Posts Tagged ‘pin up’

Flashback Friday — Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

November 2, 2012

The bulk of this post originally appeared on February 5, 2010 at 9:04 am.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


(The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

edit 11/2/12: In the original post, the following comment was left

John Hawksley Says:

Hello, I was Cheryl’s husband and we were married at the time of her death(may 28,1988) Cheryl Kubert was her real name. Born in Los Angeles, went to Fairfax High School. We had one child(Rachel). She was 50 at time of her death. She was a glamour lovlie in Ken Murry’s Blackouts and she did extensive modeling, traveled with U. S. O troupe and was a member of SAG and SEG. She had the heart and the looks of an angel. She could sing, play the piano and dance. If you need anymore information you can text me. John

Thank you for the further info, Mr. Hawksley.

edit 11/2/12, 2.0: The late Joe Kubert, comic legend, also corresponded with me briefly in regard to this post. He passed on in August, and I am not sharing because I believe death negates privacy, but merely because I never shared originally. As with Mr. Hawksley’s comment, I meant to go back and edit again, but the time gets away from you.

Dear E,

Thank you for your email and your interest. To my knowledge I am not related to a Cheri [sic] Kubert. She looks like someone I would not have minded knowing! Please continue to read, write, and care about comics. You may also share a link with your readers to The Kubert School.

Regards,
Joe

The Kubert School, based in Dover, NJ offers students a high quality and challenging education in Cartooning and Graphic Art.” They also have correspondence courses.

This has been your Flashback Friday.

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.

May Flowers — Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954

May 11, 2011

The lovely and talented Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954, first appeared in Playboy’s March 1954 pictorial “Sex Sells a Shirt.”

Click to enlarge the shots and read the story, it’s actually a really interesting little piece with a kicky, fun insight in to 1950’s advertising. Far more risque than you might expect. The PR folks for Hartog were some skilled and creative dudes.

However. Please do not tell me to watch Mad Men.

I know it’s, like, all cool and retro and sexist and clever, but I just don’t feel like getting in to it. Yet I keep getting told to. Everyone wants me to watch it. I can’t swing my arms without hitting someone who’s saying, “E, you have to watch Mad Men. You’ll love it. Also, stop hitting me with your swinging arms.” I say, Never! to both!

Ms. Arnold was a hit with readers as the Hartog “keep your shirt on” girl, but Playboy did not pick her as Miss May because of that (they did feature her the following August, which we’ll get to). There was no such linear relation between her appearance in March and her gatefold in May. Two totally separate things, as it ends up.


Purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Co.

The kind of wonky centerfold shot is, like the centerfolds from most of ’53-54, a purchased photograph. And, like Marilyn Monroe’s and several other of the first “sweetheart/playmate” gatefolds, the photograph was purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Company.


The one on the right is hands-down my favorite.

I was sick of having no photographer credits on all the Baumgarth shots, and I wanted to know more about the John Baumgarth Calendar Co. so I took the light rail down to Googlytown.

I was hoping to find out specific names of photographers other than Tom Kelley, who did Marilyn’s picture, but when I googled “Baumgarth Calendar Company,” my own goddamned site was the second link. Also the fifth. I’m not the mayor of Playmate Googlytown — but apparently I’m something like an alderman. Frustrating.

Here’s what I know. The “company” was run out of Melrose Park, Illinois, a suburb on the west side of Chicago. However, not only can I find zero way to get in touch with the now-defunct company’s former employees, it turns out that besides the rare occasion of hiring a dude and arranging their own photoshoots, they also, like Hef in the first six months of Playboy, mainly purchased photos from private photographers.

The thing is, the centerfold picture could have been shot by anyone and the credit kind of doesn’t matter anyway. In May of 1954, the Playmates did not have names listed or anything like that.

Keep in mind, this was only the sixth issue of Playboy to even hit newsstands, and the magazine was still finding its feet.

Like a new struck foal stumbling around in the brave new world into which it has been thrust: Aww. The adorable, stumbly, delicate colt that we call “skin rag.”

Anyway. This particular month’s centerfold was, like, an isolated, anonymous picture. It’s possible no one at Playboy was even aware the model from the Hartog feature and cover had been the purchased photo of Miss May until a few months after the fact. They did know by the following August because they mention it in her second official appearance in the magazine, which I’m about to explain.

The rest of these gorgeous shots, however, come from a spread shot by superfly BAMF Peter Gowland entitled “Gowland’s Cool Pool.” The piece appeared in the August 1955 issue of Playboy, by which time the practice of credits had entered play and Ms. Arnold was cited as the model.


Scan of the article which accompanied the spread.

She also appeared as the cover model/mermaid for the same issue, a shot taken by Gowland and painted on and embellished for a little under the sea come-hither adventure.

This scan is of the newsstand edition; in the subscribers’ mailed edition, her nipples are not painted over, I have heard.

But SPEAKING of her nipples —

Ms. Arnold has a third nipple on the underside of her left breast. When I first read that I made a loud, “Pfft” noise of disbelief, and, browsing through my pictures, thought, “No way. I never noticed that and she’s all moley to boot: this is probably folklore based on a regular beauty mark.”

But then …


Click to enlarge it … it’s clearly nipplish and not a mole. I was surprised.

Lo and behold and hell and goddamn — seems she does, indeed, have a supernumerary nipple.

All right, all right — I’ll king you. Sheesh.

No idea where that shot came from, Ms. Arnold was a very successful and busy men’s magazine model in her lovely heyday. I just wanted another splash of color … and to make the tacky “king me” joke.

What is she going to do when big hats go out?

I stole that joke from Gypsy. My funny is just not operating at full capacity today. (Hangs head, Charlie Brown music.)

I guess the theme of the photograph is that, like, men are toys to her? Is that the idea? Or is she a big, scary giant about to eat them?? I could go either way. Giant’s more exciting but I’m pretty sure the former is more accurate.

By the way, that’s called vore porn. Jonohs linked me to some a while back. Ridiculous. Normally I am the last one to judge a kink for obvious reasons, but when I saw CG animation of giant women totally eating dudes, I said, “No. Ridiculous. You are being ridiculous.”

I say again: if you get off on fantasies of enormous women crushing you and grinding your bones between their gigantic teeth and then digesting you slowly in their acidy stomachs, you are ridiculous.

I’m sorry, but I needed you to know how I feel. And please don’t link to vore in the comments. I won’t go. I neither wear clown shoes nor dwell in Florida. Keep that nasty shit in your favorites folder.

As her career progressed, Ms. Arnold starred in a string of cheesey B-movie popcorn flicks. This is my favorite poster.


via.

“Don’t get frank with me, young lady.” So much sassy molassy! I hate it when young people are frank! … I just think frank was a bit of a mild word to use on a poster with so many exclamation points.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do supernumerary nipples have sensation? Please get back to me quickly.
  • Is vore porn ridiculous? Be specific.
  • If you had a girl gang, what would you call it?

  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Merry Christmas from Susan Bernard, Miss December 1966

    December 15, 2010

    The lovely and talented Susan Bernard was Playboy’s Miss December, 1966.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli and Bruno Bernard.

    Like Valentine Vixen Cyndi Wood, Ms. Bernard came from a Hollywood family and, though she was only eighteen, she already had a few credits under her little-looker (5’3″) belt when she appeared in Playboy.


    Just before this Christmas Playmate pictorial went to press, our Yuletide miss called us from the Coast with the news that she’d won the ingenue lead in Stranger in Hollywood, a new dramatic film with a tentative title that doesn’t describe Miss December at all.

    (“Growing Up Glamorous.” Playboy, December 1966.)


    Susan Bernard’s been an Angeleno for all of her 18 years and is the daughter of top Hollywood glamor photographer Bruno Bernard (Bernard of Hollywood) and actress-director Ruth Brande.

    (Ibid.)

    In fact, her father had worked for Playboy in the past, and took pictures of his daughter for this spread.

    Ms. Bernard has said that, when she posed for Mr. Casilli, who was a former apprentice of her father’s, it was the first time she’d been nude in front of anyone other than her mother. She has also cited the fact that, though the article does not touch on her faith background, she is probably the only Jewish playmate to have been posed in front of a Christmas tree. (The title of first Jewish playmate, period, is too contested to touch.)


    Favorite.

    The house has always been filled with theater and movie people,” Susan says, “and after I decided that acting was really for me, my parents encouraged me at every step.”

    Brunette and brown-eyed Sue [was] featured on dozens of puppy-and-little-girl calendars as a youngster.

    (Ibid.)


    Acceptance in the talent program at the Film Industry Workshop at Columbia Studios followed Sue’s first film role, a small part in a shot-on-location desert flick.

    (Ibid.)

    I need to gleefully interject that that on-location desert flick was a little number you may have heard of from EVERYWHERE in the world of camp, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

    In the Russ Meyer B-movie classic, Ms. Bernard portrays Linda, an innocent girl traveling with her boyfriend who is intercepted, drugged, and kidnapped by Haji, Tura Satana, and Lori Williams as Rosie, Varla, and Billie, respectively. The evil trio of strippers kill her boyfriend Tommy, played by Ray Barlow, and haul Linda along as a hostage on their next fiendish caper.

    Not to be missed.

    Prior to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (do you have any idea how much fun that is to type out? so many exclamation points!), Ms. Bernard also appeared on television in 1963 as a young character called Beverly Fairchild in the popular American soap opera General Hospital. She was 15 at the time. In 1969, Ms. Bernard starred in the lesbian-themed film That Tender Touch as Terry Manning. Though the film is very tame by today’s standards, some of the material was very groundbreaking for the time.


    Miss December’s private life makes a striking contrast to the image of an in-demand girl running from studio to stage. Even in the busy Bernard household, Susan’s managed to establish a balcony retreat for work on oil portraits of people she likes, among them the dates who take her to her favorite beaches and the cozy restaurants she prefers to gaudier showbiz scenes.

    (Ibid.)

    I think that resistance to the “scene” in Hollywood really shaped her as an artist and a person with a real brain and will. She has some pretty solidly cemented cult status, and is still an active and a classy lady, though she keeps out from in front of the camera these days.

    That shot up there actually came from the next year’s calendar. They stuck her in as March. My guess for this reasoning? The lion next to her on the hearth. You know. “March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” You think?

    Scans of Ms. Bernard’s original layout. All of the at-home b&w shots were taken by her father. It is to his memory that Ms. Bernard currently devotes herself. She has so far produced three books about his body of work and maintains a beautiful site called Susan’s Salon, where you can send her messages and go through pictures her father took in the halcyon days of Bernard of Hollywood.


    Being the daughter of one of the most famous photographers in Hollywood, I felt I was the most photographed child in America. With this came the privilege of experiencing Hollywood history. My Salon will bring you the stories my father loved to tell and my cherished memories.

    (Susan’s Salon.)

    I totally encourage you to check it out. Very cool.

    I think all in all this has been a pretty kickass, standout Playmate entry. Especially if you are in to pin-ups, old Hollywood, and B-movies, which it is my expreience that those usually go together. Hope you feel the same!

    And, because I can’t help myself, some caps of Sue in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Sorry, in my cursory search, I couldn’t find any stills with Tura Satana, and I’m too lazy to dig it up and take screencaptures myself. Enjoy them anyway?



    Finally, an absolute trifecta of perfecta, from left to right in the recent shot below: Ms. Bernard; my b’loved Julie Newmar; baby burlesque legend Dita von Teese.


    via madhatter on the vintageerotica forums.

    Too much amazing for one photo.

    Yesterday’s News: Some cheesecake with her mashed potatoes for Noel Neill, the first Lois Lane

    November 26, 2010


    The intrepid reporter makes a call from the field.

    Beautiful vintage pinup model — her picture was second in popularity only to Betty Grable during World War II — and Paramount actress Noel Neill played Lois Lane in the first adaptations of Superman through both Kirk Alyn and George Reeves, in film and television as well.


    Ms. Neill in a pinup pose.

    Ms. Neill graciously gave fan-serving nods to her early comics role by appearing in cameos in Superman (1978) as Margot Kidder (Lois Lane)’s mom, and also portrayed Gertrude Vanderwurth in Superman Returns (2006), the elderly, dying widow of Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor.


    Ms. Neill in 2008.

    How is this Yesterday’s News? Because on November 25th, Noel Neill celebrated her 90th birthday. Dang! A happy happy one to a beautiful, nice lady. May she keep on trucking.




    Special thanks to DC Women Kicking Ass for the shot of Lois Lane on the phone and the super-cool super-scoop (yesterday).

    Girls of Summer: Jan Roberts, Miss August 1962

    October 6, 2010


    Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

    Miss August 1962 was the lovely and talented Jan Roberts, who began as a bunny at the Chicago Playboy Club. At the time, it was usually the case that a centerfold may be offered a job as a Club Bunny. Though it would later become common for Bunnies to progress to a gatefold as Playmate of the Month, Ms. Roberts was the first to do it.


    With this issue we present a neat twist on the customary Playmate-to-Bunny progression: she’s ingenuous Jan Roberts — the first (but undoubtedly not the last) Playmate to be discovered among the hutch honeys already decorating club premises. Like hundreds of beauties from every part of the U.S. and several foreign countries, Brooklyn-born, Toledo-bred Jan stormed Chicago specifically in hopes of landing a job at the Playboy Club.

    (“Bunny Hug.” Playboy, August 1962.)


    Her credentials (executive girl Friday for the Juhl Advertising Agency of Elkhart, Indiana, and honor graduate of a two-year medical technology course in the same city) were impressive enough to earn her a Bunny berth. Although the lissome — 39-23-35 — arrangement of her 120 compact pounds on a five-foot-five frame tends to belie it, Miss August prefers mental exercise to physical.

    (Ibid.)

    But she’s so pretty. What could she possibly need to think about?

    [Ms. Roberts] thrives on chess and bridge bouts, reads omnivorously (mostly books on mathematics and theology), dabbles in graphology, and earnestly paints landscapes which bear, she believes, “an unfortunate resemblance to my favorite foods — spaghetti and cheese blintzes.”

    (Ibid.)

    Hell, yeah, EAT SPAGHETTI!


    She can’t abide a sloppy pad, views beatniks with suspicious brown eyes, loves shoot-’em-up war flicks, feminine frills and Louis XVI antiques.

    (Ibid.)

    I like war movies too, but I wonder what was so objectionable about beatniks? Someone needs to dial Ned Flanders and make a lovely lonelyhearts hookup.



    Jan regards her current welcome-to-the-club duties with honest satisfaction. “I’m interested in a show business career,” she says. “As a Bunny, I’m already leading a show biz kind of life. It’s a big step on the way up.”

    (Ibid.)


    WHAT I LIKE IN MEN: Good manners, men who are good and kind to everyone, a sense of humor.
    WHAT I DISLIKE IN MEN: Wise guys.

    Ah, hahaha … wise guys. I have the cutest picture in my head, please come along with me on my mental image: Ms. Roberts in the trademark Club Bunny outfit, saying, “Oh, a wise guy, eh?” and windmilling her arm around to punch a Stooge. Chain-reaction hijinks ensue.

    As for her show biz ambitions, if that sought-after career progressed, it was under a different name. I tried Jan Roberts, Janice Roberts, and Janet Roberts on the imdb and came up empty. Then again, there is always the stage, yes? Or maybe her (by her account) cheese blintz-like and spaghetti-like landscape paintings took off. She has a sweet face and an endearingly semi-rabbity grill; I’d hope good things for her.

    The colorblocks in this picture are frigging awesome. Such a great and articulate, high-brow art critic I am, yes? Did I just blow your mind? Lovely. “What do you think of this piece by Basquiat?” “I think it’s frigging awesome!” Then I crush a beer can against my forehead. Sorry, college degree.

    Seriously, though — my favorite shot of the spread, because of the colors.

    This issue of Playboy featured a piece by Arthur C. Clarke titled, “World Without Distance.” Clarke is the author of seminal sci-fi novel 2001: A Space Odyssey; togther with Asimov and Robert Heinlein, he was known in science fiction circles as one of the Big Three. At the time his piece was published in this issue, Clarke was living in Sri Lanka (long story — another day). For some years, he had been contributing speculative articles and essays to various magazines about how developing technologies would effect lifestyles in the coming decades and centuries.

    In fact, he had a specific timeline for when he predicted certain innovations would come in to use, ending in the year 2100: as an example, he … for lack of a better word, “prophesied,” that a “global library” would be in use by 2005. People would be able to access this library from anywhere and have information at their fingertips. The articles and essays were eventually gathered into a book which Clarke titled Profiles of the Future, published in 1963. “World Without Distance” is one of those essays.

    There was also an article in the August 1962 Playboy called “The Prodigal Powers of Pot,” by Dan Wakefield. I came up goose-eggs in my search for the full text of Mr. Wakefield’s article, but HollywoodFiveO‘s review that it’s “an article so dry and boring we were unable to finish it even after huffing copious amounts of the demon weed,” is enough to discourage me from further research.

    However, it is a good opportunity for me to mention that two dear old friendohs, Jedi K and Marvelous Mr. C, will be performing in Reefer Madness in October, and if I’m not front and center, it means I’m frozen in carbonite. Actually, even if I’m frozen in carbonite, I might persuade Cinder and Milo to tote me along anyway.

    To celebrate, I’ll be sure to squeeze in a Reefer Madness Movie Moment for both the original scared-straight piece of propoganda and the recent film adaptation of the campy musical which my friends will be putting on. It’s an interesting time to stage it in my gret stet of Californny, what with a proposition on the ballot in our upcoming election to legalize marijuana.* I predict they’ll pull in a fun and hopefully big crowd.

    *It’s a square and unpopular opinion but, while I am neutral about marijuana as a recreational, albeit presently illegal, drug, I do not think its legalization will prove even at all to be the prompt financial panacea the yaysayers would have me believe, and that the difficulties of properly legislating its sale and distribution will ultimately prove more costly than the budget woes it proposes to solve; further, the proposition in its present form does not yet have a solid enough plan for implementing the legalization nor setting up a more specific system for local governments to go about filtering the monies to appropriate and needy civic channels to suit me. A really bad punster would say I find the idea “half-baked.” I merely say, take your time, rethink what it is that you want to accomplish, and come back to me with something I can consider solidly getting behind. My state has been propositioned to death. This is a big issue — give it the careful crafting it deserves if you want to succeed and be helpful.

    That was all in small print because a) I don’t like bringing politics up on the journal; and b) every time I timidly speak against the proposition, people seem to think I am opposed to the drug itself and shout me down with tireless explanations of how it’s not dangerous and people are way better drivers on pot than alcohol (this latter argument actually comes from my uncle, a former cop in Idaho who stuck in his oar on a recent family vacation when he was chagrined to learn that I was probably going to vote no on Prop 19).

    I don’t much care about the drug part. Seems to me like people are going to smoke whether it’s legal or not. That’s not my concern at all. What I care about is hasty-pudding legislation that I fear couldn’t pass a Pinto, let alone a majority vote in a state where the people who actually come to the polls are, statistically, retired persons who are, statistically, more conservative voters, and who would likely not vote “yes” on this proposition even if there were rock-solid figures showing that the tax revenue from the legalization of marijuana would go to blind limbless orphans, early-bird buffet discounts, and a television channel that shows all Matlock, all day. They’re still going to punch “no.” This legislation needs to be airtight and even though it’s trying, my feeling is it is not quite there.

    Even if it passes, things have become so persnickety and partisan here that it is bound to get held up for years in appeals and counter-measures. Don’t get me wrong, I have hopes for my government in the future, but all I see right now at federal and state levels is a morass in which nothing can get accomplished.


    Gesa Meiken photographed by Mario Casilli.

    Man! Not only is that all downer stuff, but I actually do hate talking about politics on the internet. I may come back later today and delete all that. Anyway, Arthur C. Clarke and a smiley blonde — even an apparent square like myself can’t vote no on that!

    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: 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: 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. ♥

    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!

    Spring Fever!: Felicia Atkins, Miss April 1958

    April 19, 2010

    I was feeling down, but I’m pulling myself out of it. I need to have more faith that things will work out for the best, for one thing, and for another, holy cannoli, is it ever a gorgeous day out there! I’ve been sitting on some of these shots for just about forever. I love this shoot. Lots of red clothes, cute hats, and opera-style makeup? Yes, please — I am a big These Pictures Guy from Way Back! Miss April 1958 is the lovely and talented Felicia Atkins.


    Photographed by Bruno Bernard and Bill Bridges.

    An awesome vintage brunette wonder from Down Under, Ms. Atkins still holds the record today for being the longest consecutively-employed showgirl in the history of the storied Folies-Bergère Revue at the Las Vegas Tropicana. Get it, girl!


    Felicia Atkins: Pussy Magnet. Ow!

    I find the history of Old School Las Vegas really interesting (mainly a result of the intersection between my undying love of The Godfather movies and the fact that I’m perpetually interested in the persistent concept of the fast-and-loose, fancy-free frontier “west” in the American mind especially as it played out in increasingly swift travel methods available to the middle class seeking recreation in the twentieth century — first, trains to national parks, then big steely cars on the new highways roaring along state routes dotted with crummy roadside teepees and Bob’s Big Boys by the mid-century; that interests the shit out of me, seriously), so I’m going to reproduce Ms. Atkins’ original write-up in its entirety and then go in to some historical Las Vegas points of emotional interest as far as the Folies-Bergère goes (went).


    Gone are the drear, dread days beyond recall when we were led to believe that showgirls had a pretty bad time of it in the sunshine-and-health department — late hours, smoke-filled rooms, nightclub pallor, and other offenses to God and man. Today, tongue-clucking do-gooders would find it a tough task convincing us that the life of a showgirl (in Las Vegas, anyway) is anything but Reilly. Look at Felicia Atkins, if you haven’t already.

    (“Showgirl in the Sun: A Vegas Venus Mixes Vitamins with Va-a-voom.” Playboy, April 1958.)


    She spends her nights in the chorus line of the sumptuous Hotel Tropicana, gladdening the eyes of all beholders with her finely fashioned five-feet-seven-and-a-half-inches.

    (Ibid.)

    By day, she sleeps late in a swank suite of the same hostelry, eats a mountainous breakfast, then squeezes into a bikini and slips out to soak up a skinful of Vitamin C and splash about in a cool pool until it’s time to dry off the corpore sano andfoi get ready for the evening’s extravaganza. For this, mind you, she gets paid. Another nice thing that’s happened to felicitous Felicia is her appearance as our Playmate for the month of April. It’s nice for us, too. (Ibid.)

    /End drivel. Phew! Before I go in to more about the show for which she famously worked, a few notes on Ms. Atkins — from what I can gather, after leaving the Folies, she went to work for the MGM Grand, which buffs know was bought by Bally’s. Sometime between the Bally’s acquisition, some bartending gigs at what is now the Crazy Horse, and the revamping of Vegas in to a family destination in the 1990’s (darkly pleased to see it returning to its roots after that failed experiment — boo to themed roller coasters, yay to sequined pasties), Ms. Atkins retired back to her native Australia.


    The “Folies-Bergère” opened at the Tropicana Hotel in 1959. Famous for its Cancan girls and statuesque showgirls the “Folies-Bergère” has outlived many hotels as well as shows. The longest continuous running production show in Las Vegas has been updated many times over the years to keep its status as a sophisticated Parisian spectacular.

    (“Folies-Bergère: We Can-Can,” Hooper, R. Scott. vegasretro.com.)

    When you hear “showgirl,” and automatically picture a leggy glamazon in ostrich-tail and resplendently over-the-top headdress, you are picturing a girl from the Folies-Bergère, the hip grandma of all Vegas revues. As VegasRetro reported, it was the longest-running show in the history of the City, and Ms. Atkins, here, was its longest-running performer. That is really something!


    Folies-Bergère, known the world over for gorgeous dancers is not just a show … it’s a legend. The theme of “women through time” beginning in the 1800’s to present day has gone unchanged, but the new interpretations enhance the Folies-Bergère experience.

    (“Les Folies-Bergère.” PCAP, Las Vegas Lesiure Guide, 2003.)


    The Dressing Room number gives the audience a behind-the-scenes feel of how the gorgeous showgirls prepare for their nightly appearance on stage. Each scenario flows seamlessly into the next such as in La Vedette where male dancers present a stunning showgirl who materializes through smoke with giant butterfly wings on her back.

    (Ibid.)


    Another popular scene is fashioned in the 1920’s where “women of darkness” were known as vamps. A private boudoir moment, black silk and velvet dressing gowns accompanied by tassels used as erotic props emphasize the sexual natures of these women.

    (Ibid.)


    The Las Vegas Folies-Bergère, which opened in 1959, closed at the end of March 2009, after nearly 50 years in operation.

    (the wiki.)



    The Folies-Bergère showgirls have been entertaining audiences at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for 49 years. In the show’s heyday in Vegas, “The Trop,” where they performed, was considered the “Tiffany of the Strip,” attracting stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Patrons came to rub elbows with stars and with the Folies’ showgirls, who would “dress up” the hotel bar after performances.

    But times are tight in Las Vegas, and the Tropicana can’t afford to produce the Folies-Bergère anymore. The showgirls’ last performance will be March 28, 2009 — just a few months shy of the show’s 50th anniversary.

    (“Folies-Bergère to close in Las Vegas.” Meraji, Shereen. 23 February 2009. NPR.)


    Coupl’a’fine-ass kittens chillaxin’.

    These days, Felicia is, like I said, back in Oz. She now lives in a senior care facility where you can write to her at 4 Muller St., Salamander Bay, New South Wales, 4317. Be respectfully advised she has recently started being treated for advancing dementia and may not now recognize photos and autograph requests.

    Speaking of these kinds of subjects, I need to go because I am being summoned to have a conversation with my grandmother, who is hot to tell me for probably the sixth time today about how her brother Alvin got the first Model T in Priest River when she was a kid with graduation money from their grandmother and he took all the kids in town for rides in it, and they were speeding and hit a bump and he had to jerk her back down on to his lap at one point because she flew up in the air and almost out the window of the car. She loves that story. He was her favorite brother. I don’t mind when she gets stuck in a groove for a day on the really sweet and good memories. It’s a wonderful break from the Bad Days, plus the repetition ensures that now I will hold on to the memory for awhile. And that’s what we’ve all got ears and got voice boxes for, most likely. Right? It happens. Catch you later!

    Spring Fever!: Gloria Windsor, Miss April 1957

    April 15, 2010

    The lovely and talented Gloria Windsor was Playboy’s Miss April 1957. I’ve had this picture saved on the ol’ compy for a couple years now, actually, because I am delighted by the expression of demented glee in the centerfold. Cracks me up. She is a tiny blonde rocking some powerful Crazy Eyes, and I’m down with that. Seriously, look at her smile. She looks one bump away from straight-up maniacal. I love it!


    Photographed by Hal Adams.

    The article which accompanied this spread was so, so full of obvious lies that I’m afraid I actually vacillated about even partially reproducing it here. It’s that cheesey. Not only that, it shrouds “Ms. Windsor” in total mystery. Who the heck knows what her name, occupation, age, and temperament really were? The answers are certainly not to be found in a bunch of chili sauce and curly fries riddled with cringe-inducing lines like:

    ‘ When in the course of human events (which sometimes includes buying a fancy chemise for a dear friend’s birthday) we discovered blonde, brown-eyed Gloria Windsor behind the counter of a lingerie shop, we said to her, “Let us take you away from all this.” ‘ (“Winsome Windsor,” Playboy, April 1957.)



    … We explained that we meant to take her away only long enough to shoot a Playmate photograph, something that could be done on her lunch hour. After a brief exchange of coy dialogue which we won’t bore you with here, she consented.

    If you’re going to spew … find Garth’s hat. Please don’t do it in my Yankees cap.


    The idea of the spread is that they’ve got her trying on the items for sale in her shop — that’s pretty cute and actually fair enough. But why then do they talk in the copy specifically about taking her away from the shop to do the shoot? Chicanery.

    Anyway. That article is absolutely ridiculous, and that was just a small sample of it. Dudes, first of all, I loathe it for giving credence to the groundless and terrible assumption that lingerie salesgirls are secretly all a bunch of highly suggestible sluts who can’t wait to shed their suits and model their wares for you. I was a proud Bra Specialist for Victoria’s Secret for two years and have always taken issue with this sterotype, which, believe me, even lonely trophy-wife-type women seem to believe, judging from how they’d constantly call us in to the fitting rooms to “adjust” and “help” them while flashing scary boob jobs and spray tans at us and trying to drop slang and hints about meeting for lunch and cocktails. I like to call them “afternoon bisexuals” — it’s all fine and good to go out to lunch and make out with a like-minded girlfriend while sipping Cosmos and discussing highlights, but when it comes time for the real meal, dinner? You bet your ass they’re going straight back to the man who buys the steak.


    Click to enlarge a scan of the original article. If you can stomach it.

    New patrons also liked to slyly approach and ask where the “good” stuff was — edible panties, furry handcuffs, etc — at which point I had no choice but to commiserate with them that we sold merely “foundations” garments and did not have “good” stuff. Then I’d tacitly endorse a few places around town which did.

    But that does not mean that all lingerie salesgirls have any knowledge of even the most basic workings of sex: assume that what you see is what you get and the girl in that Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood nametag is just a young woman surrounded by silk underwear which comprises her entire world and nothing peripheral to the use of said underwear is included in her purview. Yes?


    Those sparkly gold pants are amazing. My favorite photo from the shoot.

    Those who know me might be tempted to point to my lingerie collection and the continued expansion of said wardrobe as evidence of the Victoria’s Secret merchandise/salesgirl’s character relationship — to you I say, corollation does not imply causation. You can’t argue with that, suckas, because it is math.

    But what really grinds me about this puffy little article stuffed with fluff is the advancement of the idea that you could do the whole of a Playboy photoshoot on one’s lunch hour. That is the apex of a shysty and misleading shenanigan.

    Come on — we have already learned that the b&w shots are usually done separately from the color and on totally different days from Swingin’ Miss February 1968, the lovely and talented and openminded Ms. Nancy Harwood, remember? It took absolutely days to shoot a centerfold spread; hell, it takes up to and sometimes over a week even now and that is with the advent of digital photography, even. Shot on the lunch hour, indeed. That is all total folklore. Fairy Tales and Oral Tradition 101, required course reading, right there. Depend on it. Calling bullshit on that one from a mile off.

    That last shot did not actually make it in to the original April 1957 spread, but rather comes from The First 15 Years book. The compilation of 178 centerfolds from the magazine’s earliest history was a Playboy Newsstand Special which came out in 1983. Today it goes for $75. Its success lead to the printing of The Second 15 Years in 1984. Many of those who disapproved of then-modern porn and decried the so-called corruption of morals during the 70’s and 80’s were accustomed to hounding Larry Flynt and Deep Throat and were quite surprised by the success of the The First 15 Years, but I just think it goes to show an old adage that I have always lived by. Ready for it?

    PSA: Dudes like boobs.

    Doesn’t matter if they’re on a gal whose photograph was taken yesterday or on a woman in a picture who is probably now dead or a grandma, if they are boobs, they are worth a second look. It makes no difference to the gentleman looking at the picture if the hair and wardrobe above and below the boobs are out-of-date — he is not wishing the woman with boobs was wearing more stylish clothing, he is wishing there were no clothing on the woman with boobs at all.

    Smart porn purveyors know this and, if they are savvy gents like Hef, have held on to their old photos featuring those wonderful cash cows we call boobs and will play that card from time to time, right about the time they are sure the woman in the picture with boobs in question is too old or living a life too removed from the time of the picture’s taking to raise a protest. So, ladies, when you pose for naughty pictures and they assure you that the negatives will be destroyed, they are probably lying. Did You Know?

    On a quick review, this entry is really full of revelations, from afternoon bisexuals to nudie photoshoots taking time to Victoria’s Secret’s lack of “good” stuff and all ending with the earth-shattering truism that dudes like boobs. Y’all please excuse me while I blow ya minds.

    March Madness: Fran Gerard, Miss March 1967

    March 17, 2010

    I was fortunate enough to stumble over the entire original layout and spread of the Playboy issue featuring the very lovely and very talented Ms. Fran Gerard, Miss March 1967.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli and Gene Trindl. (Color work by Casilli, B&W shots by Trindl, according to the orig. spread’s credits)

    We predict a sparkling future for our heavenly-bodied Miss March. Generously configured Fran Gerard is a girl for the stars. “We’re forever searching the cosmos for new meanings.” (“Stars In Her Eyes,” Playboy, March 1967.)

    The specs-sporting young Ms. Gerard worked as an astrologer’s assistant (zodiac quackery rears its head AGAIN) in L.A. at the time of her appearance, so they made a big deal out of that.

    But the main thing of her is that she is tied right up there with Janet Lupo, Cynthia Myers, etc, for the largest natural breasts ever to be featured in Playboy.

    As it was quite sometime before Janet, Cyndi, Roberta Vasquez, Alana Soares, et al came along to potentially unseat Ms. Gerard as undisputed mammary queen (I am not bothering to list the silicone sweethearts whose plastic racks match the numbers in name only and never rate so high in the eyes of the lord), she has understandably enjoyed long-lasting and tremendous fame in the Playboy world.

    A “little looker,” her Playmate data sheet reports she was just 5’2″ tall at the time of her appearance in the magazine at the alleged age of 19. Holy chumbuckets, I cannot even imagine the back trouble the girl had to have had by age 30. Sorry if that deglamourizes things, but dang. That’s some serious rackage to haul around for a chick that only weighed around 110.

    More than just a pretty face hovering over likely-uncomfortably-giant knockers, Ms. Gerard was a genuinely swingin’ chick with a good head on her small shoulders. And great taste in music!

    Our plenipotent Playmate is as versant with combos as with cosmos: “Charlie Parker’s ‘Ornithology’ was the greatest single ever made,” says Fran, “and I think E.S.P. by Miles Davis is the best LP.” Sinatra is her favorite singer, especially “Cottage for Sale.” (Ibid.)


    She says, “[I] like artists Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali. They capture so much of the glory of the universe in their work, but I don’t think I’m being stuffy: I like ‘Batman,’ too!” (Ibid.)

    “Batman”? Heyoooo! Actually, I have also always liked Chagall’s work, especially this one piece he did that told a Russian folk tale, if I’m remembering rightly… Maybe later this week I’ll throw up some stuff about him.


    Fran credits another favorite, a book, with being the source of all this happiness and satisfaction. “It’s The Magic of Believing by C. M. Bristol. It helps you to think positively.” (Ibid.)

    Fran’s favorite book is still in print. It is also available for purchase as an ebook. Here’s an excerpt from the first few paragraphs:

    Is there some force, or factor, or power, or science—call it what you will—which a few people understand and use to overcome their difficulties and achieve outstanding success? I firmly believe that there is, and it is my purpose in this book to try to explain it so that you can use it if you desire.

    Around 1933 the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper attended lectures I gave to financial men in that city and read my brochure T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth. Afterwards, he wrote, “You have caught from the ether something that has a mystical quality—a something that explains the magic of coincidence, the mystery of what makes men lucky.”

    (source, and please do not consider the link an endorsement)

    Wow, what is amazing about that is it could have been written, like, yesterday, except replace “1933” in the suspiciously specious and detail-lacking anecdote with “2003.” I did not think people were marketing murky bullshit that long ago, but I live to be surprised. I should’ve known, I suppose, given all the snake oil salesmen and shenaniganizers who’ve always walked this earth conning money out of suckers. Like the rightly revered Msr. Barnum observed, there is one born every minute.

    I think I will try my hand at tossing off a few sentences.

    A few years ago, I was addressing a colony of junebugs at an annual meeting. After the meeting, a junebug who had just been raised to upper hive-management approached me and invited me to have a drink. He told me that he had seen me speak at a junebug team-building conference near an abandoned swingset only six months earlier, and had returned to his nest eager to apply the Simple Principles that I teach. Within just a few months, he had already been promoted above his boss and was handling new junebug regions of management!


    Like so many countless others that I have been happy to help, this junebug told me in that hotel bar that he would have never believed the success and accomplishments he would achieve in such a short time just by following these three simple steps to harnessing the power of YOUR potential to do Great Things!

    (E., Right Here, Right Now.)

    How did that sound? Would you buy my shit? No? I’m huge in junebug circles, picking up sales in bee hives, and keep it between us but I think I’m about to crack the highly elusive ladybug market. (What I am saying is that I think this is all fishsticks and curried potatoes, this malarkey. Positive thinking is very powerful, yes, and important to your overall well-being, but so is hustling your buns to earn a simple living and have rich relationships with loved ones rather than sucking down cultish nonsense like coca-cola and craving weird amounts of power through ESP. Mad love and respect to Ms. Gerard, but come on.)


    I think this is the best shot of the lot.

    The positively smashing Miss Gerard’s idea of a perfect man? Clark Gable. “Remember him as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind? He was too much,” says Fran appreciatively. (“Stars In Her Eyes.”)

    Yes, I particularly enjoyed the scene where he got ten kinds of drunk and told Scarlett he was going to crush her head like a walnut, slapped her around a little, and then took her upstairs for some rough sex. You’re probably thinking that is some feminist, critical statement mired in sarcasm: you are sadly wrong. I’m messed up I guess, but I think that saucy Scarlett needs slapped around pretty much every goddamned minute of the day and Rhett was born for the job. They are a nasty, scheming, firey-eyed match made in hell and I think it makes an excellent and exciting love story, in a very dark and ugly way for which it seldom gets credit. So, today I say to you, Margaret Mitchell: Well done, sir.

    The man who did the b&w work for this spread, Gene Trindl, was best known as a photographer for TV Guide. He shot over 800 spreads for them, and 200 covers. Dang, right? He died of pancreatic cancer June 29, 2004, two years after my cousin Tom and thirty-seven years after Jayne Mansfield. RIP, Mr. Trendl.


    TURN-ONS: High fashion, antiques.
    TURNOFFS: Arrogance, people and their trivial problems.

    (Playmate datasheet.)

    Um … you hate arrogance, but you also hate people and their “trivial problems”? Okay. The kettle called … said something about how you are the black one? No need to call back.


    DID YOU KNOW? I’m an assistant to astrologer Jack Gemini.
    PEOPLE I ADMIRE: My parents, for the great job they did raising me.
    FAVORITE MUSIC: Jazz.

    (Ibid.)

    I have googled the crap out of Jack Gemini, John Gemini, LA Astrologers in the 1960’s, and am coming up triple goose eggs. If you got a line on him, I’m interested.

    So many thousands of thanks to my usual sources but in this case also special singling out for lovin’s to dear Fabrizio, an awesome and generous moderator over at the vintage erotica forums, from whom the majority of these great shots came!

    Bello, sono incredibili, e grazie sempre per tutte immagini meravigliose. Molti baci, ♥ mua-mua! I owe you big-time, my good man, and I strongly encourage readers to swing over to the forums. They’re free, well-moderated, full of fun, and they won’t give your computer any wack infections or the hantavirus. Enjoy!


    Here are the scans of the original b&w article accompanying the gatefold and color spread.

    Valentine Vixen — Nancy Jo Hooper, Miss February 1964

    February 28, 2010

    The lovely and talented Nancy Jo Hooper was, in addition to being a born model and Playboy‘s Miss February 1964, several other “Misses” as well. We will get there.


    Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

    I say she was a born model because she knows what she is supposed to be selling here — but, like any good model, she is “selling” it by dint of excellent effort, and not necessarily because she “feels” it.

    Though she oozes that kind of satisfied, curvy, cat-like sexuality that made Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor famous, Pompeo Posar said in the Playmate Book that, when he asked Nancy to give him a pose that was “a little more sexy,” she responded immediately, “But I don’t know anything about sex!” a disarmingly nervous and virginal response from a practical woman with some chutzpah and a good gift for acting, but a more bookish actual personality.


    From the heart of the old Confederacy we recently received a pair of candid snapshots and a few hopeful words, enticing enough for us to send a staffer to Savannah to meet Nancy Jo Hooper, the walnut-haired 20-year-old who was to become this February’s Playmate. Hazel-eyed Nancy Jo has lived all her life with her parents and younger sister in the same Georgia town, so small that she asked us not to name it, because if six visitors arrived at once they’d cause a traffic jam. (“Georgia Peach.” Playboy, February 1964.)

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that is bullshit and she was from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The small-town thing is true, but the Georgia part is a smokescreen, just like the name she is modeling under — it’s similar enough to her real facts to have the ring of truth, but is not quite the truth itself. Understandable subterfuge in a person trying to make a national name for herself under her real name. But I’ll get to there.


    Now a telephone-company employee, this Southern bell ringer previously clerked in a drugstore, there heard Playboy purchasers tell her she was Playmate material herself.

    Discarding daydreams of discovery, she took the initiative by sending us snapshots of herself, because, as she explained in a caramel drawl, “It occurred to me that no one from Playboy would ever find me here on his own.” (Ibid.)


    Nancy Jo’s flight to Chicago for test shots marked her first airplane trip, and her first visit to any city besides Savannah. Soft-mannered, soft-spoken and shy (“I really enjoy walking alone in the park”), well-read Nancy Jo offers the sort of attractions that could once more set armies marching through Georgia. (Ibid.)

    Also they would march to a second Civil War because of Nancy’s controversial positions on state’s rights and slave ownership. (Joke. I just thought the write-up got a little overreaching there.)


    AMBITIONS: To become a wife and mother.
    TURN-ONS: Shoes of all kinds.
    TURNOFFS: Insincerity, rudeness.
    I LOVE BEING A PLAYMATE: Because I’ll look back on it as an important experience of my youth.

    (Playmate data sheet)


    PLAY ME SOME: Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt.
    GREAT FLICKS: “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights.”
    THEY SAY I RESEMBLE: Sophia Loren. Do you think?

    Always a fan of a Brontë-loving girl. And Satchmo, too? Right on! And yes. She looks like Sophia Loren. Keep that in mind as I go on, here. Because it comes up again.

    Okay, so in a search for Nancy Jo Hooper, I ran across a post at “If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger (There’d be a lot of dead copycats),” to which I already link in my blogroll but I’m happy to provide a specific post link here. It was a critique of the lovely lighting and photography done in her spread.

    A gentleman commented to that post that he was looking for Nancy for a class reunion. He said her real name was Nancy Ann Harrison, and she was from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

    Now, if you’ve been following the comments today, you’ll see I was way off base about thinking I’d turned up the modern incarnation of a former Playmate, although I am happy to report about it because I stand by being pleased to have discovered the work of the nonetheless wonderful Ms. L. F. (at whose request posts pertaining to her have been removed.) Sure, it ended up good because I got to read some new stuff and learn some new ideas, but I was understandably gun-shy about turning up a false lead again.

    Being wrong is cool and it’s important because we are forced outside our comfort zones, given the opportunity to uncover something new and to show humility and the ability to learn from our mistakes, but, cheeseballs! I don’t want to always be the chump ringing in my buzzer only to stammer out the “incorrect” answer — being right sometimes is nice too.

    So, I dug as hard as I could this time, much more strictly with myself than last time. And I turned up the following clipping from the Spartanburg, South Carolina Herald-Journal, an article dated July 8, 1962.

    Yeah, she is the same girl, and yep, she still looks like Sophia — although the weight they give in the article is heavier than the one she listed two years later in Playboy. Either she went on a diet or the same fact-wrangler that invented her alternate name for her Playboy appearance also took liberties with her already-admirable figure.

    Ms. Harrison placed as second runner-up in the Miss Dixie pageant; first place was Rita Wilson of Humbold, Tennessee (center in the above picture), and first runner-up was Susan Woodall of Weldon, North Carolina. There were twenty girls who competed altogether in the 1962 Miss Dixie pageant.

    If you are like me and have been forced in your life, often against your will, to take your pageants seriously, or even if you are lucky enough to be unlike me and have never accidentally called the city of Patterson “a shithole” into an open mic during the Miss Apricot Fiesta competition, you may still be interested to read a little run-down of the Miss Dixie pageant rules.

    Via the amazing Pageantopolis:

    Miss Dixie (“Queen of the South”)

    This southern states regional pageant was held annually during the Fourth of July holiday in Daytona Beach (FL) since 1946. It was held by the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce. It seemed to have been discontinued in 1968.

    To be eligible for the Miss Dixie contest, the girls had to have placed first or second in another major contest and be from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas or the District of Columbia.

    They must be unmarried & between the ages of 17 and 26. Eligible Southern beauties had until June 18 (2 weeks prior) to file their applications. From 1957 onwards, the first 20 successful applications were accepted for the pageant. There were a Top 7, from which the Top 3 were announced.

    Each contestant was judged on five qualities: intellect (5%), personality (10%), appearance in evening gown (15%), talent (30%), and appearance in swim suit (30%). The judges each picked the girls they rated from first to seventh in each classification of competition. The girl with the highest cumulative point score became Miss Dixie. (source)

    Nancy qualified to enter the Miss Dixie contest by earning the title of Miss Sun Fun South Carolina, a pageant held at Myrtle Beach. She came in second in the national competition about a month before the Miss Dixie pageant, on June 9, 1962 — the winner was Ginger Poitevint of Huntsville, Alabama. Nancy made an impressive showing at the Miss Sun Fun USA contest; besides being first runner-up in the pageant as a whole, she also took top honors in the Swimsuit and Photogenic categories.

    As they are rather obviously the same gal, I can only conjecture that all that pretty airy nonsense about Georgia was malarkey the same way Nancy’s name was, although it’s easy to see how they came up with it. I assume the strategy went, keep the first name, Nancy, because it is common and easy enough to keep track of, then use Jo (like Jo-Ann) instead of Ann, though as far as Harrison instead of Hooper — actually, that one I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine. I’m out of gas on thinking I knew how this went!

    Dig the little trumpet hand puppet — super-cute. I would like to as a final grateful thought link once more to Pageantopolis , without which most of this post would’ve been boring and impossible, and the site is really great and tons of fun — I think I am going to have to start featuring more links to the work and online scrapbook of the very fun Donald West. Thanks!

    Valentine Vixen: Jessica St. George, Miss February 1965

    February 7, 2010

    Miss February 1965 was the lovely and talented Jessica St. George, the first Greek centerfold. Can I get a “hell, yeah” for my sisters across the sea? I am all for national pride, but it’s my belief that Mediterranean ladies must lay aside our ancient Greco-Roman differences and stick together when we are swarmed by A-cup blonde WASP-y types.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    Ελληνική n. – (τυπογρ.) σαλόνι, γυμνό μοντέλο του κεντρικού σαλονιού περιοδικού.
    translation:
    centerfold n. – (sĕn’tər-fōld’) a magazine center spread, especially a foldout of an oversize photograph or feature.

    The title of the article that accompanied this distinctly divergent pictorial (some shots are on one day, inside, with bad makeup, and the rest are really good and in-and-outdoors on a different day with much better styling) was, I wish I was kidding, “Greek Baring Gifts.” Ouch. I thought I made bad puns. Man. I am embarrassed for you right now, Playboy, not gonna lie. I mean, we’re still cool — but, dudes, I cannot even look at you right now.

    In the interior photographs, Ms. St. George looks a little uncomfortable. Also, the stylist seems to have slightly wonked up her eye makeup, so her left eye looks different in size or level from the right. Totally outside Ms. St. George’s control. She is doing her best to awkwardly work it despite the handicap of shitty styling. In the outdoors shots, she is more relaxed in appearance and her smile looks less stiff.


    PEOPLE I ADMIRE: Helen of Troy and President John F. Kennedy. She had complete command of men, and he was concerned about young people.

    I wonder what Ms. St. George’s opinion of his widow Jacqueline Kennedy was after her sudden marriage to Aristotle Onassis. She snatched him right out from over beloved Greek-Italian opera diva and personal patron saint Maria Callas, who most Greek- and Italian-Americans idolized, celebrating her tempestuous romance with Onassis as much as her famous chilling voice.

    I love Maria very, very much, and I used to be a big Jackie guy when I was younger, but no more. I know it’s unpopular and some people look at it as sacreligous to so much as cast a smidge of a shadow of hate on good ol’ Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy-Onassis-Polly-Wolly-Doodle-All-Day, that paragon of poise, style, Daddy Issues, and anorexia, but facts are facts.

    And at some point in time, if you are going to give a serious read to the tangled web of 1960’s social history, and Ari Onassis and his interactions with the extraordinary, talented, and occasionally scandalous women his fat, arrogant, allegedly bisexual ass managed to land, you must choose sides; my personal journey through the threads of this time and my notions of fairness in love and war lead irrevocably to me renouncing Jackie and her neurotic little sister Lee forever in favor of my Maria. Team Callas. Period.

    That was a long digression. Sorry, I get worked up. Apologies to Ms. St. George. Back to you, kiddo!


    My favorite shot from the spread.

    Jessica vows it has nothing to do with her Greek heritage, but we must admit we found just the slightest trace of chauvinism in the fact that her favorite music star is George Chakiris. (“Greeks Baring Gifts,” Playboy. February 1965.)

    A thousand times, yes. Good call, Jessica! You may know George Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican street gang the Sharks and overprotective older brother to Natalie Wood in the role of Maria in West Side Story, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1961. He was a real hottie. I always thought he was much, much better-looking than Tony, the lead.

    I wonder what he’s up to today?

    Looking back, [at 70] Chakiris is satisfied with his career. Chakiris has escorted Marilyn Monroe (he was one of the dancers) during the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he recorded several albums in the 1960s, he performed Gershwin songs for audiences in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Monte Carlo, he starred in numerous television guest roles—a spot on Hawaii Five-0 is among his favorites—and he played a villain on Dallas. He last starred [as Mr. Rochester] in a London stage production of Jane Eyre in 1997. (“A Boy Like That,” Holleran, Scott. Box Office Mojo. March 23, 2003.)

    Well, that is all some dang awesome shit, if I do say so myself. Especially being Mr. Rochester — heat!

    Ms. St. George’s ambition was to be a professional dancer and actress. No word on if she achieved her goal, but if I discover more I will update.

    Valentine Vixen: Julie Michelle McCullough, Miss February 1986

    February 5, 2010

    I am so glad to be able to share two super-special gals with you today. First, brooding and sensitive Cheryl Kubert from earlier in the day (R.I.P. and I wish her many hopefully joyful and educational returns to this earth after her unhappy retirement; that’s what reincarnation is for), the solemn, petite brunette with tall skis and deep eyes, and now — for something completely different! — ebullient and absolutely adorable blonde ray of sunshine Julie Michelle McCullough: model, actress, stand-up comedienne, and maligned-but-triumphant victim of sitcom scandal. Take it away, buttercup!


    Photographed by Arny Freytag.


    “I’ve always felt that I have little eyes, a mouth full of teeth and ears that I call elf ears. They kind of poke out.” That’s her opinion. We certainly didn’t notice any flaws when Julie McCullough showed up for our salute to The Girls of Texas last February. In fact, we tucked her ears under a Stetson and put her on the cover. It was the first time she’d ever seen a copy of Playboy.


    Although she was born in Hawaii, Julie was then, and is now, living in Texas. But as the daughter of a Marine Corps lifer, she has moved around a lot. “It bothered me when I was younger, but as I look back, I appreciate it, because it taught me how to get along with different types of people. If you make good friends, you never lose them.”


    During most of her childhood years, Julie thought she wanted to be an artist. “I really love to draw,” she says, “but I could never see myself as a starving artist. So I realized art would have to be more of a hobby than a career. And then, in high school, I started entering pageants, and I got a couple of Miss Photogenic awards. And everybody would tell me, ‘You should try modeling; You should try modeling.’ And all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Hey!'”


    Playboy’s cover picture, and the less covered picture inside the magazine, caused a furor in Julie’s home town of Allen, a rural community 26 miles north of Dallas. A local pastor, announcing that he planned to preach a sermon on the subject, was quoted as saying — we kid you not — “The easiest thing to do is jump on Julie.” He went on to say that he saw her appearance in Playboy as part of a larger problem, that of “general moral disintegration in the fiber of the nation.” (“Return of the Cover Girl,” Playboy, February 1986.)


    While working as a model, she was also honing her skills as an actress and had landed a part on television’s sitcom Growing Pains, featuring Kirk Cameron. He unfortunately shared the opinion that the easiest thing to do was jump on Julie, it seems, because he used his pull with the network to have her summarily axed off the show when he learned she had posed for Playboy, accusing the network of tacitly endorsing pornography by continuing her employment.

    Because Mr. Cameron was the breakout star of the show and a teen heartthrob who kept the network flush with sponsors (his charming smile conveniently moved hot amounts of Noxzema pads and Snickers bars to both cleanse and satisfy), they went along with his wishes and terminated the object of his objections.


    McCullough appeared in eight episodes until she was fired in 1990, which stemmed from series star Kirk Cameron’s conversion to evangelical Christianity, a conversion that, according to “The E! True Hollywood Story” episode focusing on the show, served to alienate him from his fellow cast members, as he did not invite any of them to his wedding. He accused the show’s producers of promoting pornography. (the wiki)

    Sez Ms. McCullough now:

    [Kirk Cameron] thinks if I read science books that I’m going to hell. I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints … the sinners are much more fun.* And a lot more interesting than some book-burner who is still having growing pains! I am at peace with God. Kirk thinks people like me are going to Hell; if I do, then at least I’ll go well-informed and well-read!

    (Ms. McCullough’s myspace.)

    *That is a reference to the Billy Joel song “Only the Good Die Young,” about young Virginia, a Catholic girl who starts much too late. Rock on with it, Ms. McCullough! Good people quote the Beatles. Great people quote the Beatles, Queen, and Billy Joel.

    Contemporaneous with her being fired from Growing Pains, Ms. McCullough was also stripped of her crown as Wilmington, NC’s “Azalea Queen” for posing for Playboy. Sheesh. I try to keep shit to myself, but I really feel the need to address Mr. Cameron’s and the people of Wilmington’s position on this issue. Leaving aside for now the fact that the lord decreed we enter this earth naked and that nudity is a major factor in procreation, which what good man can decry?, let us address the point where it seems people feel it ill befits a person of “good” moral fiber to celebrate the physical gift of their bodies. As a hippy-dippy meditative and soulful Christian who has thought my way deeply and thoroughly through these issues and can confidently and guiltlessly balance both Playboy and my beloved monthly The Way of St. Francis without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, loving-the-Word-but-thanking-God-for-earthly-forms-wise, I can only cite and gently suggest a review of Matthew, chapter seven.

    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the plank that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a plank is in thine own eye?


    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the plank out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin. (Matthew 7:1-7.)

    Mmm-hmm. This is an earnestly serious ethical issue. I’m not playing about the no more judging stuff. It’s just like Blessed Mother Teresa said: “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” And which one do you think Jesus would rather you worked at doing? Get with the program!

    Today, Ms. McCullough is a well-received and widely admired stand-up comedienne who continues to act.

    Some of her film and small screen credits include The Golden Girls, Beverly Hills, 90210, Jake and the Fatman, the Drew Carey Show, The Blob, and Harry and the Hendersons.

    She is also a published poetess, with a number of anthology and private publishing credits to her literary name, and she was on a basketball team with Casper van Dien of Starship Troopers fame (I ♥ Heinlein and Johnny Rico forever). According to the imdb, she began working full time in 2006 as a stand-up comedienne. She has performed, if the wiki can be trusted, at such well-known venues as the Palms in Las Vegas and the Laugh Factory in L.A. Right on!

    In conclusion, it is a widely known but nonetheless hard and bitter truth that, frankly, haters gon’ hate. All love and good wishes to Ms. McCullough and her sunny resilience!

    Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

    February 5, 2010

    Double dose today. Have to do two because I skipped writing Wednesday in order to have a blast substitute teaching at the parochial school connected to my church. Those kids were rad. Had me totally rethinking my positions on private schooling (reverse discrimination once again rears its prickly and tragically hip head and is once more promptly revealed to be as hollow as the prejudices it purports to despise).


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

    It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

    It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

    The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

    The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

    The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

    Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


    (The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

    I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

    According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





    edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

    Valentine Vixen: Barbara Ann Lawford, Miss February 1961

    February 4, 2010

    Miss February 1961 was the lovely and talented Barbara Ann Lawford. This shoot (with a few exceptions) has not got much of a story but it does have a really crisp, consistent feel to it, with some great colors and a stark simplicity that dovetails nicely with Ms. Lawford’s clear, elegant Black Irish features.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli.

    The textures of the garments in the pictures are really, really clear — look at the weave on that sweater — and their kind of warm nubbiness makes a nice constrast to the simple lines and cool, white-and-beige color scheme of the shoot. The red of her lips also stands in contrast to the ambient colors and light in the pictures, contributing to the overall unity of effect. Also, there are breasts.


    TURN-ONS: Dogs, hot fudge sundaes.
    TURNOFFS: People who judge without knowing.

    (Playmate data sheet)

    One of the features in this issue of Playboy was a short story titled “Come On Out, Daddy,” written by Bernard Wolfe. Wolfe was quite an interesting guy — he was a war correspondent for several science magazines, a Merchant Marine, and the personal secretary/bodyguard to Leon Trotsky during his time in Mexico. A prolific writer, he covered both fiction and non-fiction topics, and collaborated with jazz legend Milton Mesirow on Mesirow’s autobiography Really the Blues. Like a real-life version of Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout,* Wolfe was best known for his reams of genre-busting speculative fiction.

    His most famous and significant contribution to the literary world is his science-fiction novel Limbo (1952). Set in the 1990’s, Wolfe’s novel is the first book to describe a dystopian futureworld where cybernetics mean that humans and machines not only interact, but are symbiotic, with the limbless having robotic enhanced prosthetics, the aim being the creation of a superior hybrid species which would be overlords to the unenhanced.


    This is my favorite picture from the shoot.

    Pretty next-level shit for 1952, eh? Penguin Books wrote on the jacket of Limbo’s reprint in 1961 that it was “the first book of science-fiction to project the present-day concept of ‘cybernetics’ to its logical conclusion.” According to the wiki,

    Wolfe added heavy doses of Reichian sexual psychology, Trotskyite sociology, and Conradian literary themes like exile and primativism. Thus, Limbo is an early example of the New Wave movement in science fiction.


    Of recent years there have been some signs of a raise of interest in Wolfe who is now being read as a precursor of cyberpunk. The dustwrapper to the U.S. first edition promised the reader that Limbo was “a novel of action, suspense, adventure, science fiction, and sex.” For once this description does not overstate the case. [Limbo] includes with intself among other genres the novel of espionage, journal, dystopia, and narrative of scientific experiment. It covers an extraordinary range of texts from ribald jokes up to summaries of brainmapping and the origins of game theory.

    (Seed, David. “Deconstructing the Body Politic in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo.” Science Fiction Studies 24.2 (July 1997): 267-288.)


    Am I crazy or is that all-covered-up cover model the ONLY lovely and NOT talented little looker Joni Mattis, Hef’s special lady and social secretary for Mansion West who is infamous in the Empire for not baring all in her November 1960 gatefold appearance?

    Besides appearing as the gatefold model in February of 1961, Barby Lawford returned to cover model for September of the same year. I’m not sure if she did more modeling work after that or not: so far I am coming up goose eggs on my “what is she doing now” searches. I will come back and edit if I find out!




    *The real Kilgore Trout was named Theodore Sturgeon, and he died in 1985; I know that. I am just sayin’.

    Welcome, porny people! Now how about lending that filthy hand to a good cause?

    January 13, 2010

    First off, thanks to the — as of this writing — over 6,400 people who’ve swung by the site today! Super-cool!* I see you are being linked by a site called pussycalor.com. My thanks again to you for your visits, and a tip of my hat to the fine folks at the site referring you here for the, erm, clever wordplay in their company title (“Pussy Galore” + “hot” en español, I imagine, right? get it? … it’s a decent enough pun; I give it a 60 but I can’t dance to it).


    Dawn Richard, Miss May 1957. Photographed by Ed DeLong and David Sutton.

    However, now that you’re here, and I’ve got these vintage cheesecake Playboy centerfolds helping me hold your attention, LeVar Burton’s** twitter and I would like to bend your ear a tick on this whole Haiti earthquake and subsequent increased housing and famine catastrophe. This article in the Miami Herald details legit relief organizations through which you can help with time, money, and food donations the displaced and surviving persons affected by yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, which is unfortunately only going to compound their existing problems as a developing nation.


    Miss December 1959, Pat Sheehan. Photographed by Sam Wu.

    Those are all fine and worthy causes if you give the list a genuine spin, but I sense that if you have landed here, you are probably impatient to get on with other things, and I empathize to a point with you on the whole “utter-lack-of-attention-span” thing. (Everyone blames MTV but I think it started with cereal box-backs, because I never had cable and I’ve an awful itchy trigger finger in almost every situation) Here is the super-fast-easy way to seal the deal:


    Miss January 1957, June Blair. Photographed by Hal Adams.

    In America, text the word “HAITI” to the number 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. It will automatically come off your phone bill. How easy is that? $10 is not that much, and this is coming from an extremely broke person. So why don’t you take your hand off your dick (only for a moment, don’t worry — I’m not asking for miracles), fetch up the cell phone you’ve undoubtedly parked in your pocket, and take a second to donate even the low amount of $10 to the Red Cross’s special fund, through which, guaranteed, 100% of your donation goes to Haitian quake relief efforts. The playmates you are gawking at would be super, super impressed. That is why they are all in red: for the Red Cross. (Yes, I have so many playmate pictures saved that I was able to cull out a few scantily red-clad ones for just this entry — and even then I narrowed it to these, my faves.)


    Miss March 1957, Sandra Edwards. Photographed by Peter Gowland, a dear patron saint. Right on!

    I am not telling you how to live your life, just saying it is a quick and easy way to ease suffering while we comfortably enjoy and count ourselves lucky another carefree, nudie-pic-seeking day. Thanks for your time!



    *As I said to the Gentleman earlier today, “I have supported the porn industry for years. It’s about time they returned the favor.”

    **You’re darned-tootin’ I follow Geordi La Forge on the twitter. And I did not think it was possible he could be more of a nerd than I always imagined, but he is. He’s seen Avatar, like, five times. I almost stopped following him cause it was all he was on about for weeks. But I forgive him.

    Calendar Girls Day: Hot Mormon Muffins edition

    December 27, 2009

    I would be remiss to leave religion to the boys. Feast your eyes on baked goods and some Latter-Day Saint ladies, ladies, ladies in the “Hot Mormon Muffins” 2010 calendar!


    A new calendar pokes fun at what its creator [Chad Hardy] calls a stereotype of Mormon mothers as homemakers from another era. “Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood” features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and each month has a muffin recipe. (“Hot Mormon Muffin Calendar Debuts.” Dobner, Jennifer. Dec. 21, 2009, AOL.com news.)


    Leticia, Hot Mormon Muffin of December

    In the words of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “well-behaved women rarely make history.” Historically, change has come from those who have dared to challenge the status quo. These twelve women are doing just that. The Mormon mothers who “bare their testimony” on the pages of the Hot Mormon Muffins calendar are women who are comfortable enough in their own beliefs, and independent and brave enough to take a stand for what they believe in regardless of what others may think. (“Meet The Muffins,” on the calendar’s official site.)


    It would appear likely that the 12 moms (ranging in age from 26 to 53) appearing in “Hot Mormon Muffins” will have to watch out.

    At least one of the models has already expressed her defiance. Tami Roberts, 35, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, said she did the calendar, in part, because she wants her 3 daughters to “know that everybody is not the same and it’s OK to make your own choices.”


    Roberts read about the “Men on a Mission” calendar last year, and decided that she wanted to be a part of the new project after reading about [calendar creator Chad] Hardy’s punishment [of excommunication from the Mormon church].

    “That made me mad, I did not agree with that,” the cover model said. “The pictures are tasteful, and it’s fun. I don’t see why people can’t have a sense of humor. I just don’t think it’s a big deal!” (“Hot Mormon Muffins Calendar Features Sexy Mormon Moms, Muffin Recipes,” October 26, 2009. Zimbio.com)

    See? Not all LDS people are crazy-go-nuts. It’s just a few standouts that give the rest a bad name! (I’m looking at you, weirdo Twilight-writing crazy cat-lady, whatever your name is — I’m not taking the time to Google you.)

    Swing by the Mormons Exposed website to pick up your own copy — I may have spilled some of the “hot mormon” half of the beans, but you don’t see a word of the recipes, so hopefully that will entice you. You can also buy the “Men On A Mission” 2010 calendar, a sort of male counterpart to “Hot Mormon Muffins.” Ai!

    Orrrr you can buy this shirt in “Polygamy Pink”:

    Yeah, I guess I can see where Chad Hardy got in some trouble, but a sense of humor never killed anyone (except people who die of overdose on ether … as they say in Radioland Murders, it’s a slow, painful, uuugly way to die (then everyone laughs).)

    I guess the only compunction of guilt I have for putting this post together is that I wonder what Orson Scott Card thinks of all this … I would hate to picture him shaking his head and saying, “I am so disappointed in you, Elizabeth.”

    Oh, man, now I’m super-bummed! You can rock me to sleep tonight.