VAMPIRE'S GRAVE

By Josh Eliot

 

In 1993, I was videographer on the Catalina Video movie The Bite for director Chi Chi LaRue. It featured a great cast headlined by Jon Vincent, and featured Derrick Corbin, Dillon Reid, Londun, Max Holden and Rob Cryston. We shot it at the same time as a movie I directed called Sex Between The Lines in a Hollywood Hills house formerly owned by Fatty Arbuckle, but at that time occupied by squatters. Say what? Ask Scott Masters! He had some really funky connections! I do remember regretting that I had not come up with the vampire movie idea; it was right up my alley, as I was born and raised in one of the most haunted states in the union. But I was just glad to be shooting a horror-themed movie, and Chi Chi did a great job with The Bite and The Bite 2! I never went the vampire route in any of my movies, but I probably should have If I had, I would have drawn upon two of the most notorious cases below.

 

Cover art for Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite
Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite

 

The Grave of Mercy Brown

 

A farmer named George Brown lost his wife, Mary, and daughter, Mary Olive, after both became sickly and died one after the other. In 1892, another daughter, Mercy, died at the age of 19. Two months later, George Brown’s teenage son, Edwin, became sick and frail. The village doctor told George that it was “consumption” that was taking his son, but occupants in the town of Exeter had another explanation. The undead.

Between 1790 and 1899, it was not uncommon in New England, particularly Rhode Island, for family members to demand that the bodies of their deceased family members be exhumed. The reason being that they suspected the dead of being “undead” and afflicting the living. Sometimes going as far as to burn the hearts, lungs and livers and mixing the ashes into a solution to administer to the afflicted as a treatment.

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

In March of 1892, villagers, a local doctor and a newspaper reporter, along with George Brown, entered the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, under the wild idea that one of the deceased members of George’s family was leaving the grave at night to suck the life out of his son, and only by killing the undead could Edwin be saved. The bodies of George’s wife and daughter Mary gave no clues, but when Mercy Brown’s body was exhumed, it appeared oddly well preserved, appearing like her hair and nails had also continued to grow. When they prodded the body with the shovel, they found it filled with fresh blood. They continued on and removed her heart and burned it on a nearby rock. All documented. The ashes were added to Edwin’s medicine, but he died a short time later. Rhode Island’s South County between 1870 and 1900 was known as the “Vampire Capital of America.” Rumors, accusations and panic set in. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula in 1897, kept newspaper accounts of “vampire” Mercy Brown in his files that were discovered after his death. For the less superstitious, the well-preserved condition of Mercy’s body could be due to the fact that she was buried in the ground during the two coldest months of the year. Mercy’s grave is one of the most visited to this day and is reinforced with a metal band connected to a post to protect it from being stolen. The Mercy Brown case is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation.

 

The Grave of Nellie Vaughn


Vampire's Grave is located in a rural 19th century cemetery by an old wooden church in West Greenwich Rhode Island, not all that far from the real Conjuring house at 1677 Round Top Road in Burrillville, RI.

 

The real Conjuring house

 

Starting back in the 1960s, stories related to an occupant of the graveyard spread like wildfire around the state. A teacher at Coventry High School told the students the story of Mercy Brown, a young woman whose body was exhumed and heart removed because family members were convinced she came back from the dead. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based in part on Mercy Brown, and she is currently buried in a graveyard in Rhode Island. The students, mixing up their details, tracked down the wrong cemetery and headstone belonging to Nellie Vaughn. Nellie Vaughn died in 1889 at the age of 19 from pneumonia. When the students came upon her headstone which read in epitaph, “I am waiting and watching for you,” the legend of Nellie Vaughn being a vampire was born. Still the talk of high school in the 1970s, my friends and I along with probably every other student in the state at some point went to Vampire's Grave after smoking a ton of weed. Of course we were 100% sure that she was in fact a living dead vampire. The night we were there was scarier than hell; to reach it you drive for miles through a thick forest to a very desolate area. It is at a crossroads where you come upon the Plain Meeting House Cemetery. It took us forever to find her headstone, and yes, no grass was growing over her grave like the story said. Although it was a very creepy experience, no sightings of strange phenomena occurred that night.

Today, that headstone has been removed because there was too much vandalism of her grave site over the years. Nellie Vaughn has no marker and is in an unmarked grave. However, people have reported seeing a woman in Victorian clothing in the cemetery before vanishing into the woods, and also hearing a young woman’s voice near the grave site saying, “I am perfectly pleasant.” Almost as if she is trying to clear her name. Trying to tell the visitors that she was not an evil, frightening vampire, but only a very pleasant, proper young lady. The worst thing for us that night was driving home from the grave, still very stoned, going down that very winding wooded road in the middle of nowhere. We turned a corner that opened up to a big field on the right side of the road. There was a huge barn fire with about twenty to thirty people in white robes standing around it in a circle. Very scary, “devil worshippy” and demonic! We all screamed when we saw them and hit the gas to get out of there, constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure no one was coming after us.

 

Vampire's Grave historical photos

Vampire's Grave historical photos

 

I promised that when I wrote this final “Halloween” themed blog, I would include a little bit of sizzle in keeping with the fact that this is after all for the BijouWorld website. So, after our harrowing adventure to Vampire's Grave, we dropped off the girls (our high school “girlfriends” at the time) and met up with one of their brothers named Michael and his “friend” Donald. There was a house in the neighborhood that was vacant and under construction. David and I had been “working” these two for what seemed like forever, getting a little flirt here and there, always followed by a big fat “nothing.” We met up with the boys, smoked some more weed; then, after months and months of build up, I did Donald, while my friend David did Michael.

 

PLEASE NOTE: No ghosts or vampires were spotted in the vacant house while exchanging blowjobs.

 

Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath
BAD BOYS SCHOOL

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The Perfect Storm

By Will Seagers

 

Hi folks! Will here. This blog will be unique in that it will have few pictures... to protect the innocent! LOL.

This week's installation deals with my travels and a family reunion in Pennsylvania. This reunion was a long time in the planning, re-planning and finally the get together itself. I had been talking with my brother in Pennsylvania about coming out to visit him for the past several years. I had never seen his home. At my current age of 72 - time's a wasting - I thought it was a good time to make the journey.

This all started around March or April of this year. It quickly morphed into a whole family affair, i.e. Reunion! I am the oldest sibling of six with five of us remaining. We all became quite excited about the upcoming affair. Many of us had not seen each other for more than a decade. Our initial date was set for mid July.

My brother hosting this get together in PA. was stricken with a sudden eye ailment that required surgery and recuperation time. Flight plans for me and RV trailer park reservations for my sister and her husband had to be redone. No biggy. My poor brother suffered several setbacks during the summer requiring additional surgeries... and more time to heal from them. A date was finally set for September 22nd as the start of a marathon week for this gathering. All travel plans were altered to meet this date.

The weeks, or should I say months, leading up to this date were filled with lots of chores and odd jobs around the house for my brother. I was quite astounded to hear that during his recovery he painted porches, laid out a new patio and thoroughly cleaned up his rather bucolic multi-acre property! Stamina is a family trait.

Knowing that our whole family loves music, I sent him a lovely pair of B&W speakers and a CD player. I also helped him select a new AV receiver which acted as the central nervous system for everything!

Also during the time leading up to departure, I kept a rather strict eye on my diet and made my trips to the gym a priority. Yes, at 72 I am still that vain! No sense letting it all fall away! And, the Monday before my trip I got the new Spike Vax COVID vaccine... just to be sure.

My flights out to PA were not without issue. Sleeping rather poorly in the nights preceding the trip, I was fatigued and not so steady on my feet despite my gym work outs. Stress can build up very quickly. At the end of the first leg of my trip (Dallas – bound), I had to ask the lovely ladies sitting in my row if I could get to the aisle rather quickly as I had a connecting flight to make and I was not feeling to coherent, to boot. Luck was with me. All three ladies were doctors! Not only did they help me to the aisle but they whisked me through the throng of passengers standing in the aisle pulling down their carry-ons. I was amazed with how their take charge attitude got me to the front of the plane and to the nearest gate agent for further assistance. All three of the doctors thought I should seek medical attention STAT. I told them I was just a little dizzy and that this would pass. None-the-less they ushered me onto an electric cart that sped me to my next flight... the gate was 1.2 miles away! Little did I know that DFW is the world's largest airport and that my connecting flight was at the opposite end!

Although the flight from DFW to PA was uneventful, it was delayed and got me into the airport about an hour late... 1 am! I was delighted to see my brother waiting for me near the baggage claim area and to see my bag pop up soon after the carousel started. Seven hours of traveling that day. Oh, BTW, all I had were two biscuits and some water. Nothing like the fine dining when I was a steward 50 years ago!

I was the first guest to arrive. Upon being shown my room and getting out of my travel garb, my brother, his wife and I shares a late night snack then headed for bed.

The next morning, Friday, I was given a tour of my brother's house. I liked it a lot. It was built in the mid-sixties and had a lot of mid-century charm. I was blown away with the property that it sat on... somewhere between two and three acres. A pretty big parcel for a city home.

Later that afternoon, another sibling arrived from Philadelphia... he is next in line - age wise. After he was shown his room, we had some libations... his being one of his beloved exotic beers! We chatted and caught up on lost time.

Saturday was the big day for arrivals. My sister, her husband along with my youngest sister came in from N.J after their 3+ hour drive. They brought their own accommodations with them - their RV. They arrived in the late morning. Soon after, my niece arrived with her new beau... a charming and lanky fellow who somewhat reminded me of Sting! With everyone there - it was party time!

Saturday night was the main event with all of us present. I had made DVD copies of a VHS tape that my brother and I had taken at a Thanksgiving Dinner back in 1986. Everybody loved seeing the entire family as it was back then. With my Mother and Father present as well as aunts and uncles, it brought out both tears and laughter. Similarly, my youngest sister made copies of a beloved family photo complete with its iridescent silver frame for each sibling to have.

The first of my brother's planned outings was a trip to the State Capitol. It was a most majestic complex to say the least.

 

PA capitol exterior with Will and family member posing
Me and my "Niecey" at the PA State Capitol!
 
Capitol ceiling and PA state senate
Inside the Capitol (L) & the PA State Senate (R)
 
Stained glass ceiling and Will's brother lying on the floor to photograph it

A gorgeous glass dome over the State Supreme Court (L); My comical brother (and host) taking a picture of that dome! (R)

 

Besides tasty breakfasts and robust dinners at home, we enjoyed fine local restaurants, too. With both of my brother being beer aficionados, we also had a tour of a local brewery complete with lunch.

Another of our outings was a hike through a wildlife preserve. Unfortunately, Mother Nature greeted us with a cold and damp clime. Nonetheless, we persevered.

As the week came to an end, our family group began to disband. Regrettably, we said our goodbyes pledging to get together soon again.

Family dinner at a restaurant
A hearty meal!
 
Family hike

Trekking through a nature preserve

 

My trip back was in the early afternoon. And, not coming from a major metropolis nor going to one meant connecting flights. The way home was rather circuitous to say the least. From Harrisburg, PA, I flew east to Philadelphia > Phoenix > and finally east back to N.M. This time it was about 8 hours traveling time! My... how the air travel has changed!

But, there was a nice surprise in store for me in the last leg of my travels. I had noticed a good-looking young man conversing with the gate agent. He had ID tags on a lanyard around his neck... indicating that he worked for the airlines. This last leg of the trip was on a rather cozy jet. As fate would have it, the aforementioned gentleman was sitting right next to me! He was even more handsome up close! I started a light conversation by noticing his company ID. I coyly asked him if he worked for the airlines. He said: "Yes. I am a pilot." Well, that opened the door to a really nice conversation that lasted for most of the one hour flight. I told him that I was a steward with Eastern Airlines fifty years ago! I detected a slight accent and inquired. He said he was from Spain. (The fantasies were building!) I rattled out some trite Spanish phrases from which he got a kick. His girlfriend was working as the first class flight attendant. She came back to give him a Scotch and soda. She asked me if I wanted anything. I was quite pleased and requested a Chardonnay. This was the crowning touch for a long and (otherwise) tedious journey. He was sexy, good looking and charming. And, he thanked ME for my company and the nice conversation we had. (If he had only known how many times I had mentally undressed him!) Discretion is the better part of valor!

So, my title for this piece? Even though it was a wonderful and memorable week, I wound up catching COVID! With five flights, four airports and a family gathering, it was truly "The Perfect Storm" for catching the dreaded bug! P.S. With the recent shot and my doctor's script for an anti-viral, it was a mild case. Thankfully, I am back in the saddle!

 

Bio of Will Seagers:

Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted careers and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model, film performer, and DJ, just to name a few. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.
 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills
Merry Christmas (and Getting Re-Organized)
Now and Then
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Badlands
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: Moby Dick Bar
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: "Just Another Stroll Down the Castro!"
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Hamburger Mary's
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Long Live the Stud!
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Club Life..."Hit me with your Rhythm Stick!”
A "Split Ticket" - SoMa/Folsom and The Haight!
Back to Basics: "Staying Vanilla in a Flavorful Culture!"
A Little Secret
"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade
Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach
Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!
Once Is Just Not Enough!
A Love of Cultures – A Knack for Languages!
"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!
"It's About Time!" My Love Affair With Clocks & Fine Watches

 

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BAD BOYS SCHOOL

By Josh Eliot

 

My beautiful home state of Rhode Island, “Little Rhodie” as we affectionately call it, is famous for its sandy shores and seaside Colonial towns. It is most known for its capitol Providence and, attached by a bridge, the islands of Jamestown and Newport. Newport prides itself on starting the very first jazz festival, America’s Cup, and the Gilded Age Mansions such as The Breakers. With over 400 miles of coastline, it features an amazing “Cliff Walk” that ventures past the backyards of these enormous “summer homes” originally owned by America’s wealthiest families including the Vanderbilt’s, the Astor’s and the Morgan’s. Taylor Swift purchased and occupies an 11,000 square foot mansion on Watch Hill, a nearby beach community in Rhode Island. There is a lot of beauty in this small seaside state, the smallest state in the country in fact, one that you can literally drive across in 45 minutes to an hour. If you do take that drive, just beware that not everything in the state of Rhode Island is as welcoming or inviting. In fact, there is quite a dark and scary side to some of the state’s history.

This is my second out of three Halloween-inspired blogs I am writing this month. Today I will focus on a few of the places that literally made my blood run cold as a child and teenager. Now, of course this is a blog for Bijou World, so I’ll try to squeeze in the occasional blowjob with facial cum shot along the way!

 

SOCKANOSSET


The Sockanosset Training School for Boys, affectionately known to all Rhode Islanders as “The Bad Boys School,” opened in the late 1800s. It was part of a “state farm” which included an asylum for the insane, an adult prison and a state almshouse. The gothic looking dormitory cottages were built in 1881 to 1895. The approach to dealing with “Wayward Boys” was to offer them structure and discipline through labor-intensive work such as farming, construction and shoveling coal from a small coal mine on the property. There are many stories about the headmaster abusing his powers and submitting the boys to mental and physical punishments. When our family would drive past the Bad Boys School, my mother would never miss an opportunity to tell us that we would be sent there if we didn’t behave ourselves. Something dozens of mothers and fathers across the state used as leverage to keep their kids on the straight and narrow. This certainly worked for my brother and me, as Sockanosset was terrifying from the outside. I can’t imagine what it was like inside! In disrepair for many years and due to lack of funding, it closed down in 1985 and sat there vacant for over two decades.

 

Sockanosset building and classroom, historical photos

Sockanosset building and classroom, historical photos

 

Before moving to California to attend film school, I took a lot of pictures of the building and grounds knowing one day I would somehow find a way to make a movie about this place. As you can see from the pictures, it was definitely the thing that nightmares are made of, and stories of spirits haunting the grounds were rampant. Years later when Chi Chi and I were assigned Powertool 2, I considered using my photos as the exterior shots of the prison, but when I saw how “vanilla” the script was coming I struck that idea. If production with Catalina Video had continued past 2006, I’m sure I would have eventually found a way to make the movie Bad Boys School, probably with an S&M or Leather twist to it. I’ve been accused many times of making movies that don’t necessarily fit into the porno movie mold. Hey, what can I say, I was a young horror movie buff who just happened to have complete control (mostly) on the projects I wanted to direct. With Thrill Me!, it was: “Dead bodies and porn don’t mix!” Well, you know what? I made it mix! In Night of the Living Bi-Dolls, it was: “Are you nuts? Zombies are not sexy!” Well you know what? I made it sexy and it won Best Bisexual Picture that year! For Single White Male, it was: “A criminally insane lead is not a proper subject for a Catalina Feature!” (a Scott Masters quote). Well, you know what? Rob Cryston won Best Actor at the Gay Video Guide Awards that year and I picked up Best Screenplay.

 

Rob Cryston in Josh Eliot's Single White Male

Rob Cryston in Josh Eliot's Single White Male

 

So why wouldn’t I do a Bad Boys School movie some day?! The image on the faux lobby card below was a must; no matter what the box cover looked like, that shot had to be there. Says it all, don’t you think?

 

Faux lobby card for Bad Boys School
Faux lobby card for Bad Boys School

 

LADD SCHOOL


Now, let me get back to what I was saying about the criminally insane! The Boys Asylum - Ladd School - really does take a top prize for one of Rhode Island’s most haunted. Founded in 1908 by Joseph P. Ladd and originally called “The Rhode Island School for the Feeble Minded,” this caring and loving facility carried out cruel treatments like shock therapy, ice-bath therapy and lobotomies. The boys dormitory filled up in 1909 and a girls dorm was erected. Consisting of 10 buildings on 331 desolate acres, it also featured padded cells, operating rooms, a morgue and crematorium; more like an overcrowded prison where the occupants slept head to foot with only nine inches of separation between beds. Most were committed to life sentences, often never having committed crimes. Women were confined until menopause or death and sometimes sterilized for extramarital affairs or having a child out of wedlock. Known in modern day as Ladd School, it continued to function as a facility until 1986. Sitting vacant and isolated before this hell hole was finally demolished in 2013, the property was a hot, white hot, spot for paranormal activity.

 

Ladd School historical images and news article

Ladd School historical images and news article

 

Here is an excerpt from The Pawtucket Paranormal Society from a day trip to the property before it was razed:

“As we got close to the place, I began to feel a strange feeling settling into my gut. I can not say that I knew straight away this place was causing it, but I had a feeling. We drove onto the property and the feeling grew so much stronger, like there was a veil we passed through. We began to pass old, dilapidated, boarded up buildings, when a wave of sadness washed over me. I began to feel the hatred that seeped from the very ground we drove on. We stopped a few times so I could take pictures of the buildings, when I began to hear the whisper of many voices, all young and seeming to plead for mercy. When we came to the Fogerty Building, it felt like all the bad pooled in one place. The whispers grew stronger, they wanted to be released from the hell that bounded them. We came to what was left of one of the playgrounds. All that remained was a rusted, twisted swing set with one swing remaining. Dawn (team leader) did not want to get out of the car because [as] she stated to me later... she had the feeling of being watched. When I got close to the swing set, I heard a young girl asking me to follow her. I approached the swing… I had to feel it. I had to know how many sad souls sat upon it. When I got close to it, I heard the child say, 'Mine, mine, mine.' I proceeded to touch it. When I did, I immediately felt pain go up my right side and across my chest. It felt like I was being burned. This place is a tumor on the face of the earth.”

This report was just one in a long line. In previous instances, various investigators noted: a low moaning sound haunts the basement; blasts of wind can be felt and noises of footsteps and shattering chains can be heard; an ethereal figure haunts the halls; the walls bleed. A horde of “orbs” were caught on film, as well as a peculiar dark figure. One investigator’s camera slipped from her hand and, when she picked it up, it was slapped from her hand again. In the morgue, noises of a little girl can be heard as well as the sound of heavy footsteps. On the second floor, there were voices of people talking, things getting thrown and people screaming for help or weeping.

The list goes on and on, but I won’t. You know why? Because I don’t want a fucking thing to do with this place! I have no wish, desire, craving or itch to make Ladd School a movie. Nope. Nada. That is a bridge too far… even for me! Oh, you know what? I’ve just noticed that I never got to that blow job. Apologies. I promise it will be included in my third and final Halloween blog this season. It’s called Vampire's Grave, and it’s named after a real place located a short distance from the “actual” Conjuring house, which is also in Rhode Island.

I’ll add the BJ to that one!

 

Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 

 

You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Faces of Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath

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"It's About Time!" My Love Affair With Clocks & Fine Watches

By Will Seagers

 

Hi Folks - Will here. These last few blogs have been of a more personal nature. This one will let you know what makes me tick!

I always admired the way my father carried himself and how he dressed. I learned that meant including a watch to finish off the look. He was not much for jewelry or fancy watches... a simple Timex with a striped fabric band usually did the trick.

 

Timex
 

I don't remember wanting or having a watch for myself until I was into my late teens or early twenties. They were usually very nice watches that my father won in sales contests or the like. If they were too fancy he considered them "fag watches" and passed them along to me. LOL. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of these "hand-me-downs" to show. But, I do remember they were both Bulova Accutron watches - great timepieces of the day. One was a round face and the other was a tank (Cartier styled) watch. I loved them and wore them with pride until the "watch buying bug" really bit me!

That happened back in the early 70s when I was a flight attendant stationed in San Juan, P.R. Although I noticed all the great Rolex watches worn by members of the flight crews, I had my heart set on on a more artistic representation in timekeeping - a black ceramic Rado watch. Beautiful lines that even rivaled the Movado Museum watch.

So, I took advantage of my flying benefits one day and took a short hop from San Juan to St. Thomas - a mere 20 minutes away. This was the place to come and shop for watches and jewelry! I remember walking into a duty free shop and right up to the Rado display. Out of the corner of my eye I could also see the Rolex display. I felt like someone yanked me by the scruff of the neck over to the Rolex counter. My jaw dropped as I eyed a very simple and inconspicuous "Air King" model. After only a few minutes of gazing at it and (of course) trying it on, I was out the door and headed back to San Juan. That watch stayed with me stayed with me for decades.

 

Will wearing an Air King Rolex on his 40th birthday
On my 40th birthday wearing my Air King Rolex.
 

"Rollies" were know for their quality and for holding their value. And, when some rougher times arrived in my life I sold mine to keep me afloat financially. I immediately felt a hole in my life (and in my heart). I was determined to get one back on my wrist ASAP! That happened shortly after I met my current spouse back in the mid 90s. A wonderful and lucky event happened in my life. I wound up with a painting that no one else in my family wanted from my recently deceased (Finnish) Aunt. I knew it had value. But, I was blown away when we took it to an auction gallery in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A very distinguished man rushed over to us and asked about the painting. I recognized him from The Antiques Roadshow. Yep. He was of that caliber! Long story short, he took it to Amsterdam for the summer and showed it to many potential clients. In the fall he invited us to the auction where it was about to be shown. My spouse and I were shocked when the auctioneer announced, "The opening bid for this rare Dutch Masters oil on wood painting will start at $12,000!” It ended up at just under $25,000. My partner and I were delirious. It was quite an unexpected chunk of change! After the dust had settled, I went to the Tudor watch store on the west side and replaced my Air King!

That watch remained with me for over a decade. It was one day in my store that a client who was a gemologist from a local Rolex dealer commented on my watch. It was sort of a back handed compliment. She said to me that my wrist was really too big for the 34mm watch face and that I should come and look at a Submariner - which measured 40mm. So, I did. And, that started an almost decade long cavalcade of buying and trading up Rolex, Panerai, and Breitling models. It was a glorious period of time - I enjoyed every minute of it.

 

Will wearing his Rolex Submariner at a haircut appointment
One of a couple of Rollie Submariners worn to a haircut!
 
Breitling Divers' model
A lovely Breitling Divers' model that I purchased around 2008 in Santa Fe.
 
Breitling Navitimer Montbrilliant
Another Breitling - and a real looker. The "Navitimer Montbrilliant” But, with the joy of aging and decreasing eyesight, the multi dials were too hard to read.
 
Breitling Navitimer Montbrilliant
A Panerai. Like the Breitling, I couldn't get used to the rubber watch band.
 
Rollie Platinum Yachtmaster
One of my favorites - a Rollie Platinum Yachtmaster.
 
Will wearing a Gold and Platinum Yachtmaster
A Gold and Platinum Yachtmaster - might just be the all time favorite!
 
Rollie Oyster Perpetual
A retirement self-giftie - a Rollie Oyster Perpetual.
 

When I decided to stop working I literally pulled the plug in one fell swoop. I was very uncomfortable in my final retail selling position and needed to be free from all of the pettiness of the retail scene. I didn't have anything lined up in the wings. So, I made a pact with myself to sell to sell my final Rolex, a GMT Coke model, back to the jeweler from whom I bought it. It pained me to do so. I thought I would never see one again. And, that has been the case, so far. It was a nice lump sum to put in my bank account as I figured out how to start my retirement years. All of my crazy buying patterns came to an abrupt halt. And, I have survived!

 

Rollie GMT Coke
A Rollie GMT "Coke" with its distinctive dual colored bezel.
 

During my retail working years I also enjoyed adding various clocks to our home. I love regulator clocks, cuckoo clocks, mantle clocks and of course my French styled Bonnet Grandfathers' clock. It's really very amusing when the hour arrives in our home - it sounds like a clock store!

 

Regulator clock
One of two regulator clocks. This one in the living room.
 
Grandfather’s Clock
I always loved the way the French did a Grandfather’s Clock.
 
Cuckoo clock
The newest Cuckoo clock hangs in the kitchen.
 
Treble clef-shaped clock
A musical time piece from my friend George!
 
Digital clock
A very futuristic digital clock gifted to me by Tommy, my first partner, in 1977.
 

So, there you have it. You know a little bit more of what makes me tick! In a day when most people tell time by their cell phones, I delight in looking down at my analog watch face or looking across the room at these pieces of history, waiting for them to chime. And, in very quiet moments, I love to listen to the subtle murmuring of the machinery of time... tick tock, tick tock.

PS, folks - I am a Capricorn, the sign ruled by Saturn and, in Greek mythology, Kronos, the keeper of time.

 

Bio of Will Seagers:

Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted careers and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model, film performer, and DJ, just to name a few. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.
 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills
Merry Christmas (and Getting Re-Organized)
Now and Then
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Badlands
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: Moby Dick Bar
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: "Just Another Stroll Down the Castro!"
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Hamburger Mary's
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Long Live the Stud!
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Club Life..."Hit me with your Rhythm Stick!”
A "Split Ticket" - SoMa/Folsom and The Haight!
Back to Basics: "Staying Vanilla in a Flavorful Culture!"
A Little Secret
"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade
Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach
Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!
Once Is Just Not Enough!
A Love of Cultures – A Knack for Languages!
"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!

 

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"For the Birds": My Lifetime With Feathered Friends!

By Will Seagers

 

Hello, Friends! Matt here. After writing a blog a while back mentioning Jim Bentley and my common love of Moluccan Cockatoos, I am back to do more detailed story telling of my lifelong love of birds.

Once again, my childhood buddy, Michael, who I have mentioned in several of my blogs, shared yet another hobby with me - having cage birds. It was his grandmother, " Nana," who started us both on this journey. In her backyard and in her house she had quite a "community" of birds. In her back yard was a freestanding modestly sized aviary filled with many finch varieties as well as some soft-billed birds. Inside her home were Cockatiels and some very operatic Canaries! I was mesmerized by this collection. On almost a monthly basis, Michael and I would accompany Nana to "The Bird Farm" for supplies and sometimes new family members! That's when the bird bug bit me!

I decided to build an indoor aviary in our basement... much to my father's surprise. I built it under our living room's bay window. So, when I added the flat wall of wire mesh to enclose it, a trapezoid was the resulting shape. Sorry, I have no existing photos of this aviary. It turned out surprisingly well. I was quite successful at breeding finches that I traded to the local pet shops for bird seed and other avian supplies. Every time there was a family gathering, the basement and the aviary were part of the celebrations.

 

Star Finches
It all started in my teens with finches like this lovely Star Finch!
 

When I went away to college I had the depressing task of disbanding my aviary and "farming out" my rather large bird collection. While in school and staying with my Aunt (the Finnish one), a very good friend of mine gifted me with a Toucan. I was blown away by this spectacular gift. He was the original Biki Noka - Finnish for big nose! Not every experience in the bird world was a pleasant one. At this time (1969), aviculturists had not perfected a diet for many exotic soft bills like Toucans. You had to improvise a lot. The suggested diet of the time was soaked Monkey Chow with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Alas, the tough part about Monkey Chow was that it was very hard on birds' livers. Ultimately,I lost this beauty and I was crushed. It was several years before I had birds again.

"San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gates" - bird cage gates, that is! When I settled in with my first partner Tommy, I felt secure enough to start back up with a new bird family. This time, I was not only interested in finches but in Parrots and Cockatoos! Finches and rare Parakeets came first. I had great luck again in breeding them. My "aviary" in the living room bay window seemed to be the perfect spot for all sorts of finches to live happily and reproduce. I regularly went to pet shops in town where my little folk were eagerly scooped up for sale. My first attempts with parrots were a wild captured cockatoo and an African Gray - both with no success. The wild captures were too afraid of humans to bond.

 

Flight cage in S.F. apartment
This bay window had more than a view! It was a small apartment with a large flight cage.
 
Shafttail Finches
Two of the S.F. Flight cages residents, Shafttail Finches.
 
Parakeets in hutch
Also from S.F., a converted hutch cabinet with breeding Splendid Parakeets.
 

It was around 1986 or so when I went to a bird show in town (S.F.) and met a local breeder of fine Cockatoos by the name of Gloria. She had a spectacular female Moluccan Cockatoo with her at the show that wasn't quite weened or ready for sale. I left her my name and number for when this youngster became available. In two months the bird was ready. I traveled down the peninsula below San Francisco to a lavish compound/park where Gloria bred her birds. I made the purchase that day and took my "Gloria" home. I had never known a bird to be so affectionate and cuddly. Tommy and I loved to hold and caress her.

 

Gloria, the Moluccan Cockatoo
One of the grandest birds I ever owned – a Moluccan Cockatoo... Gloria!
 

In 1989, I lost Tommy to AIDS. Without him at home to lavish her with attention, I had to re-home Gloria. Cockatoos require enormous amounts of attention and will self-mutilate without. I came home to find her cage bloodied from her attack on her own air sacks. I was in tears. I tried to make it work. But, Gloria needed the constant attention I could no longer give while I was away at work. A painful lesson and memory. A similar tale was to be told bout "Bingo," my one and only Macaw. He was adorable and cuddly but would go berserk and shriek when I left for work. It was not fair to my neighbors. A great friend with a bird collection came to our rescue and gave Bingo a great home.

 

Macaw on Will's shoulder in S.F.
Last of the S.F. pics... Bingo, my Harlequin Macaw!
 

It was 1991. I was recuperating from my devastations in S.F. at my Aunt's house in N.J. I was shell shocked... I needed a bird! Oddly enough, a wonderful opportunity opened up with a friend of my Aunt. This friend was desperate to find a home for their Yellow Headed Amazon parrot. I moved like lightning to get that bird! It was a life saver for me and the bird! This bird was already a great talker and loved me from the jump. I had this bird for several years until I had to move. My sister rose to the occasion and was delighted to be his new Mama!

 

Buddy on Will's shoulder
Another time and place... My return to N.J. and my “Buddy,” the Yellow Headed Amazon.
 

Next step - my new life with my current spouse in NYC. I was bird-less for almost two years. It felt like a hole in my heart. So, I started up with finches, then Love Birds. Then my partner discovered a great bird store downtown - Urban Bird. While touring the store, we came upon Dede. It was love at first sight. Dede is a Red Lory... a talker and one of the cutest birds on the planet. Besides being a striking color, Dede had quite a rambunctious personality. Without hesitating, we made the move. A couple of weeks later, my partner was back at Urban Bird and happened upon a beautiful Citron Cockatoo. So, we went down to see "Louise" and she came back home with us.

 

Dede on Will's shoulder
Having dinner with my new friend Dede a few years later in NYC.
 
Birds perched in kitchen
Dede's pal and soulmate, Louise, a Citron Cockatoo.
 

The Southwest. It is not an easy thing to move across the country with birds... in a car anyway. So, My partner flew with them from NYC to the desert. They had to go to a vet first to have their health certified. That's when we found out that Dede was a boy and Louise was indeed a girl. They adjusted to our new location quickly. The second "Biki Noka," an African Gray, joined the family in 2001. He is my "papa's boy!” Smart as a whip and a loving bird, as well.

 

Biki Noka
A few years later and Biki Noka joins the family!
 
Birds at Christmas
At Christmas time, helping unwrap the gifts.
 
Two birds in dramatic lighting
Mr. DeMille, we're ready! A magic lighting moment with my two “hams!”

 

Our complete family is currently 19 birds consisting of Dede, Biki, and Louise; in addition there's a pair of Love Birds, a Jenday Conure (Biloxy), five finches, three parakeets and three Cockatiels. They are a handful and a lot of maintenance... but, I love every minute of it. I particularly love Sunday breakfasts when my partner is home and cooking up a storm. At the table he and I act like trees for all of the "kids" to perch upon. I am so happy that our lives have settled down and we have been able to keep these birds for decades! They're our kids! Yes, after all of these years I am truly glad that "the bird bug bit me!" They are incredible creatures!

 

Will's current bird room and aviary
The Bird Room & the aviary.
 
Will, present day, with birds on both shoulders
Morning rainbows with Biki and Louise!
 

 

Bio of Will Seagers:

Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted careers and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model, film performer, and DJ, just to name a few. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.
 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills
Merry Christmas (and Getting Re-Organized)
Now and Then
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Badlands
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: Moby Dick Bar
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: "Just Another Stroll Down the Castro!"
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Hamburger Mary's
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Long Live the Stud!
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: Club Life..."Hit me with your Rhythm Stick!”
A "Split Ticket" - SoMa/Folsom and The Haight!
Back to Basics: "Staying Vanilla in a Flavorful Culture!"
A Little Secret
"I love a Parade!" Recollections of the 1977 S.F. Gay Pride Parade
Pics, Pics & More Pics... Life's a Beach
Flora & Fauna - the Flora part anyway!
Once Is Just Not Enough!
A Love of Cultures – A Knack for Languages!

 

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78 Hits
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