FH readers are fully aware of my love of holiday imagery, and thankfully I've found a kindred spirit in Tom Nakielski from Lights On Studio. Tom's imagery, like that relative, who gives the best gifts at Christmas, is always an anticipated gift whenever a holiday comes around. The last time I featured Tom's work, it was naked bodies and bunnies this past Easter with Hansel and his colorful eggs. For the forth, the dish is not a treat or an appetiser, but full meaty meal.
Our American towel wearing Craig hails from Wisconsin, where he grew up building those muscles on his family's dairy farm. Currently, the all American farm boy is a doctoral student and researcher attending Michigan State completely his PH.D. Due to his studies, Craig gets to travel around the country, presenting his research and data. When he's not focused on his studies, the studly scientist keeps in shape in the great outdoors, kayaking, hiking, camping, biking and skiing. If you ever happen to pass Craig in his car, you're for sure to find kayaks or bikes loaded on the roof. You can see more of Craig on his MM HERE:
'My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of Earth'
Sergey and I wanted to send several messages with this shoot. For Sergey, a gay man, an immigrant and a drag queen, this shoot represents the American Dream as he saw it when he moved to New York from the Ukraine. Freedom. Pride. Equality. For me, I’m making a statement about patriotism on the 4th of July. I’m an American and this is my nation, my Constitution. This is the America my father and grandfather fought for in both World Wars. This is an inclusive and diverse America celebrating all of us and our individual truths.
This is Miss American Drag, standing courageously naked before the world, wrapped in Old Glory and celebrating the colorful sparkle that lives inside each and every one of us. America the beautiful, my America, standing for that which is great about America: freedom, human rights, human dignity, diversity, inclusion and equality. Fuck Trump.
'I will prepare and some day my chance will come.'
Brandon's chance was an opportunity to be a fashion model, to prepare, he got in touch with JW Johnson. Brandon didn't have much experience in front of the camera, and when he contacted JW, it was about gaining some experience, especially with glamour modeling work. JW knew instantly that Brandon had the look, the build and especially the height to be a successful fashion model so given he lived in the Rolla area, a shoot was quickly scheduled.
'Brandon showed up at my door ready and raring to go... He had a sexy Latino look and a very nicely toned build. Brandon hails from Oklahoma and intended to go to college but when the the opportunity came to model, he just couldn't pass it up. I don't blame him, there are no limits to getting an education, but there are limits to modeling opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Brandon, he has a great attitude and is easy on the eyes, he should far in modeling work and I wish him all the best!'
I have come to learn, that 'All American' means different things to different people. For me, it has little to do with look, age or race. It's more an attitude, a love of a country, and an optimistic view of life and what lies ahead in the future. A desire to make one's surroundings better, to help those in need and to strive to leave the planet better than when you arrived.
It also symbolizes for me a sexual awareness, and a desire to live life to the fullest, spiritually as well as sexually. Prepared for when those chances come, alive, energized, All American. These shots of JW cooling off in the pool were actually at the end of his day shooting on the farm with JW. The shoot started in the barn and you can see shots from the first half of the shoot on the second page, HERE:
'America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.'
It has been a struggle the last couple of years to return to the hope and the spirit I once had when writing about The 4th of July. All countries have their struggles, but the words, the songs, the sayings that define America seem distant. The current occupant of the White House resides with hate and unnecessary cruelness and phrases like 'Land of the Free' seem intended only for the wealthy, the privileged, the white. The rights of everyone but rich white men seem disposable, and the chaos, almost impossible to ignore.
It is almost impossible to fathom families in trauma, being re-traumatized when fighting for a new life, a new start. We're told a small percentage are 'evil', in order to justify the harming of many. If a small percentage of 'bad' eggs meant the destruction of any group, no group would survive, especially wealthy white men, who have ultimately been responsible for more harm, more cruelty, more death, than any other group on this continent.
Yet those sayings, those songs and those words are more important than ever. They can ground and re-energize a weary soul. The resistance is haphazard, messy and confused, but their passion, their resilience, there ability to organize is powerful and regardless of what happens this year or next, will ultimately overcome and prevail. It is inevitable. The current administration is doing damage, but it reminds me of the damage the of a movie horror killer. You know the drill, the masked killer is killed, so everyone thought, but they always rise briefly to make one last attempt to cause damage. The last 30 years have moved the country, the world, to a more accepting and equal place. This last gasp is painful, but a last gasp it is.
When the killer's mask is removed, it will reveal an impotent being, one whose power was only an illusion our fear allowed them to take We are not going back, we are not returning to inequities, racist policies, to abuse, to closets nor coat hangers. Going backwards is not an option, and attempts to drag us back there, although frustrating, are ultimately futile. The history books are going to have a field day with this time period, but the outcome is not in doubt.
Thanks to Jim from Studio1x for his incredible imagery, and the magnificentSamajay for the powerful visuals to embody both the illusion, and the hope, of this Independence Day. If you want to see a few more images from this series, check out THE OVER-FLOW HERE:
'Vic Bealer, a young boxer from a small town in Texas who is known by his ring name The Bomber, is seemingly on his way to big things, undefeated as an amateur and a possibility to make the U.S. Olympic boxing team. Without explanation, Vic walks away from it all, including his family, his fiancee and his fighting career. Disaffected and disillusioned, he enters into relationships with small-town girls Janelle and Drenna, while trainer Arty wonders if the Bomber will ever return.'
Although I loved Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, I haven't really been a close follower of his career. I watched that film years ago basically to complete my viewing of Meryl Streep films. Jon was incredibly hot, especially during the 60's and 70's, but when I think of Jon Voight naked, which I do from time to time... I only have one film, Midnight Cowboy as a reference.
A few weeks ago I noticed TCM was airing The All-American Boy from 1973. I PVR'd the film in the hopes there might have been a little seventies skin. For me, seventies skin means tan lines, really white butts and lots of bush. The film included two nudes scenes from Voight and although it was his female co-star who had the bright white butt, Voight's bush was shown in one long lingering scene.
I believe there may have also been a very brief frontal when Voight stood up, but the only copy I could find was a low resolution copy on Youtube. I was going to buy one, but they were about eighty bucks on Amazon. If I find a higher resolution copy, I'll update the caps. The movie lived up to the tile though, with an all American feel of small town life and the gifts and limits living their implies.
'Being from Oklahoma, Brandon had his own hat, jeans and boots, good thing as nothing I had would have fit him anyway due to his height. When we worked in the horse barn and tack room it was sooo hot, in no time at all, Brandon was covered in a fine sheen of sweat.'
'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.'
The idiots power is not negotiation, it's not deal making, it's nothing remotely positive. His only real power is of dream killing, bringing the hopes and dreams of what America truly means to a screeching halt. But it's temporary, we will dream the dream again, and after his reign of hate, it will be more determined, and powerful than ever.
'Sergey and I wanted to send several messages with this shoot. For Sergey, a gay man, an immigrant and a drag queen, this shoot represents the American Dream as he saw it when he moved to New York from the Ukraine. Freedom. Pride. Equality. For me, I’m making a statement about patriotism on the 4th of July. I’m an American and this is my nation, my Constitution. This is the America my father and grandfather fought for in both World Wars. This is an inclusive and diverse America celebrating all of us and our individual truths.'
'This is Miss American Drag, standing courageously naked before the world, wrapped in Old Glory and celebrating the colorful sparkle that lives inside each and every one of us. America the beautiful, my America, standing for that which is great about America: freedom, human rights, human dignity, diversity, inclusion and equality. Fuck Trump.'