It was just around the start of WWII.
He was young, just out of his teens — tall, Scandinavian, striking.
He met a slightly older man.
VERY sophisticated, very witty, very romantic.
Rather movie star handsome because, well, he actually was a movie star.
A few years into his film career, he was typically the second romantic lead or the first villain.
A versatile and pretty good actor.
Despite the times, the star was very comfortable with his sexuality — he preferred men but really liked women, too, and was married a number of times.
Had several children. But, always loved men.
Loved this young man.
They ended up having a steamy fling which turned into a friendly on again/off again affair, lasting about six years.
Whenever this older man was in town, or they could meet somewhere in the middle, they would dine, and walk, and talk.
They had fun.
The younger man learned a lot about the world, being in love, gaining confidence, manners, and a lot of good tips on simply getting through life in that era as a gay man, while still being authentic.
He never lost his deep affection for this man, considering him a mentor.
This younger man is now in his 90s.
He clearly remembers this time in his life, and the gentleman as exactly that: a gentle man.
A kind man.
A sharply funny man.
Of course, our actor is long gone but fondly remembered by his many fans as a true sophisticate, a man of good taste with a dash of campy good fun, who gave us some great movie moments.
Perhaps it was sleight of hand, but he remains one person out of so many in Hollywood who managed to make it all work for him all those years, living his life on his terms, and to the end, having a whale of a good time.