(Collage & embedded image of folder by Matthew Rettenmund)
Years ago, I bought all the ephemera from a storage unit in Seattle related to a man named Vernon Gray, which led to one of my favorite blog posts.
In consolidating it this weekend, I sifted through his many press clippings,
jotted notes to his mom and dad (which lead me to believe they came back to him after his parents died) and head shots, in the process looking more closely at the bits that confirm his being gay.
One, above, was a totally random tear sheet from a Seattle paper (he lived there at one point, possibly until his death, probably in the 1990s—but IMDb has no idea) showing a terrifically hot shot of a high-jump star in mid-leap. I added the headline from another article, but the photograph was screaming for it.
The rest of his effects include materials related to his participation in a scouting program centered around the Elk Point United Church in Alberta (he was born in Canada), his Elk Point High School student publication The Wapiti, his completely filled (with women's names) dance card from the Wauneita Society Witches' War Dance, many press clippings and stills and some late '60s/early '70s shots of Gray with friends and, apparently, a romantic partner.
It's a bummer looking at it, though; it's the same feeling I get at flea markets when I'm flipping through stacks of old photos—if these are here, the people who took them and are in them aren't.
I guess someone will throw these out only when they're in the process of throwing out my own personal photos.
Vernon Gray, early 1950s (Image from the collection of Vernon Gray)
To end on a lighter note, I found a reference to Gray in Casting About: A Memoir, a book from 15 years ago by David Graham, an actor and voice talent (still alive and over 90) who recalls: