La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969).
Jane knows the way of it.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michael Gondry, 2004.)
Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.
(William S. Burroughs qtd. in Odier, Daniel. The Job: Interviews With William S. Burroughs. (Paris: Editions Pierre Belfond. 1969). Print.)
I really can’t stand it when people pester me about communication. It’s insecure and suggests that I’m some wild, changeable, untrustworthy person who the other party may turn to find is plotting some mutiny behind their back or necking with the bartender while their car is being stolen. I wish it could just be assumed that I am a solid human and that if I had anything new to report, I would. It’s so disrespectful to be unceasingly pressuring people to talk if they don’t feel like it or have requested time to think: the kind of person who fears silence, as Mr. Burroughs points out, is a self-involved control freak who is only waiting for their turn to start nattering on about their own problems again.
“What are you thinking? You’re so quiet.” Aren’t you thinking about me? I want to be talking. It tells me that the other person doesn’t give a shit about what I’m actually like, and I am just another in a long line of replaceable intimate nobodies to whom they confess everything, manipulate endlessly, and discard for someone more dramatic when they are bored of baring their soul to me. Like, screw that, you know? Thank god my friends get it and are like that themselves: we respect each other’s silences and alone times, and come together with love and boisterous support when the time is right, not when we demand it to be so. So much better. Why can’t we just marry our friends and family?
Happy birthday to a very special Valentine Vixen, the lovely and talented Lorrie Menconi, Miss February 1969!
Tomorrow is brain-asplodin’ly cute Ms. Menconi’s 62nd birthday. Felicitazioni, bella!
The write-up which accompanied Ms. Menconi’s centerfold, titled “Tuesday’s Child,” focused on her birthday and the implications of her Pisces nativity. You know how I feel about zodiac-quackery (unless what I’m reading is painful, scathing, and insulting, I am highly skeptical), but how can I resist an Italian sister in pigtails? Flap-flap, quack-quack — let’s discuss the zodiac.
Astrologically speaking, Lorrie Menconi has her pretty head in the stars. “I was born on Tuesday,” our valentine Playmate told us, “February 24th 1948. That makes me a Pisces, so I think it’s perfect to appear in the February issue — it just has to be good luck. I guess you could call me a zodiac nut. But so many Piscean characteristics are true of me that it’s hard not to believe in it!” (“Tuesday’s Child,” Playboy, February 1969.)
Exhibiting a prime Piscean trait — talkativeness — Lorrie goes on: “Pisces is a water sign, which may explain why I’m so crazy about living in California. We moved to San Diego when I was very young, so I don’t know what it’s like to live away from the water.”(Ibid.)
Damned skippy, they are.
When Lorrie isn’t involved in the aquatic life, she indulges another Piscean fancy — a love of animals. Lorrie attributes some of her fondness for fauna to her mother, who wrote a children’s book called The Pony Who Lost Her Neigh. (Ibid.)
The Pony Who Lost Her Neigh must be out of print now, because all the traces that remain on a fairly deep search are Lee Menconi-Bandh’s copyright claims, first from 1965, renewed in 1993. Bummer. I’ll keep looking.
“All the animals in the story,” Lorrie explains, “were based on our family: my father, my three sisters and me. There was billy goat Harry, pony Susie, porky Marilyn and duck Rosane. I was a turkey — you know, ‘gobble, gobble’ — because I talk so much; there’s that Pisces again.”
Ms. Menconi, I can imagine many, many things. That you “sell anything you can imagine” made of rattan is a dangerous thing to say to a person who opens my eyes in the shower because I’m positive that, in the time it took me to suds up my hair, a shark has swum up the drain and is a centimeter from sinking his rows of razor sharp teeth into my foot (yes, I grasp physics and biology and am aware on an intellectual level of the impossibility of such a thing; no, that doesn’t stop me from opening my eyes and getting soap in them).
Rattan flyswatters, minivans, and light bulbs; rattan bikini bottoms; rattan file cabinets; rattan noodle soup; rattan statues of Ra, the Sun God; rattan Audubon guides to bird-watching and rattan flatware to compliment an ornate set of rattan china — all of these, you sold at your mother’s shop, Ms. Menconi? No? Then I cry fie and false advertising! “House of Rattan,” indeed. More like “Shack” or “Porta-Potty of Rattan.” Even “Junk Drawer of Unimaginative Rattan,” maybe. Pfft.
I kid. She was totally cute and is still completely beautiful; further, her family sounds very supportive. Ms. Menconi travels on the convention circuit, and also maintains an official website, where you can purchase autographed copies of prints from her justifiably popular Playboy spread.
Besides her looks, her adorable enthusiasm for her hometown of San Diego has also clearly held.
“You know, San Diego is called the place where California began, because the Spanish padres founded their first mission here in 1769. So this year, we’re celebrating our 200th birthday. I’m really proud of this city — it’s sunny and warm and beautiful.” (Ibid.)
Her official site is sponsored by the San Diego Beachlife Press.
Again, supersonic birthday wishes and eskimo kisses to the lovely and talented Ms. Menconi, and many, many happy returns!
I feel like I may have got a little down here and there on that last gal, what with my none-too-pleased remarks alluding to what I consider to be her lamentable decades-long trail of desperation, so here’s one of those Playmates who makes me proud to be a Playboy defender.
Gloria Root, the lovely and talented Miss December 1969, is proof that beauty often does come with brains.
Photographed by Pompeo Posar
It is Gloria’s conviction that a major upheaval is both necessary and inevitable in the United States. “We’ve managed to narrow down all the freedoms we take pride in. We’ve created a political aristocracy that we didn’t want, and too many of us are hopelessly trapped in that tired old business of getting an ‘education’ and a job that doesn’t mean anything.” Gloria believes that American society today contains a “hard-core revolutionary middle” that bridges economic, racial and generational gaps — “not just a radical rabble, as the politicians would have us believe.”
“Individuals who have used hallucinogens or pot can experience life in more subtle ways and accept each other more readily than people who haven’t.” And unorthodox costumes, according to Gloria, serve to remind orthodox citizens “that there are other ways to live than what happens to be considered ‘normal’ here and now. If more people cared enough to expand their viewpoints by studying history or anthropology, they’d realize how many different life styles are natural and they’d be more tolerant. Young people aren’t pushing any particular life style — just the freedom to choose. And the youth revolution bridges all boundaries.” (“Revolutionary Discovery,” Playboy, December 1969.)
[Gloria] graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in fine arts and architecture. She then took a Master’s Degree in City Planning and a Master’s of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1980, she opened her own planning firm, Planning Analysis and Development, in San Francisco. She headed the firm until 1998, when she relocated to New York. While in New York, Root headed the strategic planning services division of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. She returned to San Francisco in 2002 to a job as a project manager for Auberge Resorts. She later took a senior position with RBF Consulting.
From 1990 to 1998, Root was a board member of San Francisco Urban Planning + Research Association, a public-policy think-tank promoting good government and sustainable urban planning. (the wiki)
Gloria died of cancer in January, 2006.
When not grappling with environmental and growth issues, Gloria was both an avid fan of professional football and an aficionado of the performing and cinematic arts. She was a world traveler, which contributed to her distinctive savoir faire. Long before it became fashionable, Gloria deserved to be called a “foodie” wowing her chums with her culinary delights. Dancer, skier, runner, Gloria was gifted with an exceptional physical grace. Of all her accomplishments, however, the power of Gloria’s mind was the most remarkable. Few possessed her ability to probe and debate current events with such intellectual horsepower and insight. When Gloria’s flame burned, it burned bright. (Obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle.)
I think Gloria Root is a woman who was definitely quite a total package. Beauty, brains, compassion, “different-ness,” and drive. RIP.
The lovely and talented Claudia Jennings was Playboy‘s Miss November 1969, and Playmate of the Year in 1970. Her birth name was Mary Eileen Chesterton. If it was me, I’d've changed my name too — but I would have just switched my first name to Chesty. Can you dig it? “Hi, I’m Chesty. Chesty Chesterton.” That is a name you can take straight to the mother effing bank!
Photographed by Pompeo Posar
Her father was a sales manager and her mother was a college professor. She was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and later moved to Evanston, Illinois, where she graduated from high school in 1968. Later that year, she joined the Hull House theater company in Chicago and got a job as a receptionist at the offices of Playboy magazine (