Our Hearts Were Khaki and Gay is a memoir about a young man making career choices and dealing with his sexuality, all within the structure and discipline of the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. These were the days before "Don't ask, Don't tell" and its repeal. The story illustrates his travels from college to show business via the ballroom dance world, Mae West's night club act, Army enlistment, Soldier Shows around the world, Army discharge and finally a move to Paris, France. It also deals with the many people he met on his adventures and the influence they had on his choices in life. With his performances on the Fifth Army Soldier Shows at WGN-TV in Chicago and as a winner in the All-Army Talent Contest, his talent carried him to the Ed Sullivan Television Show and a world tour in an all-Army revue called Rolling Along of 1956. There he met his mentor, Scott. In the early 1940's, actress, writer, and monologist Cornelia Otis Skinner joined journalist Emily Kimbrough in writing about two young ladies' travels abroad. The hysterically-funny Our Hearts Were Young and Gay was later made into a movie. That book reminded the author of Scott and himself, two young soldiers in an all-Army show, traveling to twenty-seven countries and thirty-eight states, entertaining at military installations: hence the title of this book, Our Hearts Were Khaki and Gay. There were nineteen other soldiers in the show. Their hearts were not khaki and gay - just khaki. Perhaps one was ecru, we'll never know. The book is anecdotal, amusing, and may be of help to other young men and women facing similar dilemmas in their young lives. It should appeal to the theatrical community,the gay community, and those interested in the short period during our military history when the Soldier Shows were very popular. The All-Army Talent Contests and the Rolling Along tours only happened during the 1950's. This book's action takes place during the 1956 tour. It pays tribute to those who were drafted and found a way to continue the development of their talents while in the military - and to the very appreciative military audiences. It also discusses the Army of the mid-1950's and the military policy pre-"Don't Ask. Don't Tell,"a misadventure that was repealed in 2011.
Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature, Entertainers,