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Watch: Stunning Clip of 1945 Gay Pool Party Goes Viral

Sunday Jan 21, 2018
Watch: Stunning Clip of 1945 Gay Pool Party Goes Viral
  (Source:YouTube Still)

A 17-second video showing moments from a 1945 pool party is going viral this week - and for good reason. This isn't your typical 40s pool party at a private home: The footage shows it's a gathering of gay men.

The footage was found by out filmmaker Geoff Story, from St. Louis, Mo., who purchased the home videos at an estate sale about 20 years ago, he tells St. Louis Public Radio. The home belonged to Buddy Walton, known as the the city's "hairdresser to the stars," who has since died.

Walton's niece, Susie Seagraves, said everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Ethel Merman went to Walton's salon when they were in town.

"Queens and presidents' wives and movie stars - he was always around fancy places and fancy things," Seagraves told St. Louis Public Radio. "He had a beautiful life."

Walton was also known for his lavish pool parties.

"These men are still in their 20s in the sun, swimming, like they always will," Story said. "There's a real sweet pain, and when you watch it, there's a happiness but you can't believe it's so long ago and you can't touch it - it's gone."

Story said he plans to put the footage he has together for a documentary, calling it "Gay Home Movie." He told St. Louis Public Radio the project has already caught the eye of Brian Graden, who helped develop "South Park."

"It speaks to a wide array of people on a very deep level," Graden said. "What are the chances someone would go to an estate sale and pick up these canisters of old footage? It's almost like these men are trying to talk to us from beyond the grave."

Read more about Walton's life in Nancy Fowler's piece for St. Louis Public Radio by clicking here, where you can also listen to an interview with Story.

Below check out the footage of the 1945 pool party.

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