Posts Tagged ‘dwight hooker’

NSFW November: Avis Miller, Miss November 1970

November 22, 2009

The lovely and talented Avis Miller, Miss November 1970, was living with her parents in Union City and working as a bunny in the San Francisco Playboy club when she was selected by Hef to be an elite Jet Bunny, a stewardess on his famous private plane. I found the interview really interesting, and then I stumbled over a shitload of pictures from her pictorial, so I’m going to let the original Playboy article and spread handle this one.


Photographed by Dwight Hooker

“Now that they have 747s, traveling on the commercial airlines is more luxurious than ever,” says November Playmate Avis Miller. “But as far as I’m concerned, the Big Bunny is the only way to fly.” The Big Bunny, if you don’t already know, is Hugh M. Hefner’s $5,500,000 custom built DC9-32, the most opulent private aircraft in the world. (“Jet Bunny,” Playboy, November 1970.)


“I don’t like living in the heart of a city,” says Avis, “because I get uptight about things like crowds, noise and smog. When I was a kid, my father, a salesman, kept getting transferred — Pittsburgh, Boston, Richmond, Houston. I grew up disliking city life, I’m afraid.”


After accompanying the plane on observation flights, including the Big Bunny’s maiden trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, Avis was scheduled to attend stewardess school in April. A week before her training began, she paid a surprise visit to her brother John, an oil analyst then assaying for possible petroleum deposits near Denver. After acquainting herself with the fundamentals of oil exploration, Avis spent her time loafing, her closest companions the historical best sellers she’d taken with her — Jenny and Mary, Queen of Scots. A graduate of Arizona State University, Avis majored in history and still finds the subject fascinating.


“Stewardesses usually have to train for six weeks,” says Avis, ” but that’s because they have to learn about five different aircraft — we only had to learn about one — and their teaching is slower because the classes usually have at least 50 girls in them. The big airlines also spend a week on grooming, which the Bunnies already know.”


After learning about the DC9-32, Avis took courses in first aid, ocean survival, handling general emergencies and food preparation, then was sent to the Lake Geneva Playboy Club-Hotel for special instruction in wine selection and gourmet dining service. Miss Miller reports that work aboard the Playboy plane is a lot less hectic than on a commercial airliner. “We always have at least three Jet Bunnies on board,” she says, “and since there’s a maximum of 38 passengers, we’re able to go about our duties without rushing.”



When Avis was finally flight-qualified, she got a chance to go on what she describes as “an unbelievable trip”: She was one of five jet Bunnies who accompanied Hefner and a private party of close friends on a 31-day jaunt through Africa and Europe.

That’s so awesome. That is like seriously the trip of a lifetime. Rad. That is so cool that she got to do that.


“The Hollywood scene turns me off completely. To get famous, you have to do a lot of dumb, embarrassing things. Who needs it? Besides, I want to have kids, and the lousiest mothers are usually working actresses; they never have time for their children.”


“I’ll be happy if I can wind up with a guy who’s carefree and isn’t a slave to business. I’ll admit that that type isn’t easy to find, but I haven’t even started looking yet.”

Hef sold the Big Bunny in ’76 when he bought his mansion in Holmby Hills. It was purchased and used in the late 1970s as part of the commercial fleet of Air Mexico, according to the internet. I have no idea what’s been going on with it since then.

NSFW November: Monica Tidwell, Miss November 1973

November 20, 2009

Forgot that I’m going to run out of time and need to squeeze in some quadruple plays for the playmates lest we miss a Miss November. This one is super-special, so enjoy!

When the lovely and talented Monica Tidwell was born, the second issue of Playboy was fresh on the newsstands. This means that when she posed for the magazine in 1973 at age 19, she was the very first playmate to be younger than the magazine itself.


Photographed by Dwight Hooker and Bill Frantz.

This is a great spread. The photographers captured something very vulnerable and real in Ms. Tidwell (for my money the most beautiful Miss November yet), a sensitivity and gentle eroticism that lacks in many of the other shoots we’ve seen this month.

This is further carried through by the ambient lighting, the natural styling of her hair, and the focus on handmade, organically fashioned articles and materials like wood frames and wool blankets.

The whole shoot just has this really airy, sunlit, authentic, natural feel to it. It’s special.

Though she was discovered in Chicago (seems like they really had an active scouting scene there, doesn’t it? maybe because that’s where Hef is from? I guess one of these days I should look up the actual history of the magazine, huh), Ms. Tidwell was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in Georgia.

Like almost every other Southerner I have met or heard of, she had literary leanings when questioned about her ambitions. I don’t know what it is about the South that makes every person from there drip with this deeply poetic appreciation of nature and a playful love of language, but it seems to be a Thing.

I have met and loved so many great friendohs from the South, and they all have a beautiful, expressive outlook on life. (Dik and the LBC, I am looking at you two poetic ginger geniuses in particular!)


“One of my great ambitions in life is to write a novel as good as [Wolfe’s] Look Homeward, Angel. My second great ambition is to make a movie with Ken Russell and Oliver Reed.” (“Ubiquitous Miss,” Playboy, November 1973)

According to the wiki, that dream of making a movie with Ken Russell (visionary director of The Who’s Tommy) is half coming true.

Tidwell is currently the primary producer of the off-Broadway play Mind Game in New York City. Ken Russell will direct the play and Keith Carradine will star.


Hands down my favorite picture from this pictorial.

Good on her! An ethereal, Autumnal little beauty (I told you redheaded Miss Novembers are I’m pretty sure a Thing), she reminds me of Sissy Spacek or Bridget Fonda and Jodie Foster. All peaches and cream and spattery freckles with strawberry blonde hair, but then there is something rabbity and tough about them, like biting on tinfoil, something driven and hardscrabble, determined when it comes to their quiet goals. Sorry to project emotive qualities and wax poetic. I just love country girls.