When I was working on a piece earlier this year on Studio 54, (Just Like An Old Time Movie) I came upon this shot of some of the waiters and bartenders at Christmastime. I would love to have been in New York, and been old enough, to have visited the clubs during its heyday. There is something so nostalgic and iconic about the place. There is also something incredibly sad. Like all thing filled with tinsel and glitter, Christmas included, nostalgia and sadness tend to come as part of the package.
It had me thinking about Christmas Day, and wondering if people flocked to 54 on the 25th because they were welcomed, and they wanted to be there, or because they had no family, nor anyone they wanted to spend it with. Maybe no other dinner invitations or other options for the day. I'm sure there were different reasons for different people.
Regardless, it had me hoping all of those FH readers celebrating throughout December are doing it where, and especially with whom they truly want to. Whether your surrounded by friends and family, or celebrating in quieter, more peaceful manner, I wish you a joyous 25th and beyond.
One of the things that make each family's holiday unique is their individual traditions. What, when we eat, when gifts are open, how gifts are given. At FH, my postings for Christmas day have also taken on a welcomed tradition, one that I am pleased to be able to continue this year. For the last three holiday seasons, photographer Gordon Nebeker has taken on Christmas help to help decorate his home, deck his halls and reach those oh so high branches on the top of the Christmas tree.
For the last two years, it was Mr. Herzog hanging those balls and placing the Angel at the top of the tree. This year, Gordon's Christmas help is the adorable Mark, a model FH readers may recognize from his previous appearances. We first Mark in A Fashionable Submersion, when Gordon shot him changing from his business suit into his birthday suit, underwater of course! We next saw Mark last Christmas, shot by NMS as one of Santa's sexy Elf's. (When Santa's Away) So glad to have Mark back, especially with with images from Gordon to celebrate the day. Mark makes the perfect Christmas elf with his adorable smile and the twinkle in his sexy hazel eyes. I am especially grateful that Mark and Gordon were able to squeeze in these shots in just a few minutes at the end of a busy day. So very much appreciated!
When I was looking for actors and movies to feature in this years Christmas day edition of 12 Days, I kept coming back to A Christmas Story. It was strange to me, because although I know the film is a cult classic, it was a film for some reason, I had never seen. Yes, I knew it had marathons most Christmas' and yes, I had caught a few minutes here and there, but for some reason, even though I owned the DVD, (it was given as a gift) I was not drawn to the film.
Although the film is favorite of many, I am guessing, not by a huge portion of the gay community. There's a bully, a distant father, that tacky lamp... and a main character, whose dream it is to own a gun. But... we can all relate to being a kid, and dreaming of a specific Christmas gift, we will die if we don't get. Mine was always a dog, and I was always disappointed. This year however, maybe due to the added publicity of Fox's musical version, I decided to give it a full viewing.
It's funny because despite it's title, there really isn't much 'story' in A Christmas Story. I enjoyed the film, but not sure enough to warrant a second viewing. What the film had going for it, in addition to it's nostalgic look a 1940's Christmas, was a half a dozen great scenes. Memorable scenes such the dogs stealing the turkey, Randy and Ralphie at the mall and for me, the viewing of the Higbee store;s Christmas window display.
What the film also had, was pitch perfect performances by actors Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Zack Ward. I hate bully's, but Zach's Scut Farkus, along with his sidekick Grover Dill, were adorable. Adorable in a grade school bully from the 40's kind of way, not a school bully from the 2010's kind of way. Scut and Grover were clearly from struggling families, families without a lot of extra love, or money. Their bullying was cruel of course, but also had limits, mostly confined to pummelling a snowball at your face, or putting you into a headlock until you said Uncle.
Then & Now: Zach with Yano Anaya (Grover Dill)
Scut is one of the films most iconic and memorable characters, and a quick google search of actor Zack Ward led to some surprising and sexy results. My love of gingers is well known to FH readers, and little Scut grew up to be a hot one! I don't think I ever would have guessed seeing recent images of Zack that it was the same person from the 1983 film.
'Zack got his first big audition for the film, and about 300 kids showed up for the part (originally he was the sidekick, Grover), and he kept getting called back until it was him and one other redhead. He won the role. On the first set, in Cleveland, the director told him that he was to play the part of Scut Farcus instead of Grover. This was his breakthrough.'
A Christmas Story was the Canadian born actor's first film, and he followed up his role of Scut with roles on Canadian television shows like Neon Rider, My Secret Identity, Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea. As he got older, Zack beganworking steadily south of the border in films like Freddy vs. Jason, and Transformers and on TV in shows like NYPD Blue, JAG, Deadwood and most recently on American Horror Story: Cult. Zack also spent three seasons on the FOX show Titus.
Zach in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)
I thought I would provide a little dream inspiration for after you've jumped in that bed, and covered your head. Not one, but two sexy Santa's, that will hopefully be coming tonight... I am not sure if the come more quickly for naughty or nice, but either way they've taken off and are on their way to a chimney near you. Lights On Studio's Tom Nakielski made his first Christmas day appearance in 2015 with his shots of model Hansel Wellington straddling a giant wreath while keeping a firm grip on his candy cane. (Cocks & Candy Canes) Last Christmas, it was Tom's images of Antoine (Gift Wrapped) that bolstered the merriment.
This year, Hansel makes a holiday return with a new Santa in the spotlight themed shoot. Our second stripping Santa Josh Humble, an art model I recently took notice of on Model Mayhem and Instagram. Tom had a great time shooting with Josh, who he describes as enthusiastic and easy to create with. Josh is also a photographer, and the related well with Josh knowing instinctively what Tom was looking for.