mark again.

See also: A Hippie to the Rescue: My First Date and A Glimpse of Cousin Joe's Shame

Fall 1985: Watching Brothers in the Hollywood Hills

When I first moved to West Hollywood in 1985, every Wednesday night my friend Mark, who introduced me to Michael J. Fox,  drove me up to a house in the Hollywood Hills, where there were about twenty gay men, most involved in the film industry, drinking wine, eating fancy hors d'oeuvres, and waiting until 10:00.

To watch tv.

What was all the fuss about?

Brothers (1984-89), a sitcom on the premium cable network Showtime, about three grown-up brothers who run a bar.

1. Macho ex-football player Joe (Robert Walden, left, formerly the roving reporter on Lou Grant).

2. Macho construction worker Lou (Brandon Maggart, left).

3. Cliff (Paul Regina, right), who, in the first episode, dumps his fiance on his wedding day and tells his brothers that he is...gay!

A gay character on tv!

In 1984, gay characters appeared on network tv very rarely, usually in "old high school buddy comes out" episodes of sitcoms. There were no gay characters in starring roles.  There were no tv series about gay people.

Brothers was revolutionary.

Cliff knows nothing about the gay world, so he and his brothers work together to explore cruising, dating and romance, gay organizations, gay rights, AIDS, and homophobia of various types.  Their tour guide is Donald (Philip Charles Mackenzie), a stereotypic swishy queen who is loud and proud.

Both are actually shown dating men, getting involved in relationships, and even kissing guest stars like Charles Van Eman, Jay Louden, Matthias Hues, and John Furey (right, the one with the basket).

Other gay characters in the 1980s were portrayed as completely sexless, announcing that they are gay but never doing anything about it.  Revolutionary again!

As the show progressed, episodes increasingly focused on non-gay topics, like machinations at the bar, Joe's dating and eventual marriage, or Lou's wife and kids, including a seminary student (John Putch) and a teenage prodigy (Yeardley Smith, later the voice of Lisa on The Simpsons).  

In the fall of 1986, I enrolled in a Wednesday night class at USC, and couldn't go up to the Hollywood Hills anymore. Brothers aired until 1989.

You can watch episodes on youtube, but I don't think I will.  I prefer to keep it part of my memories of those first months in West Hollywood, when everything was exciting and fresh and new.

Jun 28, 2015

Journey to the Beginning of Time

During the late 1960s, our local afternoon kid's show, Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat, played a serial called Journey to the Beginning of Time, about four boys on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York who find a secret passage leading to a mysterious river. They paddle down the river through different geological eras, rescuing each other from mastodons and dinosaurs, learning to survive in the prehistoric wilderness.  

Finally they pass the Precambrian Era and see the dazzling psychedelic fireworks of the Earth's creation.

The serial made no sense.  The boys' costumes and hair styles changed; they got taller and shorter; the voice-over narration didn't match the action; no one wonders how they're going to get back home again; and where did boys visiting a museum get a boat, anyway?

Still, it became one of the iconic images of my childhood, maybe because it made no sense.  It was a puzzle, a mystery to be unraveled, and that puzzle involved boys facing the world together.

  In a pivotal scene, Doc (Josef Lukas) loses the diary with his scientific notes of the journey, and Jo-Jo (Victor Betral) fights off a dinosaur to retrieve it.  Their subsequent moment of emotional intimacy reverberated through my childhood.

Turns out that in 1966, producer William Cayton took the river sequences from a Czech movie, Cesta do Praveku (1955), then filmed new opening and closing segments in the United States with different boys, figuring that the dumb kids in his target audience would never notice.  

 I noticed, but I didn't care. I was busy watching the boys bonding with each other through science fiction adventure.