Thursday, August 5, 2021

Locker Rooms

Today we make a long overdue visit to the locker rooms.  I'll start with a cheeky 
quartet who look like refugees from one of my "boy next door" series.


Billy Joe

Ralph Crane took this photo of Billy Joe Davidson.
From the LIFE Archive.



These three look like they're suspicious of something.


Color table wash

The tables in this undated photo don't look at all comfortable,
but the men are probably having some fun.


Not who we might think

The guy in the foreground looks a bit like John Manning, 
but it's not him . . . for a number of reasons.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Leonard Chambers (1929-1956), Part 1

This Physique Pictorial cover was the lead-in for an editorial piece published by 
Bob Mizer of AMG at a time when he knew the authorities were watching everything he did.  
Some of you young folks today probably can't know how unimaginably brave that act was.  
Rather than retell the story, I am going to post Bob Mizer's essay here unedited, and then move
 on to an homage for a great model whose life was stolen.  Please read on:

This issue of Physique Pictorial is dedicated to LEONARD CHAMBERS pictured here, who was SHOT AND KILLED by an off duty POLICEMAN who was in private hire at the time! See page 3. 

He continues on page 3 -- "WAS THE KILLING OF LEONARD CHAMBERS  BY TWO OFF-DUTY POLICEMEN "JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE"? Acting in the employment of a private bail bondsman, two Southern California policemen forced Leonard Chambers to get in their private car for allegedly failing to appear on some traffic charges. They testified that Leonard pulled a gun on them even though they had previously searched him and had him handcuffed. In desparate [sic] "self-defense" they shot him twice in the back of the head. Leonard of course didn't live to tell his side of the story. The coroner's jurors dutifully declared this murder "justifiable homicide."  


Who photographed Leonard first?

Leonard was killed in 1956, but we know his modeling work goes back at least to 1948 or 49 because all the frontal nudes of him were by Freddie Kovert who killed himself in May, 1949.  Leonard actually looks older in this Kovert photo than some of his work for AMG, so he might have begun even earlier with Bob Mizer.  I thought of doing a "whatever happened" to serie for today's material, but we all know what happened, and the only non-modeling background information I could find was a 1955 Los Angeles County marriage license for a guy with the same name and middle initial.  Probably him, but in all the various reports, I've never seen mention of any widow.


Leonard by Bruce

There was a story making the rounds of vintage physique collectors a few years ago which said that upon arrival in LA, Bruce Bellas got a license for a "legit" photo business and promptly borrowed Leonard Chambers from Bob Mizer to take his first male nude photo as Bruce of LA.  I have never seen any convincing corroboration of that story, and my doubts are increased by the fact that the few Bruce images that can be found these days are a few color slides, as above.  I doubt that Bruce would have gone that far outside the box of black and white prints that dominated the era.  I could be wrong, though.  I've been wrong lots of time before.


Unmistakably Kovert

This has Fred Kovert's "silent movie style" written all over it,
whether Fred actually took the photograph or not.


Rope and derriere

This is the best derriere photo of Leonard Chambers in my collection.  By AMG.


Leonard, not Larry

Leonard looks a little bit like Larry Carr in this Kovert photo, and I have 
to confess to having once mislabeled a picture of Larry as Leonard.


Leonard Chambers (1929-1956) - Part 2, Non-nudes

Part two of my homage to Leonard Chambers starts with a Bob Mizer/AMG sunlight shot that can only be called striking.  Although he took no frontal nudes of Leonard that I know of, Bob Mizer must have been quite taken with him.  I say that not only because he memorialized him with front page piece in Physique Pictorial, but because there are more photos of Leonard (56!) in my huge AMG collection than any other model I can think of.  He was simply that good, and Mizer knew it.


Far away

Leonard Chambers has that faraway (and in the other direction) look in this AMG photo.
And there's Mamma Mizer's crystal punchbowl again.


Biker Leonard

Leonard looks like he's having fun with a motorcycle on the beach.
Modern collectors would kill for it.


Bottled up

Call it whimsy or art, Bob Mizer did a good job with the effects in this photo of Leonard in a bottle.  
I wonder if he was going for a genie or some sort of alcohol related concept.



At first glance,Leonard Chambers seems to be pulling the sword out of a stone in this AMG shot, 
but on closer examination, that appears to be a pile of turf.  His muscles are nice regardless.
Bob Mizer's brave memorialization of Leonard reminds us that courage in the face of oppression is not only possible, but something we simply must do.  Thanks, Bob.  The lesson resonates today.


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Chubbies of the Nations

Greggy requested a chubby series, and I'm more than happy to oblige.  We're going international again thanks to adamskostum, who directed me to a great source of "new" nudist material.  I'm starting with Australia, and a guy I wished for more photos of some time ago.  Success at last!  And he's quite appropriately cooking up a big batch of pancakes at a campsite.  Thanks, AK!



The first of two color photos in today's series features a guy from the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, aka East Germany) and his crappy Trabant car.  Although only the Yugo rates worse in the annals of automotive disasters, at least a significant number of East Germans were able to own cars, particularly compared to other Communist Bloc countries.  In fact, the DDR had the highest material standard of living of any communist country, even the USSR.



1954 was the year this plus sized Frenchman posed on a rock near the ocean.



Italy provides us with a chubby derriere at the beach.



One thing I've always admired about American nudists is their acceptance 
\of less than perfect body types.  These even made it into a few of the magazines, 
as with the chubby guy and the older fellow in this grainy 1966 photo.