Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Jackie Cooper and John F. Callahan

This is #9 in a series of posts about a recently retrieved inheritance from my late husband, John F. Callahan: a set of 18 8” x 10”, double-sided, hole-punched collectable movie-star-publicity-swag items. The focus, this time around, is Jackie Cooper.

Born in 1922, Jackie Cooper was cast in his first movie at age 7, and was a movie star by age 9, nominated for an Oscar© (“Skippy”; 1931). He was 18 at the time this photo was taken, starring in a series of “Henry Aldrich” movies. In the late 70’s/ early 80’s he was cast as ‘Perry White’ in the first 4 “Superman"

I don’t know what John thought of Jackie, or if he thought of Jackie at all. I probably thought about Mr. Coogan more than John ever did. IMO, Mr, Coogan was one of those men who improved with age- I find him callow and uninteresting as a youth, but actually kind of hot in the second photo, taken during or after the “Superman” period.

John, for HIS part, had developed a reputation as a “rainbow queen” (i.e., a white man with a preference for sexual partners of color) by the time I met him in late 1984. In fact, he told me that his posse found it out of character when he and I started dating, then moved in together, then had our first commitment ceremony in early 1987. For MY part, I’ve always gone for older men, i.e., men in their early 40’s to early 60’s. It is an irony of survival that, at this point in my life, the “older man” is frequently younger than me.

For comparison, here's a photo I took of John during our summer 1990 vacation on the isle of Madiera, John's ancestral homeland, an "Autonomous Region" of Portugal . At the time of this photo, John was 45. I was 31.

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