Archive for February 24th, 2010

Valentine Vixen — Nancy Harwood, Miss February 1968

February 24, 2010

In her Playmate interview, the lovely and talented Nancy Harwood, Miss February 1968, states views on the diametrically opposite end of the spectrum from yesterday’s first Valentine Vixen L.F. (Miss February 1970, all posts with references to whom have been removed from this site at the request of a different LF), but they ended up in virtually identical fields, showing once again that it is possible and even perhaps God’s intention in creating a species of such diverse intellects to achieve goals of peace and harmony no matter if there are little areas of difference between people. We can walk parallel paths and reach the same destination, and not imagine ours to be the only way home. Does this make sense?


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed De Long.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian mystic who has introduced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Mia Farrow Sinatra, among others, to the joys of contemplation, can also count Nancy Harwood among his followers. When Miss February faces the “altar” in her bachelorette pad in Burbank — it’s adorned with artificial flowers of psychedelic intensity from Mexico — she forgets not only the cares of a part-time college student but also the care-nots of a 19-year-old coming of age in Southern California. (“The Girl From Inner Space,” Playboy, February 1968.)


“It’s like getting high without drugs,” explains the pharmacist’s daughter — who got the message when she and many others, including pop idol Donovan, meditated with Maharishi recently at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium: “You could actually feel your neighbors going up, up and away!” (Ibid.)


Like so many of her tuned-in generation, Nancy grooves to the varied sounds of today’s many-splendored pop musical world — Hugh Masekela, Wes Montgomery, the Beatles, the Stones and Ravi Shankar. She also enjoys fraternizing with a variety of people at school, at the beach (“I used to go in for a lot of surfing, but paddling out got to be a drag”) or on Sunset Strip. (Ibid.)


I have a lot of friends with long hair, though I wouldn’t necessarily call them hippies.” However, Nancy informed us that abrasive contact with the “real” world is taking its toll on the flower children: “The Strip now has a lot in common with skid row — everybody’s just milling around and most of them are up tight. Last spring, people were turned on to one another; now, everybody’s on his own trip.” (Ibid.)


There is an appropriately forlorn but determined quality to this unusually clothed picture.

In my opinion, Nancy accurately pegs here the increasingly dissident years in the aftermath of the Summer of Love, which was 1967. You will hear the same complaint from other people — it was like that time was a golden hour that was never successfully recaptured, perhaps inevitably leading to the narcissistic solo drug benders of the seventies and subsequent desperately empty materialism and casual sex of the 1980’s. I honestly think we almost brought it back around in the 1990’s as far as caring about one another and giving a shit about the environment once more, but we lost it again somehow … I apologize to my daughter’s generation in advance for whatever comes next.

Another very unusual shot. They followed Nancy around to school and some peace rallies protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. It’s not an experiment they tried much with the playmates, showing the reality of their lives, but it pays off with an idealistic gal like Nancy because that is part of her dimply but flinty-blue-eyed charm — the tinfoil beneath the icing of what you think is a cupcake but is actually a very determined young woman.


The more conventional side of Nancy’s education includes psychology and business courses at Los Angeles City College, a school she likes because of the diverse origins and upbringings of its students. Her ambitions are to model — Vogue’s Veruschka is her ideal — and to dance, preferably in films. (Ibid.)


According to her biography on her official site, Nancy put her classes to good use, and then some.

Nancy has been involved in human potential work for more than 15 years and is available for a personal coach. She is sought after as a coach because of her own experience and professoinal success. In her coaching, she integrates her extensive knowledge of body mechanics, diet, vitamins, and goal setting.

Due to her combination of brains, beauty, and free-love-based idealism and spirituality, Nancy was a tremendously popular Playmate during this time, especially with soldiers serving overseas during the Vietnam War.

Her feature was so popular that she received nine duffel bags of mail from American troops fighting in Vietnam in the following months. (official bio.)

Also,

She has remained a serious physical fitness buff, and has the same body weight and figure today that she had 25 years ago. (Ibid.)

The proof is in the pudding: check out the shots below!


DIG THE FABULOSITY!! l to r: Wonderful Helena Antonaccio (Miss June 1969), nothing-less-than-legendary star of the burlesque stage Tempest Storm, and beautiful flower child Nancy at Los Angeles Glamourcon in November of 2003.

Special thanks forever and always to the graceful, fun, funny, and all-around cramazing Helena Antonaccio for the above and below smashing shots of playmates and stage stars of yore in current action.


l to r: Nancy, Helena, and lovely and talented Connie Mason (Miss June 1963), Glamourcon 2003.

You must rush, rush, rush to Helena’s website and flock to her booth at any convention you attend. I can always count on the one-of-a-kind Miz A to Bring It when it comes to wonderful pictures. Bella, if you did not exist, I would have to invent you. *Muah!* ♥ (I get mooshy.)

Final present shot of Nancy:

Picture of Nancy at Glamroucon 15 by wonderful and hilarious J Greely, photographer of beautiful women and more recently zoo animals, who says, “I have nothing against naked women but I do object to clothed animals, so it evens out.” Check him out.

As a final awesome note, per her official site,

Ms. Harwood is currently President of the “original” Centerfold Alumni Association, which is composed of past Playmates and Centerfolds of the Month. These models are featured Playmates, whose dates of appearance range from August 1956 through June 1997.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Ms. Harwood!

Valentine Vixen — Cherie Witter, Miss February 1985

February 24, 2010

The lovely and talented Cherie Witter was a seasoned model by the time she posed for Playboy as Miss February 1985, and I’m happy to report she was born in the same neck of the deep dark crick gypsy needleleaf rainforest as myself!


Photographed by Richard Fegley and Arny Freytag.

Modeling takes, as Cherie would say, “a major amount” of dedication. Especially in an area that’s somewhat off the beaten track for the fashion industry. The towns where Cherie grew up — Marysville, Everett, Edmonds, Bellevue — appear only on fairly detailed maps of the hilly farm and forest land, lakes and seashores surrounding Seattle. (“Cherie On Top,” Playboy, February 1985.)


Although it’s a picturesque area, it hasn’t been a center of fashion since the boom days of the Klondike gold rush. Of course, few people today wear miners’ boots. And with the gold all but played out, people in Seattle have been forced to build ships and planes, catch fish and harvest timber. (Ibid.)

Erm, that’s a fairly inaccurate depiction of the history of the Pacific Northwest (did they seriously leave out Lewis and Clark? and how on earth was any part of the Klondike Gold Rush to do with fashion? it was dudes in flannel and gumboots, my friend, and whores in eight layers of clothes against the cold — read Call of the Wild, dumbasses), but I’ll take it.

The rest of my family being born where our deep roots lay, in Northeastern Washington and the very far north woods of Idaho, makes me very smug and proprietary about the Puget Sound — I believe only my cousin Richie shares the coast of Washington as our birthplace, among the, like seventy of us cousins and our kids. Rich was born in Marysville and I was born in Bremerton.

I found a very dicey and suspicious fan tribute page to Ms. Witter on the myspace which looked too scammy for me to link to, but I found her legit facebook and will share only that she now lives in a really gorgeous town further up the Puget Sound called Mukilteo. I’ve been through it only once in my grown-up memory, but it’s beautiful country — a lot of the landscape cinematography and ferry scene stuff for the American film version of The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2003) was shot around the area.

Knowing the proximity of Mukilteo to Bremerton, up in that there ol’ Sound, I decided to test Google’s ability to use the ferry system in its directions. The Sound consists of dozens and dozens of peninsulas and islands connected by a spotty system of bridges which span the “narrows” —our colloquial term for straits of water slim enough across so you can see one another’s buildings but deep and riptidey enough that if you drove you’d sink and if you swum you’d drown— but it’s often quicker to shoot around on the reasonably efficient ferry transit system.

Also, you can see orca whales. I’m not kidding. It’s amazing. They come right around either side of the boat in good-sized pods and circle and flip and do all kinds of shit. They are kind of show-offs. They scared the heck out of me when I was a kid because of their teeth, though.

So I typed in a query for directions from Mukilteo to Bremerton in Google and … FAIL. Google maps and driving directions, on the first shot out of the gate, told me to drive a crazy-stupid-lengthy route around I-5S to 16-W, the lonnnng way, from Mukilteo to Bremerton. This is extra stupid, because anyone who lives in the area will tell you Mukilteo is a pretty popular transport hub for the ferries.


If Ms. Witter weren’t so beautiful, this would hecka just look like one of those cheap Glamourshots from the mall, yes?

But I will give the site credit for eventually recommending the way I would’ve instinctively gone, which is to drive down to Lynnwood and Edmonds, take the Kingston-Edmonds ferry, get to the Kitsap Peninsula, then drive 104 to 3 into Bremerton. Duh. (Sarcasm.) Look, I don’t get to be “smarter” than google very often, so give me my moment! Speaking of smart, Ms. Witter had this to say about people’s perceptions of her intelligence based on her looks, an important lesson in not judging, no matter whether the subject of your judgment is, in your estimation “a dork,” or a beautiful idiot:


Oh my saltines, so dang adorable.

“I feel as if, at times in my life, I’ve been fighting what I have on the outside. I feel that, when people meet me, I don’t really have a chance to let them know what I’m about, or to prove that I’m worth knowning. And I don’t like having to prove that to people.

“But a lot of people who meet me are surprised. And they tell me they’re surprised; that’s what’s funny about it — they’re honest. They say, ‘I’m surprised, really surprised that you have not only your looks but you have something upstairs too.’ I like that.” (Ibid.)


What? She has a slicker on. Get off her back. Totally de rigeur apple picking attire. Perfectly normal.

In one of those great little coincidences that somehow abound in the small world of Playboy (the more you investigate the playmates, the more fun connections pop up), here’s a brief cross-pollenation note about the cover of Ms. Witter’s centerfold issue:


Also, please note the interview with then-29-year-old Steve Jobs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “the articles are interesting” is more than just a timeworn excuse for ogling titties.

The brain-asplodin’ly cute model posing in the chaps and spurs is the lovely and talented Julie Michelle McCullough, who appeared in the “Girls of Texas” spread in this issue of Playboy and returned a year later to headline her own spread as Miss February 1986. And guess who was on her cover that February issue one year later?


(you have already seen this picture but I’m posting it again for comparison’s sake)

Cherie Witter! I guess they have each other “covered”? Cherry pop tarts, I sure hope for all our sakes that’s the worst pun I make today. But no promises. Anyway, how about that? Pretty great. Stand-up comic and good-time gal Julie is one of my all time faves, so here’s another link to the feisty “funny bunny,” who, just like Ms. Witter and so many of the great playmates I’ve gotten to highlight this month, is walking and talking proof that beauty and brains aren’t mutually exclusive.