Archive for the ‘the Girls of Summer’ Category

Girls of Summer: Heather Ryan, Miss July 1967

October 21, 2011


Photographed by Bill Figge and Ed de Long.

So, it’s still in the 80’s in my little pocket of the universe— that’s around 30 to you metric friendohs — and I say that calls for one last Girl of Summer. (Don’t call it an Indian Summer; call it Global Warming’s Brief and Only Benefit.)

The lovely and talented Heather Ryan was Playboy‘s Miss July 1967. She is an all-around smashing girl and I’m super-psyched to finally finish the write-up on her. Whatch’all know about unusal pets? Cause this strawberry blonde here’s ’bout to change the game.



Says Heather, I don’t think there’s anything unusual about owning an ocelot, but people always stare when we go walking together.”

(“Call of the Wild.” Playboy, July 1967.)

Not so sure it’s the ocelot they’re double-taking on.

[Heather] currently resides at her family’s Glendale home, on the brink of the canyon: “It’s pretty desolate out there, but we’re lucky that we have no close neighbors, because the ocelot often screams at night.”

(Ibid.)

No couch potatoes looking for a BJ and a Blockbuster night need apply:

“I am,” she says, “fascinated by adventure, and I suppose it pervades most of my tastes. I like actors like Paul Newman, Charlton Heston and Steve McQueen, because they usually portray men who are as untamed as my ocelot.”

(Ibid.)



Speed-loving Heather admits to driving her 1966 Mustang faster on occasion than the law prescribes.

(Ibid.)

Attagirl. Speaking of which, the most terrible Mustang experience befell me this week.

I was running a bit late on my way to work. I headed on to the freeway with a newish Mustang ahead of me. The guy crawled down the ramp and inched his way through the merge, then continued to torture me by poking around in the middle lane, keeping me from getting in to the leftmost, fastest lane.

I was totally shocked. You’re in a Mustang, man! You do not drive a Mustang in the middle lane! Somewhere in Germany, the Cappy just felt a pang in his heart and shook his head, and he didn’t know why: now you know, brother. A guy was driving a Mustang in the middle lane at about 60 mph. I know. It was a scandal.



Though she hasn’t had much exposure to the psychedelics-freedom-love movement currently the kick among West Coast youth, Heather recently witnessed a mass “love-in” at Elysian Park.

(Ibid.)


“I’d never seen such a crew — everybody walking about and presenting the most unlikely gifts, like fruits and flowers, to each other.”

(Ibid.)

But she was not much in to the hippie scene, particularly the men —


TURN-OFFS: Men with long hair, and the unnaturalness of women today.

(“Playmate Data Sheet.” Playboy. July 1967.)

Totally agree. I don’t like long hair on men … sorry long-haired friends, it’s just a personal preference. No long hair, no skinny jeans. Spread the word.

As for Ms. Ryan’s dislike of the “unnaturalness” of women, who can argue with that? Besides girdles and foam butts, there was already plastic surgery and ubiquitous hairpieces. Of course, the problem has only gotten worse. I can only imagine what Ms. Ryan thinks of some of today’s Playboy centerfolds.


Number one favorite shot with a bullet.

AMBITIONS: A legal secretary or model, or perhaps I’ll enter a biological institute and become a laboratory assistant and transcriber.

(Ibid.)

Ms. Ryan did not fulfill those ambitions …

…Because she totally exceeded them. Get it, girl! A wildlife biologist, Ms. Ryan is a published author and has lead all-female eco-tours. Taxidermy is her hobby. In the Playboy article, she mentions enjoying hunting quail and rabbit, so it’s kind of a natural progression.

Ms. Ryan also mentions, when asked what she thinks is a great read, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury’s little masterpiece is one of my top favoritest books of all time, too. I just re-read it last weekend, as I like to read it every year around Halloween. Synchronicity! One of these years when I’ve sufficiently expiated my sins of ignorance to Mr. Auden, I will have to have a “Something Wicked” October.

There are many books I read at special times of year, but Something Wicked is one which I never fail to get toe-curling excited about in my anticipation. The descriptions are gorgeous, the writing crackles and terrifies and moves you — I adore all Bradbury, but I put Something Wicked in the most special, highest place.


Click above to scope the original Playboy article scans; there are pictures included in the spread that are not in this post, so give those a spin!

Cover model Venita Wolfe was photographed by Mario Casilli, who shot the following month’s centerfold: the lovely and talented sweetheart DeDe Lind.

Girls of Summer: Susan Denberg, Miss August 1966

June 26, 2011


Photographed by super amaze-balls Peter Gowland!

Miss August 1966 was the lovely and talented Susan Denberg, a cult hottie of yesteryear who is somewhat obscure today but still beloved by vintage sci-fi and Hammer horror film fans. Who do I know who is in to that stuff? It’s on the tip of my tongue …

Oh, right. Me. Let’s do this!

Ms. Denberg was born Dietlinde Zechner in Bad Polzin, Germany on August 2, 1944, nine months and seven days before V-E Day, when the Allied forces accepted the Germans’ surrender on May 8 (an inauspicious date in my book if you remember my apocalyptic ramblings).

I’m saying it was probably not the best of times to be born in Germany, what with how the country was going to be totally defeated and carved up in, like, a year. The Zechner clan beat feet to Austria (…better?), where Ms. Denberg grew up working in her parents’ appliance stores in Klagenfurt.

In her Playboy write-up, she is cited as being “born and bred” in Klagenfurt. The discrepancy could be due to a misunderstanding or wanting to downplay her German heritage for some unguessed-at reason. I think most likely she was Austrian to begin with and moved to Klagenfurt so young that it was not a big deal.


Suspect is wigless, I repeat, wigless.

Susan Denberg, our striking Miss August, joins a long and lovely line of Playmates whose centerfold appearances have preceded their cinematic debuts — a comely clan that includes such gatefold delights as Jayne Mansfield (February 1955), Stella Stevens (January 1960), Donna Michelle (December 1963), Jo Collins (December 1964) and Sue Williams (April 1965).

(“Picture Playmate.” Playboy, August 1966.)


Susan, a honey of a blonde, will make her filmic bow this fall in the celluloid version of Norman Mailer’s recent best-selling novel An American Dream.

No. Not a best-selling novel. Considered the least of Mailer’s fiction works, actually. A misogynistic bundle of bullshit — and that’s coming from me. So I’m not just whistling “Dixie.”

An American Dream is a 1966 movie based on a 1965 novel based on a series of installments in Esquire about a man and the women he kills and screws before he slouches off in to the sunset, perhaps to mine the meaning of existence, perhaps to die of an overdose of modern society. Its one mercy is that it is short. I may be oversimplifying to avoid talking about it more. Sorry.

An American Dream is a Mailer-adapted picture, sadly too crappily, or perhaps too quickly, executed to be called camp, about Stephen Rojack, a former war hero – turned also-run politician – turned call-in talk show host who murders his rich-bitch wife and basically goes on a postmodern movie-length bender with Janet Leigh (story as old as time — we’ve all been there). He spends the film in a pingballing search for the meaning of existence via sex, drugs, murder-rap evasion and jazz, pissing off underworld gangsters along the way. The story does not so much end as “halt” in what amounts to a lot of, to quote a deservedly better praised writer, sound and fury, signifying nothing. Mailer’s original source material has marginally greater depth — but only marginally.

Ms. Denberg plays Ruta, the luckless harpy Mrs. Rojack’s German maid. In his March 14, 1965 New York Times review of the book, Conrad Knickerbocker said of Ruta’s character that she “must have attended charm school with Ilse Koch.” For those who don’t know, Ilse Koch is the “Red Witch of Buchenwald,” an infamously horrible Nazi war criminal on whom Ilse, She-Wolf of the SS is super-obviously based (except Koch was not hot — and she has spent way longer burning in hell).

Koch was a fat, genuinely evil brunette who tortured and murdered interred Jews for pleasure at one of the most horrible concentration camps the earth has ever known. Ruta is a slightly mercenary, lithe blonde sexpot who is willing to screw her boss’s husband if it will get her ahead. Absolutely nothing in book or film merits Knickerbocker’s sensationalist comparison, other than both women being German. Disgusting and not at all funny, if that was the attempt. Bleah.

But then what do I expect from a rave review of a randomly constructed crock of self-indulgent shit? Knickerbocker praised the book as a modern masterpiece and said people who didn’t like An American Dream wouldn’t like it because they wouldn’t want to admit that it speaks to the true soul of America and what-have-you. All like, J’accuse, bourgeois pigs! You don’t like it because you’re judging it, and you’re judging it because you don’t understand it, and you don’t understand it because you’re afraid to.

Cool story, bro.

Yeah, there’s always been a lot of so-called values getting touted around that are hypocritical at best and hollow, tarnished, destructive compulsions at worst. But that’s not my soul, and it’s not the soul of most people I know. Most people weren’t and aren’t rich, disaffected, murdering alcoholics — most people were and are just trying to hold a job, find some love, and eat dinner. Like, Jesus. What a hopeless and lackwitted thing to assert. Not to mention, if you do want a story about rotting American dreams and rich, murdering, alcoholics, why don’t you just pick up a little timeless piece of exponentially greater writing called The Great Gatsby?

In the book, Rojack sleeps with Ruta after killing Deborah, then pretends to discover Deborah’s body and tells Ruta she must have committed suicide. In the film, Ruta tries to seduce Rojack after his initial fight with Deborah, but he doesn’t go for it. Then he returns to the bedroom to fight with Deborah again, which is the fight that results in her death.

I assume the change in “he-did,” “he-didn’t,” with Ruta from novel to film is an effort to make Rojack’s character seem more sympathetic in the movie, in much the same way that making Cherry (Leigh’s character) in the film be Rojack’s fallen-on-bad-times childhood sweetheart from before he “made it” — versus her role in the source material as a trashy torch singer that he just meets that night — is supposed to make Rojack’s affair with her, begun the day after he murders his wife, more reasonable. There is also the little matter of Rojack allowing his wife to slip from the balcony of her own drunken accord, falling to her death only to then be further run over by a mafioso’s limo in the movie, rather than Rojack strangling her and throwing her body over the railing himself, the corpse falling to the street only to then be further run over by an et cetera’s et cetera, in the book.

Ugh. I spent forever talking about a thing I don’t like. I guess spite is as strong a writing motivator as enthusiasm. So let’s get back to enthusiasm. Fun fact follows.



For a while … it appeared as though Susan might not be Susan at all by the time [An American Dream’s] release date rolled around. As part of a nationwide contest to find a nom de cinéma for its latest ascending starlet, Warner Bros. offered a $500 award for the winning entry and received 5,000 name suggestions from cinemaphiles throughout both hemispheres before wisely deciding to leave Susan — name and all — exactly as they’d found her.

“Some of the names submitted were pretty far out,” recalls Susan. “But the funniest entry of them all was Norma Mailer.”

(Ibid.)

She just doesn’t look like a Norma.

The main thing of it is, on the set for An American Dream, Ms. Denberg worked with Star Trek‘s George Takei (Sulu), Warren Stevens (Rojan, “By Any Other Name”), and Richard Derr (Commodore Barstow, “The Alternative Command” and Admiral Fitzgerald, “The Mark of Gideon”). Plus An American Dream’s director, Robert Gist, was involved as a director for TOS.

Ms. Denberg subsequently appeared on the then-fledgling sci-fi series Star Trek as Magda Kovacs, one of the three mail-order bride hopefuls voyaging to Ophiucus III with honey-tongued con man and Venus drug purveyor Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd (Star Trek: TOS. “Mudd’s Women.” Season One, Episode 3. Originally aired October 13, 1966.).

On their way to Ophiucus III and being tailed by Kirk and co., petty criminal Mudd pushes his little class J ship too hard and breaks down in the middle of an asteroid belt. The pursuing Enterprise has their own shields up and throws them hastily over Mudd’s ship as well, but three of their lithium crystals are destroyed by this shield extension. Scotty beams Mudd and his passengers aboard the Enterprise just as the ship is struck by an asteroid and obliterated.


Eve McHuron (Karen Steele), Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett), and Magda Kovacs (Ms. Denberg).

The Enterprise plots a course to mining planet Rigel XII to replace the lithium crystals. It is revealed that the alluring women are being made more beautiful by the illegal Venus drug, which Mudd doesn’t want Kirk to find out. Mudd further wants to screw over Kirk and get back to peddling wives on Ophiucus III so of course the logical solution is for hot chicks to seduce Kirk; first Magda and then Eve. (Neither bid succeeds in the final aim but he gets flirty action in the short run.)


Magda without the apparently beauty-enhancing Venus drug. Rough.

Long story short, Magda and Ruth marry miners from Rigel XII over subspace radio (and you thought internet hookups were risky), who are concerned when it turns out they’ve been fleeced by a con man and druggies, and Eve marries their boss, Ben Childress. It is also discovered that the Venus drug’s efficacy lies completely in the mind of its imbiber: the ladies appeared more beautiful because of their confidence in the drug and not any transformative elements of its composition, which is a good thing because the scenes of them not under the influence made them look pretty deliberately rough. Also, the miners don’t negate the marriage as a fraud when they find out the chicks are hot again, plus they like companionship or whatever. Still waters run so deep.

Ms. Denberg next appeared in the 1967 Hammer horror film Frankenstein Created Woman, alongside perennial Hammer favorite Peter Cushing. The film is lucky number four in the production company’s Frankenstein series.

Frankenstein Created Woman finds Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) awakened from a sort of cryogenic sleep by companion Dr. Hertz and his lab assistant Hans, the latter of whom is shortly executed by guillotine for murdering an innkeeeper following an altercation with local toughs.

Distraught over his gruesome death, Hans’s disfigured and paralyzed ladyfriend Christina (Ms. Denberg), whose father Hans was wrongly convicted of killing, kills herself.

Baron Frankenstein resurrects Christina’s body in the same way he was resurrected by Hertz and Hans, but gives her Hans’ soul and not her own. See, Frankenstein has become concerned with the question of whether the soul leaves the body at the moment of death, and if not can it be separated from a body, and if so can it be preserved and transferred to a different body after being divorced from its original corpse, and what would the consequence be for consciousness, and all sorts of similar metaphysical things pondered over as only Frankenstein would do. (The guy is simply a maniac for severing and swapping stuff around. You cannot stop him.) You get the gist.

The resurrected soul of Hans in Christina’s body results in a confused consciousness, driven by compulsions of revenge against Christina’s father’s actual killers (the three local toughs with whom Hans had fought earlier on the evening of Christina’s father’s death), for Christina’s part to avenge her father and for Hans’ to avenge himself. This is of course inexplicable behavior to the good doctors because the actions are based on information only Hans and Christina technically know, but which Dr.s Frankenstein and Hertz could have easily found out if they weren’t constantly playing God.

The struggle of living with an infant consciousness and two memories of bad shit and all the rest, and probably also Dr. Hertz’s cooking, drives Christina to kill herself again — but not before all three of the men who beat her father to death and pinned it on her lover have been murdered in return. The End.

It’s one of the most critically acclaimed Frankenstein Hammer movies because of the concern with metaphysics and the fairytale-like revenge structure, or so says the wiki. Later this week I’ll show you one of my most critically acclaimed Hammer flicks. It has nothing to do with Frankenstein, I’m afraid.

Ms. Denberg was the victim of a very weird rumor circuit beginning in the 1970’s. It was said for, like, two decades that the excesses of the Hollywood life were too much for Susan and that she either a) moved back to Klagenfurt with her parents but then killed herself, or b) took too much acid and was in a mental institution. These rumors were probably based on some stuff Susan said in the National Police Gazette in 1968.



“[I became] hooked on LSD and marijuana. It calmed me down, and I made such wonderful love. I needed LSD every day, almost every hour. I took all sorts of drugs when I was in Hollywood… I used to do wild, nude dances at parties held by big-time Hollywood stars.”

(The National Police Gazette. September, 1968. qtd. in Susan Denberg Biography.)

However, she did not die and is not in a mental institution conversing freely with invisible sentient orange juice (again, we’ve all been there).

These days, the 66-year-old Ms. Denberg is alive and well and presumably acid-free back home in Klagenfurt, where she is back to being good old Dietlinde Zechner. She has happily settled in to family life after her brief splash in films and television.

The Girls of Summer: Sheralee Conners, Miss July 1961

October 22, 2010

I’m coming back to this later because Shel Silverstein contributed an awesome piece to this issue, but I’m out the door for now to paint faces at my kid’s school carnival. Sorry, but it’s Lorem Ipsum City, population: you … until I return. Catch you on the flip!


Photographed by William Crespinal and Sherman Weisburd.

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Duis posuere tortor justo. Phasellus quis nulla nec metus volutpat consectetur. Morbi id nulla magna. Aliquam aliquet tristique nisi eu varius.


Favorite.

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Mauris ornare nulla sit amet est ultricies ac vestibulum elit sagittis. Phasellus pharetra tortor tincidunt risus porttitor luctus. Nunc nisi velit, tincidunt sit amet vulputate nec, sollicitudin sit amet velit. Etiam euismod metus tincidunt nulla luctus consectetur.

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These buns previously featured in the Inaugural Showdown!, yellow rain slicker edition. (Voting still open.)

Pellentesque justo nibh, condimentum non imperdiet vel, luctus eget nibh. Quisque id turpis leo, et feugiat dui.

Praesent interdum, turpis quis egestas laoreet, urna nisl rhoncus nisl, eget dictum ante nisl ac risus. Aliquam tristique faucibus pharetra.

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In arcu orci, lacinia a pretium eget, posuere ac mi. Vestibulum rutrum lectus sed quam gravida non tincidunt eros malesuada. Suspendisse sed neque at orci euismod bibendum sit amet ut quam.

Girls of Summer: Yvette Vickers, Miss July 1959

September 28, 2010

edit 5/3/11: Welcome, Yvette Vickers fans! For those unfamiliar with the site who are just swinging by to take a gander at Ms. Vickers’ Playboy spread, a quick heads-up — clicking on any picture enlarges it. Have fun!


Photographed by the one and only Russ Meyer.

I know it isn’t technically seasonally appropriate anymore, but as it’s going to hit 99, Fahrenheit, where I am today, and as I did not get around to all my saved up Girls of Summer, and as I promised to cover Ms. Vickers when discussing Fifty Foot Woman, I figured you wouldn’t mind if I made the summer a little more endless around here.

Ms. Vickers’ spread appeared after her part as Honey Parker in Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and some other delightful B-flicks, but the Playboy write-up does not report this and focuses instead on her early love of coffeehouses and the bohemian lifestyle. It’s an interesting glimpse at her life outside of stardom, especially given that she was sort of stuck in these roles as a sexy blonde starlet which belied her active intellect and charming, offbeat personal interests. Of course, there was a lot of that going around back then: ask Ms. Monroe and Ms. Tate, right?


When [Playboy] spied Yvette Vickers at a small table in Hollywood’s Cosmo Alley, that question became an affirmative, exclamatory statement. Yvette — though possibly a mite more attractive than most — is representative of the girls who inhabit the beat coffee houses of Hollywood.

(“Beat Playmate.” Playboy, July 1959.)


She’s interested in serious acting, ballet, the poetry of Dylan Thomas, classical music (“Prokofiev drives me out of my skull!”). She has strong opinions and is more than a bit of a rebel, frowning prettily on conformity. She is also reckless and uninhibited enough to race a Jag in the desert for kicks.

(Ibid.)

Right on! Big ups to Prokofiev (Peter and the Wolf, “The March of the Three Oranges”) and dragging Jags! And of course, mad props to going ungently into the night with Dylan Thomas.


She confesses to being “somewhat of a nut” about health food: she’s often to be seen stowing away vitamins and minerals at an “organic food restaurant” called The Aware Inn.

(Ibid.)

So for 1959, she was well ahead of the health food curve. Don’t you love how “organic food restaurant” is in scare quotes? It’s cute. This write-up just tickles me. I think it is really cool and neat that Yvette Vickers was a beatnik.

It’s not a total surprise — Ms. Vickers was raised by two jazz musicians, Charlie and Iola Vedder (she went by Maria), with whom Yvette traveled the country and also recorded. They later settled in Los Angeles, where Ms. Vickers attended Catholic high school. (You know we Catholic girls start much too late!) Before catching the acting bug, she took classes at UCLA to become a writer. She then earned her B.A. in Theater Arts.

Films in which Ms. Vickers appeared include Reform School Girl, Shortcut to Hell, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Beach Party (she played “Blonde Yoga Girl — recall our previous discussion of the AIP beach flicks?). She also had small roles in Sunset Blvd and Hud, but you know I’m far more in love with the wonderful B-credits.

Ms. Vickers was also featured in a slew of television parts, with roles on highly popular shows like Mike Hammer, Bat Masterson, the Rough Riders, The Texan, Northwest Passage, and Dragnet. In his book Stephen King: On Writing, Stephen King listed Yvette Vickers as one of his “matinee idols.”

The photographer of this spread, Russ Meyer, has had a long and (in my book) illustrious career which must really deserve its own entry one of these days. As this is Ms. Vickers’ entry, I will wind down by saying that the lovely and talented singer, model, and actress has continued to work in the arts and keeps on rocking in the free world. You can hear Yvette on the audio commentary track of the 2007 DVD release of Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and pick up her CD “Tribute to Charlie and Maria,” a jazz album she dedicated to her parents in the late 90’s — and keep your eyes peeled for her forthcoming autobiography.

Girls of Summer: Delores Wells, Miss June 1960

August 31, 2010


Photographed by Don Bronstein.

Delores Wells, Playboy’s Miss June 1960, shares her October 17th birthday with the anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, which stopped the World Series and collapsed the Cypress Structure on the Nimitz Freeway and part of the Bay Bridge, and with the birthday of my dearest old friendoh Big Ben, who I’ve gotten to see twice this month and am super glad of it (a much more cheery connection).

At the time of her Playboy appearance, Ms. Wells was living in Chicago, like a lot of the early centerfolds. She worked as a bunny in the Chicago club. Sources suggest that Ms. Wells made $1,000 per week working at the club, but that her payment for this pictorial was only $500.

The above picture did not make it in to the original spread because Ms. Wells’ pubic hair was slightly visible, which god forbid — until the Pubic Wars of the 70’s.

Ms. Wells eventually wung her way west and appeared in several of the surf-rock propelled, beach party movies that were popular in this era: Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, and Bikini Beach.

Beach party movies came up for us recently in the context of Sharon Tate’s Actual Life Awareness Month, but I had not taken the time to discuss them because I was trying to stick to my self-imposed edict of keeping the spotlight on Ms. Tate. In this post I am beholden to no such stringency and will tell you all about it.

American International Pictures produced the first “beach party” movie, titled, go figure, Beach Party in 1963. I do not count the Gidget movies. Wikipedia does, but I do not. In my opinion the AIP beach movies were too different to give Gidget inspiration credit, and had a totally different market and theme in mind. Also I have been a huge Connie Francis guy since birth, and even though I know it is stupid and pointless, I bear a grudge against Sandra Dee for being the one who got to marry Bobby Darin. Yes, I know: stupid and pointless.

Following the success of Beach Party, AIP cooked up more films featuring beachy monkey shines, about seven in all, which mainly served as frontispieces for selling the motion picture soundtracks with appearances from popular musicians of the era. (You know — like Shrek movies.)

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon starred in the majority of the AIP beach party flicks, and players like Ms. Wells appeared regularly as the same “Type” of person, though sometimes with different character names from film to film. The important thing was their recognizable persona. You know, the giggly flirts, the schoolbookish types, the buffed dimwits, etc … and, of course, the ne’er do wells. In the AIP beach party movies, the ne’er do wells were the comically inept Rats & Mice.


Oh, the decorative sex*. Hands-down my favorite shot.

The villains of the story were usually biker Eric Von Zipper (played by comic actor Harvey Lembeck as a parody of Marlon Brando in The Wild One) and his inept gang the Rat Pack, or “Rats & Mice”.

(the wiki)


The most popular running gag of the beach party series is “The Himalayan Suspender” technique, originated by Professor Sutwell in Beach Party, in which the forefinger is pressed against a certain part of the skull, rendering the victim paralyzed. The victim of this move (aka “The finger”) was always [Rats & Mice leader] Eric Von Zipper, who learned it from Sutwell and threatened people with it in subsequent films, calling it “The Rats’ Revenge.”

(Ibid.)


However, Von Zipper’s finger never worked on others, only himself. Once Von Zipper became paralyzed (usually with a big open-mouthed smile on his face), the Rats & Mice would carry him out and declare “Eric Von Zipper will return!”

(Ibid.)

I am pretty sure one of my girlfriends in high school lay “the finger” on our other friend as he knelt between us in Math class trying to coax my friend to share more of her large water bottle full of vodka mixed with orange juice, from which we’d been healthily improving our outlook on the late morning for at least a half hour. We told him to go away before he made it obvious what was going on, but he was having none of it.

I was particularly concerned about “maintaining” because I was not the kind of student who got in trouble, living a very weird double life in which I outwardly exemplified a golden student and banner citizen and genuinely cared about service to others and studying for tests, yet I also secretly ditched school, drank, and smoked. I was too young at that time to reconcile those behaviors with one another. I was also worried because I was better friends with his sister than with this guy, though he too was a friend, and I looked up to her as a role model, and my opinion at that time was that the less he knew about my bad behavior, the better.


A close contender for favorite shot of the spread.

Exasperated and sympathetic to my worries, my girlfriend made hoo-doo signs in the air over our annoying friend’s head and elaborately pressed her index finger to the middle of his forehead, and he did a method face plant from his knees in to the carpet of the classroom.

We thought this was hysterical.

I have no idea how any of this was going on while a teacher was in the room, but that shit would never fly with me. My covertly misspent youth is a mixed blessing for my students: I am empathetic to their desire to break the mold and be bad, and party down and word up and whathaveyou in the process of living their life, man, but I am simultaneously wise to their shenanigans. The hell you are flashing a pack of Marlboros in here, young lady — if the girls’ bathroom during passing period was good enough for me, it’s good enough for you; and you may save your joints for behind the tennis court like everyone else since time out of mind, mister.

Coda about the three characters in this anecdote, as we stand fifteen years later. My girlfriend in this story’s son and my daughter were baptized together five years ago. She works as a physician’s assistant. The guy on whom we lay the finger and I got high a few years later on the state seal the night before he went to join the Marines, or maybe the Air Force. I’d gotten over my hang-up about fearing too greatly the judgment of people I cared about. We stumbled to the Hard Rock Cafe and ate our weight in onion rings, and he told them it was my birthday even though it wasn’t, so we scored free dessert. Later he worked as the music teacher at our Catholic high school in town and is now pursuing a full-time career in Los Angeles as a musician.

I am now substitute teaching at the very church at which we all met, and drive every day past the high school in the story. All that time I wanted to drink and smoke away the trapped feeling of the pressure of living in this town, which shrinks the longer you live here and the more people you know, so that a town of 215k or so can start to feel quite small indeedy, and now I like it just fine. Did I mellow out, or did I sell out? I think the former.

One of the above pictures has made an appearance here before, in the inaugural “Showdown!” edition. I’ve totally dropped the ball on “Showdown!”s. Those were fun. All apologies: will remedy it soon, promise.

Coda to Ms. Wells’ story: the very lovely and talented Ms. Wells continued to work in film and television in Los Angeles. Later, she worked for a while as personal secretary to the late Linda Lovelace, controversial star of Deep Throat. They met at a party at the Mansion in Holmby Hills. I assume her time with Ms. Lovelace ended before Ms. Lovelace’s denunciation of the pornography industry.

Ms. Wells is still alive and kicking and will celebrate her 73rd birthday this coming October 17th, which brings us full circle to the beginning of an entry that it’s taken me four days to write. Again, all apologies — had a lot of dogs in the fire, Stanimal. No reflection on marvelous Ms. Wells or the AIP beach flicks. This post has now reminded me that I need a movie moment on both Deep Throat and the magnificent camp parody Psycho Beach Party. I’ll try to get to that, I swar to gar! All y’all keep on rockin’ in the free world and please forgive me my absences.





*Phrase borrowed with amused admiration from chainedandperfumed right here on the wordpress, then googled and found to be of even more apt camp and vintage. Thanks for the loan, c&p. Truly you are the O.G. of this biz.

Girls of Summer: Dolores Donlon, Miss August 1957

August 10, 2010


Photographed by super-great Peter Gowland.

Direct from the convent, it’s the lovely and talented Dolores Donlon, Miss August 1957! Ms. Donlon (née Patricia Vaniver) hailed from Tarrytown, NY by way of Philadelphia and, according to sources, graduated from “a French convent” before embarking on her career as a model and actress.

My guess is she attended the Marymount Secondary School in Tarrytown, a school which was run by the order of RHSM. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary were founded in 1849 in Murviel-les-Béziers, France. They are called RHSM in English-speaking countries and RSCM in French, Spanish, and Portugese. (The “c” stands for couer, corazon, and coração, respectively.)

Marymount Secondary School in Tarrytown is still a standing convent of the RHSM, but is now used as a Provincial Center and retirement home for elderly sisters of the order. The nearby Sacred Heart school in Yonkers has RHSM on staff; their order’s devotion to teaching has of course not been forgotten.

The crypt of the famous Marymount College foundress Mother Marie Joseph Butler, General Superior of the order from the tumultuous years of 1926-1940 and a major figure in the order’s history as well as parochial education in America, is at the Tarrytown convent, “down by the banks of the Hudson.”

Mother Butler, born Johanna Butler in 1860, came from County Kilkenny, Ireland. She took her vows at 16 in the RHSM order’s original center in France, then ministered in schools in Portugal until 1903, when she was sent to the United States.

During her tenure as General Superior of RHSM, Mother Butler not only extended the order to new countries and divided the order in to provinces to improve organization, she also founded the Marymount School and College at Tarrytown, and expanded establishment of RHSM schools around the country. This was very important during the Great Depression because the sisters in the new schools were called to take on, gratis, children as boarders who might otherwise have gone uneducated or spent their days at factories or in fields. This way, their parents had one less mouth to feed and could rest easily knowing the children were being taken care of with love, and, for their part, the children were given a foundation for future, more profitable careers, as well as given the chance to just be kids a little longer.

When I was growing up, there had been a Mother Butler school in San Jose and all we Catholic kids, even those like me who went to public school, called it “Ma Butts.” I think the whole city called it “Ma Butts,” really. It was an all-girls’ school and shared classes with the nearby once-all-boys-I-think-but-eventually-co-ed school Archbishop Mitty. Or maybe I’m thinking of St. Lawrence. I’ve no idea if any still exists now, nor if they have gone co-ed, but I can only imagine the shenanigans that were got up to back then. Ah. Catholicism is for lovers.

After leaving Marymount at Tarrytown, Ms. Donlon swung back through P-A, picking up the crown for “Miss Philadelphia” on the way. (An achievement that was nothing to sneeze at; between 1921 and 1940, three Miss Philadelphias were crowned Miss America. Then the Miss PA contest got off the ground a little better and Miss Phillies were no longer eligible to represent the whole state. But dang — three Miss Americas in 20 years? Philly in the house.)

Dolores became a Walter Thornton model in 1945 and moved to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Center City (downtown Philadelphia) from which two highly noteable Funny Girls hail: SNL alumni Tina Fey and Cheri Oteri. She packed up a few months later and moved to New York City, where she modeled under the name Patricia Van Iver. In this name, she received the award of “Queen of the New York Press Photographers’ Ball.” But the accolades did not stop rolling in.

Super cool fact alert: In December of 1945, 300,000 GI’s voted Dolores’s pinup their Picture of the Year. Get it, girl! Way to keep those boys smiling. The only bummer is that I cannot track this picture down. If anyone has a scan — the name will likely be Patricia Vaniver or Patricia Van Iver, not Dolores Donlon — I’d love to be able to add it to this post. Thanks!

The late 40’s and early 50’s found Ms. Donlon migrating back and forth between NYC and Hollywood. She continued to be a successful model, winning awards and earning the title of the “Ideal Bride” of 1946 in a wedding fashion show. Her ultimate bridal role came in 1949, when she married Hollywood agent and producer Vic Orsatti. Mr. Orsatti’s first wife was the fairly popular actress Marie McDonald, and he quickly set about securing roles for Dolores: the name change was likely his idea. She was only cast in one film as Pat Van Iver, but by the time the post-production was done, she was re-listed as Dolores Donlon.

Some of the pictures in which Ms. Donlon was featured during this time include The Long Wait, Security Risk, Flight to Hong Kong, and Nude Odyssey. She also appeared on countless television shows. Standouts are Maverick, I Love Lucy, 77 Sunset Strip, and the Walter Winchell Files. Ms. Donlon also continued to model — and therein started some trouble.

In 1954, the Walter Thornton Agency brought a lawsuit of $120,000 to Dolores’s door, citing breach of contract. Ms. Donlon had signed a contract with them as Pat Van Iver (remember? back in her NYC modeling days?) and had not properly nor formally severed her contract with the agency before beginning to earn money elsewere. Under the terms of the contract, she was technically negligent in paying them owed portions of her income. Kind of a shady thing to do on both sides: for her part, she knew very well that she ought sever the contract or else pay up, ideally both; from the agency’s perspective why sneakily wait ’til your model/actress gets famous and then bring it up that she is still under contract? very unprofessional and predatory. So I can go either way on that one.

The Walter Thornton Agency was second only to John Roberts Powers in size of modeling agencies in this country during its heyday. But please consider that size of an agency is in no way indicative of quality. The titular Walter Thornton retired around the time of the lawsuit and died in 1990 of a stroke, neither of which, I’m sure, was related to the suit against Ms. Donlon, who I believe finally paid out about $20k to get them off her back. And I don’t know for certain, but I’m pretty close to positive that she made damned sure the contract was over, that time.

In 1954, a picture of Ms. Donlon taken by photographer Stew Sawyer was named Best Cheesecake Photo of the year by the United Press. Ms. Donlon and Mr. Orsatti separated in 1957 and divorced contentiously in 1958 (from what I know of Vic Orsatti’s marital histories, this was sadly par for the course). Ms. Donlon continued to act throughout the late 50’s and early 60’s. She married Robert de Pasquale, a concert violinist for the NY Philharmonic, in 1963 and retired from acting and modeling to raise her family.

Special thanks to Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen for the timeline of events in Ms. Donlon’s life from which a semi-biography could be culled. Super-great site!

edit: Ma Butts is now called the Harker School and is co-ed. Archbishop Mitty is still alive and kickin’ and is co-ed. St. Lawrence Girls’ High School consolidated with Mitty at some point and is history. That’s a shame. I am a strong proponent of the unpopular idea of all-girls’ secondary schools. Girls perform better when their competition is only other girls; they speak out better and more often about their opinions; they score more highly on tests and participate more actively in class discussion than a girl of comparable age and skill-set who performs in a class of mixed-gender peers. Facts are facts. Sure, there will be gossiping and bullying and catfights — but they would have done that in co-ed school, too. I say get those girls alone with just each other in a classroom and stand back while they kick Math’s ass. I think a young woman can really come in to her own during the critical years of adolescence and form with confidence a strong, true character to her best advantage in an environment made up of predominantly females.

In a perfect world we all see and treat one another as equals, but is high school even a remotely perfect world?? Of course not. I think young women often compromise themselves, both their intellectual growth and formation of morals, for young males. I think they’re better off separated so they can form their own personality rather than learning to cave and conceal their intellect. But I know and understand that my opinion is not a popular one.

Girls of Summer: Jonnie Nicely, Miss August 1956

July 30, 2010


Photographed by Hal Adams.

Total sassafrass: brace yourselves for the sap flood.

Playboy readers are a strongly partisan bunch, quick to tell us when they like something — or when they don’t. Last October, we were faced with the delightful dilemma of choosing between two potential Playmates, each lovely in her own way.

(“Command Performance: A near miss makes a curvy comeback.” Playboy, August 1956.)


We hemmed, hawed, made our choice; and in addition to the Playmate proper, we printed photos of the girl who didn’t quite make it. The result was a deluge of letters telling us we were blind as the well-known bat and should have picked the other girl.

(Ibid.)

I think even in 1956 if a man said simperingly to a fellow bachelor, “Blind as the well-known bat,” with his pinky up all hmmhmmHMM, he would’ve got his ass kicked. Unless it was Noel Coward. That dude was hard core.


The other girl’s name was, and is, Jonnie Nicely. She’s Miss August, and we’re glad. It grieved us to turn her down before.

(Ibid.)

Nice fawning write-up, but the wiki suggests the murky October shenanigans went down differently:

Nicely was originally supposed to be a Playmate for the October 1955 issue, but scheduling and creative conflicts temporarily pushed her aside in favor of Jean Moorhead.

Creative conflict? What an interesting and euphemistic phrase. I wonder what the real story is.

This picture was not included in the original spread but comes rather from The First Fifteen Years. Seeing as it is so close in composition to the picture which was ultimately selected as the centerfold, my guess is that it was down to those two poses and perhaps a few others as to which would be run as the main gatefold shot. I also conjecture that this one didn’t make the cut because she is not quite looking in to the camera.

Ms. Nicely hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas, where the US Marshals have their National Museum. Fort Smith’s nickname is “Hell on the Border.” The town motto is: “Life’s worth living in Fort Smith, Arkansas,” which I understand is to encourage residency and visitation, but all I can think when I read it is, “… unlike in Detroit.”

This picture was not included in either of her Playboy appearances. It must have come from a shoot for a different periodical. I threw it up anyway because I dig the “Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish” vibe that’s happening here. If you know the photograph’s provenance, please feel free to lay it on me.

This is so Psycho. Yes? The italian boy hairstyling, the thick brows and light-bullet bra, the pencil skirt and mirrored moment of intimacy. Very Janet Leigh as dictated by Hitchcock. But the picture predates the film by four years, so I’m not suggesting it was deliberate. Just echo-y.

These pictures are markedly different and grainier than all the others, so they may be the early October shots in question. Alternately, they may be poses for a different magazine, and the photos which are mentioned in Ms. Nicely’s write-up are the ones where she has very short hair and is goofing around in her bedroom with “go, team” type get-ups.

I do lean toward that explanation because it would mean that the shots where Ms. Nicely has longer hair and is in and around the house are more thematically unified instead of the kind of jumble it all looks like now.


This is my favorite shot and I wish I could see it in color.

The first group of pictures had an angle of youth and “oopsie, you caught me dressing,” and these latter group are suggestive of a more mature, consenting, young wifey type leading you around her house after she picks up the milk.

Does this make sense?

She apparently did other modeling work for a bit in the late 50’s, but she jumped ship to pursue work of a totally different nature. Ms. Nicely spent a long and trailblazing career as a mechanic for Rockwell International at their B-1 bomber plant.

The various Rockwell companies list a large number of firsts in their histories, including the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter and the B-25 Mitchell bomber, and the Korean War-era F-86 Sabre, as well as the Apollo spacecraft, the B-1 Lancer bomber, the Space Shuttle, and most of the Navstar Global Positioning System satellites. Rocketdyne, which had been spun off by North American in 1955, was re-merged into Rockwell in 1984, and by that time produced most of the rocket engines used in the United States.

(the wiki.)

I said goddamn, Jonnie Nicely! Way to do it.

Above is a recent picture of Jonnie promoting her Playboy issue and doing signings for fans. Below is a picture from one of my favorite ladies, Dolores del Monte (Miss March 1954), a vintage model who is super-active in the convention circuit and maintains a lovely website.


l to r: Ms. Nicely, Rick Linnehan (astronaut), Dolores del Monte (Miss March 1954), very special Valentine Vixen Kona Carmack (Miss February 1996), Cynthia Meyers (Miss December 1986), and Peggy McIntaggart (Miss January 1990) at the Los Angeles Glamourcon, November 2008.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world, ladies!

Batter uuup!: Joan Jett edition

July 16, 2010


via sapphoscloset, very cool queer style blog, check ’em out!

Vintage Joan Jett lookin’ all kinds of pimp and ready to hit that shit right out of the park.

Please remember that Joan still looks THIS GOOD:

That right there? Is what a motherfucking rock star looks like. Hell yes! I said goddamn, Joan Jett. Haters to the left.

So few words in this entry, so many king-size cusses.

Girls of Summer: Linné Nanette Ahlstrand, Miss July 1958

July 11, 2010


Photographed by Frank Bez.

From her name and slyly amused, distinctly un-cheesecakey pose and expressions, I figured that the lovely and talented Linné Nanette Ahlstrand would be that rare beast, the international Playmate.


I love nearly all of the shots in this pictorial, but this one here is tippy toppy favorite.

Color me all wrong. Ms. Ahlstrand was actually born in Chicago, Illinois, the hometown of Playboy and a city from which a substantial number of early and heyday Playmates hailed. The text which accompanied Ms. Ahlstrand’s pictorial alluded to having discovered her on the beach in Los Angeles but it is rich with malarkey and does not even bother to feature an interview with her, so I have my doubts.

The title of her write-up was “The Laziest Girl in Town,” which also lead me to expect to find her of some German or Swedish extraction. The title comes from the song “The Laziest Gal in Town” a Cole Porter tune, which was a longtime staple of Marlene Dietrich’s performing repertoire.


Adore the color in this shot — bathing suit, lips, parasol. (kissy-finger-pop gesture) Amazing.

Ms. Dietrich was a famously German-American international treasure who kept on ticking unlike her early celebrity companions such as Joan Crawford and the great Garbo and she had begun to tour live around this time (1958) in addition to continuing to appear in movies.

As an example, she made her biggest pictures after age 35, something like an early model of Meryl Streep. Witness for the Prosecution, Judgment at Nuremberg, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright were all made when Marlene was over 40 years old. That is nothing to sneeze at. I have an album on which she sings “The Laziest Girl in Town” and she still has such a wonderful husky strong accent that it sounds like “lay-zeh-est gell een tone.” Love it.

With that in mind, I figured they were establishing with the title of Ms. Ahlstrand’s article a link to Marlene and particularly one of her former screen characters to parallel Ms. Ahlstrand bieng of foreign extraction and languishing in the Western sun. See, Dietrich played diverse roles in her youngest years under Josef von Sternberg but became indelibly known by larger and more modern audiences for portraying a sexy bargirl in the Old West named Frenchy — despite her outrageously strong German accent — in the sweeping frontier film Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 1939).

The posters for the film claimed that it had “Corralled the greatest cast in cinema history!” Dietrich’s career-making part in Destry Rides Again was parodied by Madeline Kahn, departed queen of all that’s wonderful, in the 1974 Mel Brooks satire Blazing Saddles as the saloon singer Lili Von Schtupp (R.I.P., MK).

Of course all this conjecture came to nothing, like I said, when I realized that Ms. Ahlstrand was from Chicago and not of any exotic blonde overseas extraction. She moved from Chicago to New York to pursue modeling when she was younger, then out to L.A. and environs to dig in to acting in film and television.

Though Linné was best known by audiences for her work in television as a dispatcher on the program Highway Rescue, she was also in several films throughout the late 50’s and early 60’s, including Senior Prom, Beast from Haunted Cave, and Holiday for Lovers. Her most substantial big screen role was in Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Living Venus, in which she played Diane.

Unlike the gory funfests for which Lewis later became known, Living Venus is more of a biopic. Related to this post, the subject of Living Venus‘s rise-and-fall story is a publisher very much like Hugh Hefner. Jack Norwall, the fictionalized Hef played by Bill Kerwin, starts a magazine called Pagan.

Pagan’s success leads him to leave his loving fiancee and take up with his lovely and talented model, a waitress he discovered while hatching the idea for the magazine. Ms. Ahlstrand does not play the model, but rather the jilted good girl. The model ends up leaving him and killing herself as he becomes increasingly arrogant and tyrannical due to his success, and Norwall comes to realize that being on top was not all he cracked it up to be. But too late, as he has lost for good his fiancee, best friend, and soul.

I’d like to point out that in my opinion the only part of Living Venus that really parallels Hef is Jack Norwall starting a successful nudie mag. Hef did not leave his wife for another woman; quite the opposite actually. So, no.

A little looker, Ms. Ahlstrand was 5’2″ at the time of her appearance in Playboy, which I believe puts her on an equal footing with Kai Brendlinger (bleah) for shortest Playmate until feisty pocket rocket Joni Mattis’s famously not-nude appearance (love her forever) and eventual eclipsement by Sue Williams who at 4’11” at the time of her appearance in 1965 is the pocketiest rocket of them all, aww — that we know of. It’s tough to say for sure because, prior to September of 1959, the Playmates were not required to complete a data sheet. So unless their height came up in the article or their contemporaneous stats appeared in parallel work elsewhere, the math is fuzzy.

Click below for scans of the original article.

Tragically Ms. Ahlstrand died of cancer in January of 1967. She was only 30 years old and had been married less than a year and a half. R.I.P. to such a young talent.

Girls of Summer: Jean Jani, Miss July 1957

July 4, 2010


Photographed by one-of-a-kind supafly sweetie pie Mr. Peter Gowland!

The lovely and talented Miss July 1957 was Jean Jani, from Dayton, Ohio.

Although Playboy implies in her write-up (emphasis on the lies half of that word) that Ms. Jani was a stewardess, she was actually a reservations clerk for United Airlines. Will explain shortly.


We were winging our way to a busy week of conferences with authors and agents, and our mind was filled with thoughts of the loftiest literary calibre. So lofty were they that we scarcely heard the dulcet voice of the stewardess requesting us to fasten our seat belt. She repeated the request, and we looked up into the brown eyes of petite (5’3″) Jean Jani of Dayton, Ohio.

(“Cloud Nine.” Playboy, July 1957.)

Barf to blarney and banana splits. Yay to little lookers.


Texture and busy-ness combine in contrast with Ms. Jani’s crisp features throughout the compositions in this spread. Top-notch, complex, and beautiful eye-catching work.

She told us she is saving money to buy a T-bird, her favorite drink is a Vodka Gimlet and she is the proud possessor of a pile of Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte and Jackie Gleason platters

(Ibid.)

Excellent musical tastes if that part is true. As for the Vodka Gimlet part, I have never had a gimlet of any stripe, but I think one of my friends, I am almost positive Mr. Kite, was recently deciding that Gimlet was the new retro drink of choice. I have strong faith in his trendspotting abilities, so I wager this will come to pass.

You know, like the way Singapore Slings sort of swept last year, at least in my tiny knowledge of central California circles — understand these are things I merely overhear up at the bar while ordering myself a beer.

My friends are really creative with mixed drinks, especially Christo and Gorgeous George, and Paolo and Miss D, either of which pair can find themself spontaneously hosting a party and expertly assess what they have on hand to come up with cramazing cocktails suited to the meal, occasion, and weather, but I am afraid I’m all thumbs at reckoning anything like that — I am also not so great at drinking hard alcohol, period.

For me, beer does the trick and almost never throws me any ugly curveballs. It is usually reasonably priced and you never have to worry about the bartender not knowing how to make it or mixing it too strong.

Beer puts me on familiar footing in what is usually an admittedly uncomfortable situation for me: public socializing. If I have safe, friendly, non-judgmental beer as my co-pilot, I know at least one part of the night will go well.

Like me, beer is a “what you see is what you get” kind of a thing. I feel a kinship and loyalty to beer unmatched by my feelings about any other type of alcohol. When I find something I like, I stick with it.

I like the case of her disappearing, reappearing mole. Like, “Disappearing, reappearing nuclear physicist husband” — Clue. The weird thing about that recurring line is that the nuclear physicist husband was the one Mrs. White beheaded and then cut off his dick; the one who disappeared was actually her first husband.

Without googling the script, I can tell you the conversation between Mrs. White and Wadsworth goes exactly like this (believe me, I watch this movie in my head all the time and I audio recorded it when I was a kid and listened to it on tape while walking around town — don’t you judge me):

“But he was your second husband. Your first husband also disappeared under, shall we say, ‘mysterious’ circumstances.”

“That was his job. He was an illusionist.”

“But he never re-appeared.”

(Spreads her hands and smiles) “He wasn’t a very good illusionist.”


Favorite shot of the spread. Peter and Alice are such wonderful and fun photographers. Man, they’re cool.

I’ve always wondered why those lines about “disappearing, reappearing nuclear physicist husband” were kept in despite being inaccurate. I think Clue might’ve gone through some rewrites and shit got forgotten. Anyway.

Back to marvelous Ms. Jani and the case of her on-again, off-again beauty mark!


“I’m sorry, Sire. It’s just … your mole. Wasn’t it on the other side?”
“I have a mole?!”

(Robin Hood: Men In Tights.)

Full of movie references today, jes.


If being a brunette knockout wasn’t enough for her, every so often Jani would put on a blonde wig [above] and do photo shoots under the name “Joan Brennan.” She retired from modeling in the mid-1960’s in favor of a more domesticated existence.

(Java’s Bachelor Pad: Jean Jani. Swinging Bachelor Productions, 2008.)

Java’s also reports that Ms. Jani

was portrayed as a sexy stewardess for United Airlines in the pages of Playboy, but in actuality she was a reservations clerk. Regardless, her appearance in Playboy cost her her job.

(Ibid.)

After more photoshoots with the Gowlands and with Ron Vogel, whose name you may remember seeing in the credits for many of the playmates highlighted on this journal, Ms. Jani embarked on a successful full-time career as a pin-up model which spanned the decade of mid-50’s to 60’s.


Jani appeared in several issues of Adam and Modern Man as well as other titles in the late 50’s and early 60’s.


She was also responsible for the jaw-dropping cover of Adam Bedside Reader #2 where she is wearing nothing but a red ribbon. This was a gal who was not afraid to show off her assets.

(Ibid.)


According to The Playmate Book, Jani forgot about her Playboy experience until her grown daughter gave her a copy in recent years. She has since embraced her pin-up past and become involved in the convention circuit.

(Ibid.)

Once more, enormous, immeasurably phat big-ups to Java’s Bachelor Pad for the credited shots and info above and for the hot tip about Jeanohs’ wigohs — her blonde alter ego, Ms. Joan Brennan. Your site is awesomesauce! Muah. Thanks a mil. ♥

Girls of Summer: Teddi Smith, Miss July 1960

June 30, 2010


Photographed by William Graham and Edmond Leja.

Bill Graham and Ed Leja do an absolutely beautiful job with this spread. Check out especially the use of color and warm, ambient light in the exterior shots — just gorgeous and really striking. I wish the same could be said for the write-up, because Ms. Smith (not her real name but I will refer to her by it) is a fascinating, ambitious, creative and exciting woman, but it is not at all reflected in the text that accompanied her gatefold. It is one of those write-ups. The ones that make me resort to made-up epithets and food-item-substitutes for swearwords. Pop a dramamine and check it out:


I adore her expression in this picture. A lot of her shots from this spread feature an almost amused, frank and confident openness on her face. Almost catlike, almost equally curious about the lens as it is about her.

The delights of yachting are too well-known to require exhaustive comment here, but potential yachtsmen should be apprised that it’s possible to find a First Mate for a trim craft who is a trim craft herself.

(“Ship Shape.” Playboy, July 1960.)


Such a one is Miss July: Teddi Smith, a nubile native of Van Nuys, California. Weekdays she works as a receptionist, but every weekend, she undergoes a sea change and turns into the sweetest of sailors, manning a tiller with the best of them and showing the coast line’s shapeliest pair of sea legs in the process.

(Ibid.)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, what a pile of yam fries and appleslaw! Worse than usual, even — bleah. Can you believe that sassy molassy? It’s possible they did it because Ms. Smith’s birthdate was September of ’42 and, as this gatefold appeared in July of ’60, and experience tells us the spread was photographed well ahead of its publication and distribution, then, barring some fuzzy math, Ms. Smith was rather obviously at least six months under 18 at the time of this shoot.

If that makes you feel hinky, just scroll past this gal, but do remember that in plenty of states in the U.S.A. at that time, 17 (and, in some states, younger) was the age of consent, so call me old-fashioned or statutorily perverted but I’m kind of live-and-let-live ambivalent on this one.

I know, I know: the argument is, what I just said was wrong about justifying the pics via the ol’ “but that was legal consenting age back then” line because what if it was, I don’t know, horrific nudie pics from the 1800’s of a 12 year old Apache girl getting dp’d by evil cowboys or some shit, right? Sure, there was no consenting age then but holy jesus I would be as outraged as anyone to know of such a thing, absolutely. Dreadful, expository, predatory garbage like that, reflective of only darkness and pain and violent degradation, should of course not be disseminated no matter what. That would be awful, yes. Straight abhorrent child porn. I am not arguing that at all!

But I’d pray that those cases are hopefully rare (I couldn’t sleep if I thought they abounded, so please do not tell me if you know otherwise) and you do have to draw a line somewhere with pornography laws. Look at this spread: Miss July looks happy, openly participatory, and at her age was not exactly a novitiate to puberty.

I knew exactly what I was doing at 17, as I suspect most folks of either gender do now and always have at just that age. My feeling is this: 16 is pretty dang sketchy, headed proportionally toward screwed-up based on the further the wooer is from that age, 15 is sailing in to some deep “this is really wrong — you should seek help” waters and 14 and < is straight-up NOT COOL, go directly to jail and do not collect $200. But, really, 17-18? Meh.

Hot fricasse, am I going to get arrested for saying all that? This may get edited later when I got time to look up laws. Eek… So, back to Teddi Smith and this spread: what happened was two years earlier Hugh Hefner had landed in hella hot water for using an underage girl in the magazine, despite her mom’s permission — the mother ended up prosecuted, too, under contribution to minor delinquency laws.


Elizabeth [Ann Roberts]’s pictorial was a significant one in the history of Playboy because she was only 16 at the time her photos were taken. Her pictorial was titled “Schoolmate Playmate.”

She literally had a note from her mother giving her permission to pose, but both Hugh Hefner and Roberts’ mother were arrested and charged by Chicago authorities with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges were eventually dropped on the grounds of lack of evidence that Hefner had known her true age.

(the wiki)

My conjecture is that following that debacle, the understandably gun-shy editorial staff may have figured it was best to roll with a meaningless “nothing to see here, folks” line of purple prose that had nothing to do with Teddi, so no one would be too curious about her when the gatefold went to print. I’ll assume that is why the write-up blows when she is so cool a chick who deserves such better explanation.

Anyway: I’m trying to be in a good mood about humanity and “Ms. Smith” went on to do lots of really cool and interesting stuff, so let’s focus on that (and the eye-popping colors captured by Leja and Graham in this pictorial) and never speak of that awful, awful write-up again.

After this shoot, Teddi Smith went on to work as a bunny at the original Chicago Playboy Club, like so many of the rad gals we’ve highlighted over the months, and also posed for a number of Playboy covers throughout the 1960’s. Click on any cover below to see it large. They are beautiful and frequently clever, good examples of cover work from the magazine’s heyday.

After winding down her long and successful modeling career in the late 1960’s, Ms. Smith concurrently received her education and embarked on extensive and fascinating travels, including spending some very special time in Tanzania.

Inspired by the crafts of the native Tanzanian women with whom she lived, Teddi Smith became interested in the integration of tribal weaving with modern textile and organic decorative arts. This was while she was working in a research camp with scientists who were following and studying the habits of elephants. Totally awesome — but get this.

She also made and kept a candelabra that she fashioned out of a lion skull. Um, who’s a BAMF? Teddi Smith is a BAMF! Crazy-rad!

I know, right? Totally eleventy gajillion miles away from the hot fudge pickles about yachting and secretarial work suggested in her fluffy write-up! Today, “Teddi” is in the creative decorative professional field and was formerly headquartered in New York City. It appears she is semi-retired now, I’m sure well-earned. A woman who can make a candelabra out of a lion’s skull in Tanzania can I’m sure make a silk purse of the slummiest sow’s ear in a loft in Hell’s Kitchen — I’m sorry, “Clinton.” (Gentrification makes me laugh with a mouth full of blood.)

She now maintains offices in Texas and San Miguel Allende, Mexico. Teddi is on the right in the above picture, getting friendly at a B&B with Tootsie the parrot, a kitten named Harle, and a lovely German shep called Chespita. You can see she has not lost her sense of adventure or her frank, direct gaze at the camera. To the left of Ms. Smith in that picture is a Topanga, CA-based woman who is also active in textiles and decorating.

Edit: Scratch that, reverse it. Teddi’s on the left (our left) and Miss Carpets is on the right (our right). I am an adult and freely admit I still do not know my left from my right. I mix them up all the time.

If you like, and have ginger ale handy in case your stomach gets rocky, you can click above and below to read the carrotsticks and shenanigans of Teddi Smith’s original gatefold. The b&w shots are very good and the writing I guess is not that bad. It’s not “redundant-clumsily-worded-psychosexual-teenage-fantasies-by-a-crazy-virgin-cat-lady-from Utah” bad (subtle vampires-suck dig — booyakasha), just not up to very high par. Enjoy!

The Girls of Summer: Kelly Burke, Miss July 1966

June 25, 2010


Photographed by William Figge.

Kelly prefers making most of her natatorial plunges in the neighbors’ back-yard pool. “Besides the pool, they own two darling dogs,” she explains. “One’s a $700 pedigreed toy poodle named Suzie; the other’s a mongrel puppy that they rescued from the local dog pound for only five dollars. He’s named Toy Tiger and, needless to say, I’m in love with the mutt.”

(“Freckle-Face.” Playboy, June 1966.)

Good choice!

I’m an across-the-board mutt guy from Way Back: dogs, cats — men. Actually, I think I’m genuinely allergic to so-called “well-bred” dudes without debt. I’ve tried to date them and their leather car coats and confident wine-awareness makes my skin crawl. On the other hand, if you got a busted grill and drive a ’92 Honda Prelude with one broken headlight that won’t raise, know the difference between a single- and a double-wide, and front a ZZ Top cover band? I’m all yours.

Actual example: my friend J-Mys once tried to set me up on a double date with her and her boyfriend and a mortgage broker Senor R knew from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Polly Wolly Doodle All Day. J-Mys and Senor R cut out early and I was stuck with the mortgage broker, who was clearly not in to me either but was still talking some kind of folklore about variable rates and baloney sauce that I was not at all listening to because I was watching Clue in my head due to my crushing boredom, when I got up to get another pint of beer.

At the bar, this guy in a very dated No Fear t-shirt and battered, unironic John Deere ballcap saw I had actual folding money and asked me for change for the jukebox. We picked out a couple songs — I believe we went with Tom Waits, the Beatles, and “Thriller,” for novelty shits and giggles — and I told the boring mortgage broker that I was planning on going to the bathroom and going home.

I insisted we split the bill because I felt a few compunctions of guilt for wasting the early part of his Friday evening, even if I had in no way lead him to think the night had any kind of sexytimes in its future. Then I made sure the broker actually left, slipped out of the bathroom, and bullshitted with the ballcap guy on the porch about Quantum Leap and camping ’til my beer was done. Went home much happier than I’d been an hour earlier. Sneaky I guess but so much better.

As for the rest of the purple prose in that excerpt, I got hung up on “natatorial.” Really? Natatorial? Come on. That is some rich fertilizer right there. Talk about a needless fifty dollar word.

natatorial: (adj.) of, characterized by, or adapted for swimming.

Aww. Seems that some low-paid Playboy scribbler had a crush on his thesaurus.

That shot is freaking awesome. Hats off to Mr. Figge. “Natatorial” photography at its best? The reflection, the symmetry, the attention to every tile of the composition (rule of thirds) having something interesting in it — awesome sauce. Bill Figge is the shit.


As a medical buyer for one of California’s largest pharmaceutical cooperatives, Miss June has spent the past three years helping to supervise the selection of drugs destined to become shelf stock in hospitals and pharmacies throughout the Greater Glendale area.

(Ibid.)


Another stunning composition. The light-play is brilliant.

“My job can be fairly cut and dried one minute,” says the 21-year-old brunette, “and then, in typical Ben Casey fashion, a nearby hospital phones in an emergency order and I’m suddenly off and running all over the place to find the required medicines.”

(Ibid.)

The Ben Casey to which Ms. Burke refers was a popular television series which ran from the early- to mid-1960’s. The Bing Crosby-produced medical drama was filmed at Desilu Studios and starred Vince Edwards (Space Raiders, Return to Horror High*) as the titular surgeon Dr. Benjamin Casey. The opening sequence is famous for its serious, ominous overtones: this deep voice says, “Man — woman — birth — death — infinity.” Heavy shit, right?

*Yes, I deliberately picked the cheesiest, schlockiest, campiest of Edwards’ many legitimate credits to use as his two paranthetical citations, like those obscure B flicks would somehow make you say, “Oh, him!” I wanted to be funny. Vince Edwards is actually a talented and well-recognized actor who was very popular in his time: I am just a goofy rake.


Kelly now sports her own 1965 Oldsmobile convertible, in which she commutes daily from her new bachelorette bungalow in suburban Sylmar.

(Ibid.)

Just five months after Ms. Burke’s gatefold appearance, the Loop Fire wiped out huge swaths of the boundary between her new hometown of Sylmar and the Angeles Forest. The fatally unpredictable Loop Fire is still covered in firefighting course textbooks today as an example of the necessity for developing strong communication strategy to contain a dry canyon fire affected by high winds.

The Loop Fire began on November 1, 1966, at 5:19 am, on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. The El Cariso Interregional Fire Crew, which consisted of city and county firefighters, along with the El Cariso “Hot Shots,” a USDA-Forest crew of firefighters, sprang in to action to contain the blaze.

Tragically, a flare-up jumped from the forest to a canyon at the outer edges of Sylmar and created a wall of flame around it. A group from the Hot Shots crew was trapped inside, cut off from the rest of the firemen in a narrow and dry canyon of steep rock walls which, despite having no natural accelerants to move the fire along, still increases the energy of the fire because it functions as a “natural chimney,” creating tremendous heat and pressure.

Ten firefighters burned to death on site within minutes, while twelve others were injured, one critically.

Helicopter Pilot Troy Cook began rescue operations within 10 minutes after the men were burned. The diamond shaped area was still surrounded by fire when Pilot Cook hovered and picked up the first survivor.

(THE LOOP FIRE DISASTER – ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – CALIFORNIA REGION: “A BRIEF OF THE REPORT OF THE GROUP ASSIGNED TO ANALYZE THE LOOP FIRE ACCIDENT.” US. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1967: Washington, D.C.)


Pilot Roland Barton and his helicopter soon joined him and rescue operations continued with great courage and skill until all of the injured men were evacuated to the Los Angeles County Command Post on the Pacoima. From there the injured men were taken by auto to the hospital.

(Ibid.)

One of these injured men died at the LA County General Hospital November 6, but the rest survived thanks to the rescue efforts of the rest of the interregional team. A committee was formed by the Forest Service in conjunction with firefighting officials to use the tragic Loop Fire to improve fire prediction and containment methods, along with task force recommendations for the strengthening of safety and communication regulations.


The highly localized decisions and actions which resulted in the tragedy points to the need of:
  • (1) more specific direction on safe practices in similar topography; (2) specific control of helicopter attack; (3) scheduling of more complete inter- and intra-crew communication; and (4) adequate scouting to keep sector bosses currently informed when working in critical and possibly critical situations.

    (Ibid.)


  • [We need to] make crystal clear in firefighting training that a “chimney,” “narrow box canyon,” or similar topographic feature is a Hazard Area even if devoid of fuel.

    (Ibid.)

  • The El Cariso Regional Park on Hubbard in Sylmar is a memorial to the aforementioned El Cariso “Hot Shots,” the local United States Department of Agriculture – Forestry boys who were killed during their battle to keep the flames from entering the town.

    That was kind of bummer stuff, so sorry, but an interesting slice of history. Wildfires in California are far more devastating than the earthquakes with which the rest of the country generally associates the state, and as a result, fire science in California is often at the cutting edge of research and methods for saving lives in the future.

    But back to sunny Ms. Burke.


    “I’ve become a real flower bug,” she reports, “since Mom and Dad bought a retail nursery in Yucaipa last year. Each time I visit them, I load up the back seat of the Olds with so much greenery before heading home that it winds up looking just like some sort of window box on wheels.”

    (Ibid.)


    That’s cute.

    Weekends, June’s bantam (5′) beauty heads for the sun-drenched beaches of Santa Monica, equipped with an over-sized straw hat and nylon sailing parka. “My freckles still show no matter what I try!”

    a) Yay for little lookers! Rock on with your pocket rocket self.
    b) Why do freckled people always desire to hide them? Freckles are so unbelievably cute. I don’t get it.
    c) It looks like she is Thumbelina laying in an orange peel. What the what is that stuff?


    PEOPLE I ADMIRE: Albert Einstein, Dr. John Rock and Dr. Francis Kelsey, beause of their outstanding medical contributions.

    MY IDEAL EVENING: Have cocktails and dinner, take in a movie, and then have a pizza.

    (Playmate data sheet.)

    Right on to Einstein, pizza, mutts, and having a serious job while attending Cal Poly Pomona during her appearance as a Playmate. Ms. Burke is the exception and not the rule of pretentious brandy-snifter marlarkey we went over earlier this week. Fun final fact: her sister-in-law, Allison Parks, was the 1966 Playmate of the Year.

    Oh, and I guess a really fun final fact is that Ms. Burke was pregnant during this shoot. BOMBSHELL! Maybe that is why she is so adorably radiant. As you probably noticed, it’s another Cowboy Kate-influenced cover, I assume to reflect the “Girls of Texas” story. R.I.P., Sam Haskins.

    The Girls of Summer: Carrie Enwright, Miss July 1963

    June 21, 2010


    Photographed by Ron Vogel.

    I’d like to juxtapose the original text that accompanied Ms. Enwright’s Playboy gatefold appearance with some excerpts from a review of The Playmate Book (Taschen, 2006) by Joan Acocella, a writer whose work I like and find thought-provoking.


    Hugh Hefner, the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy, always said that his ideal for the magazine’s famous Playmate of the Month, the woman in the centerfold photo, was “the girl next door with her clothes off.”

    (Acocella, Joan. “The Girls Next Door: Life in the centerfold.” Review of Gretchen Edgren’s The Playmate Book. The New Yorker. March 20, 2006.)

    Okay: agree.


    In other words, he was trying to take his readers back to a time before their first sexual experience, a time when they still liked their stuffed bear and thought that a naked woman might be something like that.

    (Ibid.)

    Mm. Mainly disagree.

    It’s my opinion that the prose and pictures, especially in the early years, treated the reader as a fellow experienced swinging single dude, talking man-to-man. We have talked before about how the pictures are composed to have an implicit male presence, like the reader is the model’s partner and has only just stepped out of frame, maybe to take the picture he’s looking at. Take the following as an example:


    Picnic laid out with thermos and two cups. Hello.

    Like the best of mid-July days, Carrie seems to be destined expressly for the informal, easygoing pleasures of life, and is, as a consequence, a refreshingly unaffected companion.

    “I am,” says [Ms. Enwright] in thoughtful self-summation, “a very healthy, well-adjusted, fun-loving kind of girl.”

    (“Summer Idyl.” Playboy, July 1963.)

    A non-threatening introduction, yes, but pretty come-hither. Not exactly teddy bear fare — and neither is the pose particularly “cuddly.”


    There is one basic model. On top is the face of Shirley Temple; below is the body of Jayne Mansfield.

    (Acocella.)

    Somewhat disagree. I believe there was slightly more variety in the Sixties and Seventies than Ms. Acocella sugests, but I admit I am omitting the portion where she talks about some of the noteworthy veers from the norm (Joni Mattis, yay!) and I don’t want you to think she didn’t acknowledge that in her review. Please be aware that she did. Don’t want to look all biased.


    [Playboy draws] simultaneously, on two opposing trends that have … come to dominate American mass culture: on the one hand, our country’s idea of its Huck Finn innocence; on the other, the enthusiastic lewdness of our advertising and entertainment.

    (Acocella.)

    Agree. Yes. 100%. That is its appeal, that the magazine attracts that dichotomy in American consumerism and in our own idea of beauty, sex, and ourselves.


    Hence the surprise and the popularity of Playboy. The magazine proposed that … sex for sex’s sake, was wholesome, good for you: a novel idea in the nineteen-fifties.

    (Acocella.)

    Agree. This also undermines the beginning sentence with its teddy-bear going-for-innocent-investigative-interest suggestion, but I’m okay with undoing that assertion because I disagreed with it.


    “I don’t much care whether I eventually live in a mansion or in a tree house, so long as the man I’m married to is fun to be with.”

    (“Summer Idyl.”)


    [As the pin-ups progressed] We get the great outdoors: Playmates taking sunbaths, unpacking picnics, hoisting their innocent bottoms into hammocks. Above all, we get youth.

    (Acocella.)


    Most of them have chubby cheeks, and flash us sweet smiles. At the same time, many of these nice little girls are fantastically large-breasted. Strange to say, this top-loading often makes them appear more childlike. The breasts are smooth and round and pink; they look like balloons or beach balls. The girl seems delighted to have them, as if they had just been delivered by Santa Claus.

    (Acocella.)

    Ha! Somewhat agree. That Santa. He always knows. But this shoot and Cheryl Kubert are both good examples, just as recent citation on this journal, of gatefolds that featured a model mainly not smiling. Ms. Enwright even keeps her mouth closed.


    What is so bewildering about [modern vs. old-school] Playboy centerfolds is their [the modern ones’] utter texturelessness: their lack of any question, any traction, any grain of sand from which the sexual imagination could make a pearl.

    (Acocella)

    Very Strongly AGREE.


    [Hef’s] father was an accountant, his mother a Methodist disciplinarian. He has said that there was never any show of affection in his house. One suspects that there was likewise little evidence of jazz or hors d’oeuvres -— pleasure for its own sake. This is what he set out to sell: an upscale hedonism, promoted by the magazine’s articles and ads as well as by its nudes.

    (Acocella.)

    Agree, but not sure that it matters.

    “For a while I was cashier at the Hollywood Paramount, which was my closest fling with the movie business. Then I worked as a salesgirl in a candy store. Trouble was, I have this terrible sweet tooth and pretty soon I was eating more candy than I sold.”

    (“Summer Idyl.”)


    “Right now I’m living with my mother and studying like mad to take my state boards in cosmetology. My most active hobby involves artwork, from making seed mosaics of Siamese cats to painting wild, wild oils. I get excited over my finished products — but then, I’m not critically minded.”

    (Ibid.)


    “I’m crazy about progressive jazz, lasagna, and playing practical jokes on people I like.”

    Hell, yeah, lasagna and jazz! This girl is all kinds of easygoing and wonderful. Practical jokes, eh? such as what?


    “I have been known to secretly put in cold mashed potatoes as the bottom scoop of someone’s root-beer float, which is a terrible thing to do, but fun!”

    (Ibid.)

    I have never done that nor even thought of it. Holy god, I can’t wait to do this. She is a comic genius and I am trying this, stickety-stat!


    Bookworms are hottttt … even when they are only pretending for a photoshoot.

    “I am not the type who always has a book going. I rarely read novels, but occasionally I get on a self-improvement kick, the most recent of which was plowing through Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action.”

    (Ibid.)

    I don’t know why, but I feel like the editors forced her to say she read it all when maybe the truth was that she only started it. Just a feeling. I’m about to talk about why they might’ve done that in a second.


    “I love Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra … — oh, so many more. I’m very congenial toward most performers, and I enjoy nearly all.”

    (Ibid.)

    Again — wonderful taste. You find that so often in the Sixties write-ups, though, that the girls are prompted to talk about foodie foolery, jazz, politics, photography, and art. I’m not sure when that fizzled out, but it has. And I can totally admit that probably 30% of it was bullshit and only 7 out of 10 of these girls knew what they were talking about (if they even said it to begin with) or collected Bird and bebop on vinyl and the like, but I still feel good about the fact that it was important to the editorial staff for their vision of the ideal Playmate that these intriguing, intelligent statements seem true. Ms. Acocella addresses this:


    That, in the end, is the most striking thing about Playboy’s centerfolds: how old-fashioned they seem. This whole “bachelor” world, with the brandy snifters and the attractive guest arriving for the night: did it ever exist? Yes, as a fantasy. Now, however, it is the property of homosexuals.

    Today, if you try to present yourself as a suave middle-aged bachelor, people will assume you’re gay.

    (Acocella.)

    Ha! and again, I have to say agree, not in that groovy archaic pursuits are strictly the male provenance of neato gay guys (I like any man that goes for records and cares about dorky esoterica) but, yeah, society-wide, that would be the humorous judgment in the sense of stereotyping.

    You know. Like when Bart and Millhouse tried to be Playdudes. That was hilarious. All pimped out in smoking jackets up in the treehouse.


    “Too much of the time I use my heart and not my head. I’m really a very gullible girl. I wish on first stars and believe in miracles.”

    (“Summer Idyl.”)

    That is very sweet and touching. It is not full of trying-to-be-sexy artifice, nor is it overly cloying or disingenuous.

    “Of course it’s a trite observation, but what I want most in life is happiness. What else is there?”

    (Ibid.)

    And who can improve on that desire? Well-wished, Ms. Enwright, and I hope she found her happiness. That’s not trite: it’s natural.

    What Ms. Acocella observes in the unnaturally smooth, airbrushed featurelessness of the current crop of sexless-and-vaginally-shaved-for-maximum-Barbie-resemblance centerfolds mostly found on the newsstands today is resonantly true.

    I guess what I’m saying is this: Yeah, there may have never really been a sophisticated scotch-sampling bachelor like the ones to whom Hef designed the magazine to appeal, and there may never have really been a girl next door with her clothes off that just happened to discourse freely on jazz LP’s and modern art while whipping up beef bourguignon in her skivvies, but isn’t the fantasy of that time period, quaint as it may seem now, so much more touching and oddly innocent than the weird highly-structured and false fantasy being sold today?

    It is to me.

    The Girls of Summer: DeDe Lind, Miss August 1967

    June 16, 2010

    The lovely and talented DeDe Lind has come up several times before, and I am totally pumped that she gets her own post! She is an amazing woman who is sweet, funny, and deservedly popular.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    This picture has been to Vietnam and the moon and its friendly, upbeat subject just keeps on truckin’. Read on and find out more about the single most popular centerfold model in the history of Playboy!

    How did she get that gravity-defying figure? Spaghetti, of course.

    Early in the evening, DeDe turns to the kitchen and her principal avocation, with a flair and success in cooking that does the Swedish and Italian roots of her family tree proud. “Like Mom’s, my best main course is a spaghetti dish,” DeDe says.

    (“DeDe Girl.” Playboy, August 1967.)


    For a quiet woman, DeDe is not without opinions. “I don’t see how we can get out,” she says of the war in Vietnam. “But — perhaps because I’m a girl and I’m young? — The thought of losing our young men way over there is awful.”

    (Ibid.)

    Maybe it was that anxious empathy, her sunny spirits, confession of shyness, or maybe a little something to do with the sweet rack and all these adorable girly-girl pictures? — Whatever the cause, DeDe Lind holds the honor of being the undisputed most popular Playmate of all time. She received more mail than any other Playmate before her time and since. Get it, girl!

    This popularity was out of control with the soldiers serving overseas in Vietnam. I think a large part of it was her genuine, outspoken empathy for their plight. Dudes seriously flipped out over DeDe Lind, begging relatives to send multiple copies of the magazine in case something happened to their first copy, and writing DeDe truckloads of fan letters. I think that’s actually really cool and a unique and touching cultural phenomenon.

    Similar to the pinups in WWII, when young men are far away and fighting for something that 90% of them probably only realize when they get there is far more huge, truly random, and more complex than they possibly imagined, and their comrades are dying around them, I know it’s cliched, but I think it is very valid to get the idea that you have something to fight for. And if that comes from a centerfold of a plucky young gal smiling sweetly in a men’s cardigan, yellow hairbow, and nothing else, then I say go for it!

    Ms. Lind’s popularity was such that she has even been to space! True story, non-fiction — on NASA’s Apollo 12 mission in 1969, the nine astronauts who performed the second manned lunar landing in the history of humanity, thank you very much included DeDe’s centerfold in the Yankee Clipper command module. They labeled it “Map of a Heavenly Body.” Hilarious, true, and freaking AWESOME. Nous allons a la lune!

    What’s intriguing is that Playboy really massaged the facts of Ms. Lind’s truly interesting life at the time. Yes, everything she says is true, about loving horses and Catalina Island, etc, and all her sweetness and good cheer are genuine, but it was more like a sin of omission. They sort of didn’t mention she was married and had a child.

    That often gets thrown around like it is some type of evidence of the magazine’s hypocrisy, but I don’t believe Playboy has any obligation to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about anything, let alone the private lives of the Playmates. Hef was striving again and again with the centerfolds for the Girl Next Door who happens to be naked, and it was a great opportunity for a lot of these women, like marvelous Ms. Lind, to get a jump on their careers — why bum out all those soldiers, for example, using Ms. Lind as an ideal woman in their minds for whom to survive, with all the details?

    sidebar: I don’t know if this is an outtake or an airbrushed elaborate fake or what, but that is pubic hair like two or three years before that actually made its wispy, hinted-at debut in Playboy magazine, and almost four years before a Playmate of the Month fully flashed the carpet. If you have knowledge of this shoot and know what’s up, please explain, because I’m pretty surprised.

    Says Ms. Lind in a more recent interview about having been in Hollywood during the swinging late 60’s but not being much of a participant:

    “I did marry very young. I had a baby. I was a mom. I never got into the hippie or drug scene. … I dated Bobby Fuller. I also knew Jan and Dean. I wouldn’t go so far to say I dated Jan, but, I was friends with him. So, those are the kind of pop stars I liked. They were a little bit cleaner-cut. More American, Apple Pie.”

    (“De De Lind Interview.” James, George. Undated.)


    Q – Do you remember any film roles you turned down that maybe later you were sorry you turned down?
    A – Yes. There was a movie called ‘Candy’. I actually turned it down. I pretty much had the part. The idea of me at the time portraying a young girl sleeping with all actors — it didn’t sit well with me. (Laughs). Because of that I really didn’t want to do the movie.

    (Ibid.)

    I was just thinking about doing a Movie Moment on Candy. This clinches it. A famous piece of well-shot, mostly-failed camp, the sort-of-satire’s cast includes Ringo Starr, James Coburn, Sir Richard Burton, and Marlon Brando. And Ms. Lind was right, it was mainly a scandal and flopped, to boot, so good on her for deciding against it. I can’t see someone so sweet and shy having been happy to be part of that glorious and vulgar, hot mess. You’ll see what I mean when I do the Movie Moment. Look for that sometime this week or eventually, maybe! I know myself too well to make promises with actual dates in them. Lord, I am such a lazy person.

    Besides hanging out with good pal the lovely and talented Lisa Baker at their place in Boca Raton, Florida, DeDe continues to model and appear at Glamourcon and related events. And I’m happy to say she definitely retains that sunny sense of humor that is clever enough to send up the genre in which she models. Dig that shot above, which comes from her dedelind.com: “Look, Ma, no gag reflex!” Very funny.

    You may see more of Ms. Lind’s present doings on her official website or hit her up any ol’ time on the myspace (current mood: amused ), on which some of her top friends are Janet Lupo, Julie Michelle McCullough, and naturally Hef.

    Special edit from Ms. Lind: “My Centerfold did not go to the moon. My 2nd. Calendar Photo (Nov. 1969) holding a que stick topless went to the moon and back with Dick Gordon. That photo sold at auction for $17,511.00 this Jan. 2011.” Thanks for the clarification!

    The Girls of Summer: Gale Olson, Miss August 1968

    June 13, 2010


    Adorable cuteness photographed by Ron Vogel. Brain-asplosions. See what I mean about the ’60’s being the Heyday?

    Your Miss August 1968 was the lovely and talented Gale Olson, who as you can see didn’t need cheesecake poses and a strained, pageanty smile to turn in an adorable and upbeat photoshoot for this issue of Playboy.

    It’s really interesting how some of the playmates are capable of keeping the material erotic instead of porny. I don’t know that I can pinpoint the exact difference … but I look at this shoot, and I look at something like the gatefold of Miss November 1995, Holly Witt, and I feel like Edwin Meese quoting Justice Potter Stewart about classing porn: I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

    Kind of funny since he was describing the opposite; Meese made his referential remark in regard to the history in America of attempts at distinguishing sexually themed content from straight-up obscenity. I’m kind of talking about the reverse. Either way, it’s a dicey issue. Reagan appointed Meese in 1985 to head the Meese Commission, also called the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, who published their report in 1986 to lip-smackingly salacious public interest. Everyone loves a good witch hunt, am I right?

    I mentioned all these shenanigans once back in November when we talked about the experiences of Miss November 1986, Donna Edmondson, the Virgin Playmate who got hit with a steamy little shitstorm of media criticism. As though it were her fault. The Meese Commission’s report on pornography had the moral majority howling for naked people’s blood and she got caught in the middle. And don’t get me started on what happened fifteen years later — as we still live in a nation of, if not puritans, then at least sweaty hypocrites — to sweet Lindsey Vuolo, Miss November 2001, with that publicity-seeking, accusatory, diminishing misogynist Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Ugh.

    I almost didn’t include this shot because it wasn’t very sharp or high-quality, but then as I contemplated it, I decided I actually liked the hazy quality, and the visible wrinkles in the image became dear and touching to me. There is something incredibly personal and human about the almost sad little private story one must conclude has lead to its well-worn threadbareness. Someone scanned this one with love, having either held on to it themselves, or acquired it from someone who had, for a long time. That idea is interesting as hell to me. What would someone make of the objects — letters, pictures, cards, old shirts — that you have secretly packed along with you to every new home in which you live, all these years, because of an emotional value, an identity-establishing familiarity, that far exceeds those objects’ original costs?


    Pyjama Jam!

    I do not want to use the word sentimental, per se, because these can be things that you keep for the gut, visceral reaction they can still incite. These are things that are part of the rhythms of your mind and body that I’m talking about, things worth holding on to because they are become part of how you operate. A roadmap to the art of you being “You” is this small collection of things so beloved that calling them cherished diminishes their import. These objects which represent long-passed moments or ways of feeling are part and parcel of the entirety of your experiences, your past, your emotions and stomach acid and sweat.

    Things that have lasted longer than the relationships from which they came or phases in your mode of dress and hairstyle. To everyone else, because these objects are mixed in with other items, there is no shine or particularity about them. Only you know.

    It is so incredibly personal and private, but the plain fact is that it will be gone through and picked over, someday, that collection of your private, true “belongings.” Because you’ll be dead, and those things that mean so much to you, those talismans of purpose and associative emotional properties won’t mean anything to anyone anymore.

    I apologize. That was really downbeat. I’m getting close to a hard-hitting deathiversary (if you will) and I get all fucked up over it. Still. No need to drag anyone along.

    Whew! Hot cross buns, enough with the self-audit, and enough with the needless sex-in-America history lessons as I retread ground I have already indignantly covered. Sorry — let’s get on with Ms. Olson!


    The Olsons, who now live in Costa Mesa, are a large, closely knit family. “Having six brothers and three sisters really teaches you a lot about sharing things, materially and emotionally,” Gale says. Our August Playmate hopes one day to raise a family almost as large, but that won’t come about until she first fully satisfies her penchant for adventure.

    (“Star-Spangled and Starry-Eyed.” Playboy, August 1968.)


    “Last year I decided to become an astronaut, so I called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Houston to find out qualification requirements.” Gale spent enough time being briefed on the phone by NASA officials to acquire four pages of notes. “So far, things are turning out fine for me,” she reports.

    (Ibid.)


    A model (36-22-35) of American femininity, Gale (who delivered talks on girl scouting over German television) stays in shape by practicing ballet and exercising, and plans to study Tahitian dancing next year.

    (Ibid.)

    I have said before that we superfly Girl Scouts are a bombass bunch. Take it to the bank.


    “I think every girl who has the figure for it wishes she could be a Playmate, and I’m no exception,” [Gale] observes. “All I can say is that I was lucky!”

    Lucky Gale, lucky readers.

    (Ibid.)


    Photographed by by Stephen Wayda and Barry Fontenot. Very close to the same pose!
    And thirty-one years later, the readers were lucky again when Ms. Olson’s daughter, the lovely and talented Crystal McCahill, above, was Playmate of the Month for Playboy’s May 2009 issue.


    It’s a different kind of Darwin Award: the Playmate gene, passed from mother to daughter, ensuring survival of the fittest and constant attention from males of the species. Examine the evidence before you in the curvy form of Crystal McCahill, the 25-year-old daughter of Miss August 1968 Gale Olson.

    (“It’s Crystal Clear.” Playboy, May 2009.)

    \

    “I think every girl who has the figure for it wishes she could be a Playmate, and I’m no exception,” said Gale in her Playmate interview. “All I can say is, I am lucky!” Yet when luck strikes twice, it seems less like luck than destiny. It has happened just once before, when Miss December 1960 Carol Eden saw her daughter Simone grace the Centerfold in February 1989.

    Says the Illinois-born Crystal, “I remember telling my brothers and sisters, ‘I’m going to do that one day. I’m going to do the exact same pose.'”

    (Ibid.)

    A fun-loving, positive, and thoroughly modern gal, you may follow Ms. Olson’s present doings on the twitter.

    This picture is one of my favorites from the shoot. From a strictly aesthetic point of view it may possibly eclipse for me even the swan-butt ones. I love the movement and the colors in this composition. The impact of the yellow in all those little flowers around her is joyful and riotous, and her closed eyes imply a savoring of the moment. There is nothing forced or deliberate in this picture. It’s excellent.

    The cover was photographed by Mario Casilli and Caroll Baker. The pose and styling of the model, Aino Korva — Miss Universe Denmark 1963, and first-runner-up in the 1963 Miss Universe pageant (in which Peter “Dr. Strangelove/The Pink Panther” Sellers was one of the judges!!), making her bid the closest a Dane has ever come to winning the title — are strikingly similar to the centerfold of Miss July 1967, Heather Ryan. I’m saving the lovely and talented Ms. Ryan for later this month. But you’ll see what I mean then.




    As with the post on the lovely and talented Miss March 1967, Fran Gerard, I must throw up huge thanks to Fabrizio, an awesome and generous moderator over at the vintage erotica forums, which are free, well-moderated, full of fun, and they won’t give your computer any wack infections or the hantavirus. Grazie, bello♥!, and, to the rest of you, run — don’t walk — to the site. Enjoy!

    The Girls of Summer: Elaine Morton, Miss June 1970

    June 10, 2010

    The lovely and talented Elaine Morton was Miss June 1970.


    Photographed by William and Mel Figge. You have seen Bill’s billing on here before, but usually partnered with Ed DeLong. This time he worked with his wife, whose full name is Melba.

    Ms. Morton got in a little late on the original Summer of Love action (barely missed it), but she was still feeling the reverbations of the first flower children and was all for being a free spirit.


    People would profit from a bit more “live-and-let-live” logic, says blonde Elaine Morton, who wishes that “everybody would just butt out of everybody else’s business — as long as that business isn’t harming anyone.” Following her own recommendation, our June Playmate recently abandoned the comfortable confines of the family home in Burbank, California, and moved into her own bachelorette apartment across town.

    (“Tuned-in Dropout.” Playboy, June 1970.)


    Just a year ago, she was working part time as a salesgirl in a Glendale flower shop and full time as a home-economics major at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. “I was all hung up in establishment modes of living,” she says. “Then I decided to stop striving for those goals and find my own.”

    (Ibid.)


    Totally the best shot. Holy geez, what brain-asplodin’ cuteness.

    Since that decision, Miss June has dropped out of Southern California’s “straight” life and, with her boyfriend’s help, converted a milk truck into a mobile pad and made the west coast of Baja California her home away from home. Traveling on her savings, she simply drives onto any unoccupied stretch of Baja beach facing the Pacific Ocean and camps there until the scenery gets “predictable,” then drives on to a new location.

    (Ibid.)

    That sounds pretty all right to me. I was just telling the infinitely great Mr. Salisbury last week in the comments that I would quit the rat race but they don’t let you camp on the beach anymore. I also love the idea that she was in a converted milk truck. It’s cool because by the 70’s milk delivery was archaic in the wake of supermarkets, so it was kind of a renaissance for the vehicle itself. I like the idea of a thing outliving one sort of usefulness and being repurposed in a fun way.


    TURN-ONS: Crazy-looking clothes, things that are different.
    IN MY SPARE TIME: I study, shop, swim — anything at all but be bored.
    AMBITIONS: To work as an airline stewardess, and have a happy and interesting life.

    (Official Playmate data sheet.)

    According to Marxz on the vintage erotica forums, who I consider an infallible authority on Playmates past, Ms. Morton did not become an air hostess but rather returned to college and pursued a baccalaureate, followed by a teaching credential. She became an educator right here in California, which we all know is the noblest, sexiest, most thoughtful career anyone can ever take up, and that only the most very attractive and magnetic people choose this great state for it. Well done, Ms. M! Such a head on this one’s sweet shoulders!

    Dig that grooving cover. Such great hip art, all slick with a smoky black backdrop and purple neon, etc, yes? Love it. The PMOY for 1970 was my beloved, super-duper-darlingest-dearest-departed Claudia Jennings, so now I’m bummed just thinking about her and all that.

    Final much more upbeat note. Elaine’s cousin Karen Elaine Morton (not pictured above, that is still Elaine herself) was Miss July 1978, and, like the lovely and talented baseball wife and present-day reality star Jeana Tomasino Keough (Miss November 1980), Karen played a Vestal Virgin in Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I. Pretty cool, yes?

    The Girls of Summer: Colleen Marie, Miss August 2003

    June 9, 2010

    Playboy’s Miss August 2003 was the lovely and very talented Colleen Marie, a model, exotic animal vet, and all-around fun and straight shootin’ gal.


    Photographed by Arny Freytag.

    The centerfold is mainly godawful except for that sweet white denim corset — truly giving wonderful Jennifer Miriam’s similar 90’s gatefold a run for its fashions-of-the-era money — but the rest of the shots I’m sharing are good, I promise. This photoshoot is kind of hit and miss for me. The good stuff is great but the bad stuff is really bad. I noticed when I was done with it that there were literally no horizontal compositions that I thought were good enough to post up: all the pictures I’ve shared ended up being vertical exterior shots.

    I feel that it was just a rocky spread. The outdoor part, exterior shots around a luncheonette, which you are now going to see through the rest of this post, is thematically unified, and wonderful and sweet and fun. The interior in some kind of hotel room is sloppy garbage. Not Ms. Marie’s fault at all.


    Coffee, tea, or … ?

    “I’m not a Southern belle who’s like, ‘Could you fetch me my coat?’ though I do prefer my tea with ice in it,” she says. “I have one older sister and our dad raised us like sons, so we did all the outdoor chores and went fishing with him.” In fact, Colleen’s tomboy ways persisted even after she blossomed. “I blended into the walls and got teased a lot at school, which made me realize in the eighth grade that I had to start brushing my hair. I never felt pretty until people told me.”

    (“Road Trip.” Playboy, August 2003.)


    “I work for one of the better-known exotic vets in [Las Vegas]. We see rats, snakes, ferrets, lizards — anything and everything. There was a traveling freak show that had an act featuring a tarantula, and it ripped off one of its legs. I handed it to my boss and said, ‘It’s all up to you. I don’t do spiders!’ We glued its wound shut and gave it an antibiotic injection. Then we were invited to watch it perform.”

    (Ibid.)

    For my money, this is the number one shot with a bullet from this spread. Why this is not the centerfold, I will never understand.

    She waas a daaaaay tripper. Sunday driver, yeah… Driving is a turn-on. What can you do? Adventure and the open road are always going to get the blood moving.


    “Don’t stand behind me and scope me out for 10 minutes, because I’ll see you doing it and it’ll make you look like a dumbass,” she says.

    (Ibid.)

    I mention this because of “dat ass.” Funny juxtaposition, yes? I am funny. I’m a funny girl.

    You can hit Ms. Marie up on the myspace any ol’ time (current mood: determined ), or visit her very nice official site to keep up with her present doings.

    I am new to this whole myspace shananigans so I may seem computer illiterate at times.

    Yeah, she said “shenanigans?” so I’m pretty much sold, and will tumble you for her. Anyway, this concludes today’s Girl of Summer — a great, upbeat gal and some adorable shots to brighten your hump day!

    The Girls of Summer: Inaugural Edition feat. Gay Collier, Miss July 1965!

    June 8, 2010

    The lovely and talented Gay Collier was Playboy’s Miss July, 1965.


    Centerfold photographed by Mario Casilli.

    Going contrary to the cogent advice of Horace Greeley, July Playmate Gay Collier — a pleasingly proportioned (36-23-35) Californian with keen hazel eyes for a dancing career — plans to go as far East as her talented footwork will take her.

    (“Clown Princess.” Playboy, July 1965.)

    The Greeley “advice” to which the write-up refers is “Go West, Young Man.” Remember when people caught references like that because our nation did not yet see fit to require public schoolteachers, who specifically went to school to do their jobs and work hard every day for other people’s children, to give up their dreams of changing lives with knowledge and instead teach developing minds to shoot for the mean score on a shitty test, so they can grow up and go and do the same while working as a faceless shell at some corporate conglomerate?

    Oh, such a fine and impassioned little moment of soap box pedaling for my personal agenda amidst pictures of vintage cheesecake which is surely not the right venue in which to begin a discussion of education and values! but here’s the catch: Horace Greeley has always been wrongly credited with that quote. Greeley was a newspaperman in New York City, specifically the New York Trib — you might remember his portrayal by Michael Byrne in 2002’s Gangs of New York, visiting the Five Points with some other wealthy reformers (Mr. Greeley was all about social reform–ish. Scorsese does a good job exploring his philanthropical ambiguities due to his position of wealth and influence).


    Did your brain not just ASPLODE from the cuteness?

    Though Mr. Greeley had plenty of wit and wisdom that he shared with the world, he never exhorted anyone to go West or elsewhere unless it was an urchin badgering him on a street corner. The quote in fact originates with another newspaper publisher named John. B. L. Soule, who edited and produced the Terre-Haute, Indiana Express. In full, he said, “Go West, Young Man! And grow up with the country.” Greeley adapted the quote for an editorial of his own.

    I think of the mid-60’s as Playboy’s heyday. For some reason, though I love my seventies Power Bush, it kind of felt sleezy by then — whoa, you don’t think it was actually the pubes, do you? Now I’m honestly wondering… Anyway.

    This is one of the magazine’s golden era issues that proves how much good shit that you literally could not find anywhere else was packed in each of these pages — besides Ms. Collier’s lovely gatefold shoot, the issue also featured an interview with famed Italian actor-director Marcello Mastroianni and the conclusion of a four-part excerpt from Ian Fleming’s Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun. Um, HELL yes?!


    Consummately portraying such tortured contemporary types as a world-weary author (in La Notte), a cuckolded husband (in Divorce—Italian Style) and a cynical, soul-searching movie director (in 8 1/2), he has come to epitomize for many “the plight of modern man himself,” in the words of one critic, “loveless, faithless, rudderless, spiritually anesthetized and immobilized, whirled along in the swift and shifting crosscurrents and powerless to influence or arrest the order of events; incapable either of disciplining his desires or of satisfying his needs, let alone those of his fellow man.” Despite—or perhaps because of—his ambivalent image of inward impotence and predatory potency, Mastroianni exudes a charismatic magnetism …

    (Excerpt from the Mastroianni piece.)

    Yeah, I’d love to say that the current articles are up to that caliber of prose, but I think they have lowered the reading-level bar. Bummer, because they still snag great interviews.

    Oh, cheez-its, what about Gay? Back to the gal at hand.

    “My first objective is to land a dancing role in a Broadway musical. After all the years I’ve put in on toe shoes, I figure it’s time I started making the rounds of New York agents’ offices and tried putting some of that practice to work. Eventually, I hope to go to Europe and try out for one of the finer ballet companies, like the Ballet Russe or the Royal Ballet, and I’ve already put my Playmate-photo prize money in a special oversees ‘ballerina-or-bust’ savings account.”

    (Ibid.)

    She also likes Cantonese and mentions she is a big Peter Sellers fan. Sold!


    Cover — Joey Thorpe.

    No word on if Ms. Collier made it to Broadway or out even further East beneath the Iron Curtain, as she either continued her career under a new or married name, or the magazine used a different surname for her in this piece. Either way, adorable girl, great and dazzlingly fun photoshoot, and we are officially off and running with the Girls of Summer! I’m hittin’ the hay so I can tutor my Scamp tomorrow. Catch you guys on the flip!

    Flashback Friday: NSFW November — Rita Lee, Miss November 1977

    June 4, 2010

    Flashback Friday! Originally posted Nov 22, 2009 @ 12:38 pm.


    Heads-up, Scorpios! (I’m looking at you, Cappy) — the lovely and talented Rita Lee, Miss November 1977, lists your sign as one of her turn-ons.


    Photographed by Richard Fegley

    A certain almost unstable level of insecurity and uncertainty comes across in her interview that I think translates in to these photographs. Check out her general lack of eye contact, her sidewise glances, her closed mouth, the way her hands have to be doing something. The wiki says that the photographer, Fegley, had her pose for his portfolio and even put her in a book. I guess maybe that nervous energy, that vulnerability, made her an interesting subject for more serious photography.

    “I was very naïve and men took advantage of that. I always worried about what other people thought of me.” …

    She says she would never have considered posing for “some of those other magazines” and that she was surprised that the Playboy people were so professional. “I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard all sorts of things, like they photograph your body and put another girl’s head on it, and that none of the information on the girls is real. I was afraid that maybe after all the preliminary shootings they would decide my breasts weren’t big enough or something and ask me to have plastic surgery.” (“Growing Up,” Playboy, November 1977.)

    She also talks in the interview about moving out and living on her own at 17, and how it was a mistake and her parents were right about her conservative upbringing. The below shot proves that Fegley got a smile out of her eventually. But it looks like it was a battle. Judging from what she said about her past and herself in her interview, I think she may have been pretty down and vulnerable during this period.


    “I used to read about Marilyn Monroe. I felt as though I could identify with her. I learned something from her. Her suicide was like a warning for me.”

    Shit-oh-dear, someone needs a hug and a Xanax! I am only comfortable making that joke because she is still alive and not dead like some of these other ladies. It’s actually terrible to read the interview and see the pictures because what emerges is a glimpse at this seemingly depressed, insecure woman with valid, sad anxietes about appearance and relationships, overly sensitive to the falseness inherent to human interaction, the whole ball of wax. I kind of do wish I could give her a hug. Some souls are born lost.

    GOALS:
    As I get older, to develop a better understanding of myself and others. To always have a fulfilling relationship with someone.

    TURN-ONS:
    Scorpio men, candlelit intimate dinners, swimming nude, genuine affection and trust.

    TURNOFFS:
    Phony people, particularly men who are attracted to women only because of looks.

    Her repeated emphasis in both her data sheet and her interview on trust and wanting a relationship with someone who will look past her looks is heartrending to me. She must have really been burned in her past. I hope that she did find that fulfilling and ideal relationship, and that she married someone she really trusted, who deserved it, and lived happily ever after.


    addendum June 4, 2010: This flashback is by way of introducing the Girls of Summer project, special Misses June, July, and August who I have picked out and researched and will begin posting up hopefully daily, probably starting on Sunday. (Got dogs in the fire tomorrow.)