Posts Tagged ‘pinups’

The Girls of Summer: DeDe Lind, Miss August 1967

June 16, 2010

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


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

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

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

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

(“DeDe Girl.” Playboy, August 1967.)


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

(Ibid.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

(Ibid.)

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

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

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

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

A touch of HST with your plastic red, white, and blue pinwheels on the graves of the veterans we will never get back and a nice hot dog and sale on sheets at the Macy’s. Happy Memorial Day.

May 30, 2010


Hunter S. Thompson as sketched by Robert Rodriguez.

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.


It is American to be thin, you know.

The kids are turned off from politics, they say. Most of ’em don’t even want to hear about it. All they want to do these days is lie around on waterbeds and smoke that goddamn marrywanna… yeah, and just between you and me Fred thats probably all for the best.

Maybe, but I think it’d be great if you turned back on, because things really will fall in to ever greater shit the more apathetic orphans there are who set themselves adrift from current events. People in the past and up to the present have made great sacrifices for a comfortable standard of living in America and I believe strongly that we owe it to them to return the favor in the smallest ways we can, which include love, thanks, support …


Emmy Rossum in the style of the pinups popular during WWII.

… and also, and I think most importantly, we can demonstrate our empathy and gratitude by casting our votes on pertinent legislation and for compassionate and logical politicians who do not pander to the middle but appreciate a balance in their policymaking. I can get as terribly discouraged as anyone by the state of this wicked modern world but I also don’t want to give up hoping that we can make peace on earth an actuality.


The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time-and the only real difference now … is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.

Let’s don’t let that happen? And let’s don’t let this day be about materialism and stuffing our faces? I was so excited today at the end of Mass when our closing song was “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” and what was even better, it was kidlet’s first time hearing the song — she fell in love with it and she’s been belting it out about the house all day as we prepare for a barbeque for church and neighborhood friends. What a great hope that gives me for the future.


Hunter S. Thompson photographed by Al Satterwhite on the island of Cozumel, Mexico, in March 1974, while being interviewed.

Please do buck the trends of apathy and, conversely, overly-stringent, empty-rhetoric-loving, non-specifics-seeking bandwagon-jumping and instead make compassionate, well-informed voter choices. Let’s respect the veterans we remember with love today while doing our best to make sure we make fewer graves on which to place flags and flowers in the future.

All quotes come from Fear and Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72. (Serialized in Rolling Stone, 1972, and pub. by Straight Arrow Books, 1973). HST followed the campaign of George McGovern. He also commented presciently that to win the American presidency it seemed one had to be some kind of rock star these days (this is a criticism of the ever-growing circus of presidential campaigns and not of the present president, himself.)

Valentine Vixens: Inaugural edition featuring Margaret Scott

February 1, 2010

Today, instead of crawling back in to bed, I am forcing myself to find a new project that will hopefully start me writing every day again. You know me and the playmates: spoonfuls of sugar help the medicine go down! With that idea, twenty-nine rays of sunshine to light up your lonelyhearted February are headed your way: a Valentine Vixen a day. Beginning right … now.


Photographed by Baumgarth Calendar Co and purchased by Hef in 1953.

Another of Hefner’s fortunate discoveries from the well-filled files of the John Baumgarth Calendar Company in Melrose Park, Illinois was pretty-in-pink Miss February, Margaret Scott. Miss Scott’s shapely figure and ultrafeminine dressing-room set apparently made her an instant hit with the readers who purchased the third issue of Hef’s infant magazine: she became an extremely popular Playmate, drawing stacks of letters from the legions of her enthusiastic supporters. There’s even a chance that Margaret posed again under another name. See Miss April 1954. (The Playmate Book, 1996)

In April 1954, Margaret appeared as the “gatefold” model under the name Marilyn Waltz, again in a picture purchased by Hef from Baumgarth Calendar Company (rest assured, I am chasing that lead down to see more pictures or my name is not Cheesecake McVintagepants).


Photographed by Baumgarth Calendar Co.

For her first official Playboy shoot, the lovely and talented Wisconsin-born model posed again as Marilyn Waltz the following April, in 1955, as the Playmate of the Month. Why, look at that, I already have that one saved due to the fact that I was planning a thingy on vintage centerfolds in tacky capri pants — there are laughably plenty.


Photographed by Hal Adams.

Thanks to her caginess and Hugh Hefner using nudie calendar photography during the fledgling years of the magazine Marilyn/Margaret can lay claim to being one of only two women who are three-time Playmates, giving them the most appearances as centerfolds of any women to ever be featured in the magazine. (The other is Janet Pilgrim, Miss July and December 1955, and Miss October 1956.) But Marilyn did not reveal her multiple appearances for over forty years.

After Hef broadly speculated as to the similarities between Marilyn Waltz and Margaret Scott in 1996’s The Playmate Book, Marilyn contacted Playboy and confirmed that both models were her: she had posed for Baumgarth Calendar Co. as Margaret Scott when she was younger, but had posed under her real name subsequently.

Waltz received more fan mail — ironically, for her Margaret Scott appearance — than any other Playmate in 1954. Her February 1954 Margaret Scott centerfold appearance is seen as a classic. (the wiki)

Marilyn Arduth Waltz Jordan died December 23, 2006, in Medford, Oregon. She was 76.

NSFW November: Monica Tidwell, Miss November 1973

November 20, 2009

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

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


Photographed by Dwight Hooker and Bill Frantz.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Hands down my favorite picture from this pictorial.

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

NSFW November: Betty Blue, Miss November 1956

November 9, 2009

The lovely and talented Betty Blue, Playboy’s Miss November 1956, has legs that don’t take coffee breaks but lungs that do stop for a smoke or two.


Centerfold photographed by Hal Sims.

This is the only other photo from the shoot. It’s clear from the paint-splattered sleeve that the hand offering the match in both photographs is the artist’s; also, in this shot, you can see more of the charcoal sketch of her on the easel behind her. As Mark Tomlinson has pointed out, the explicit male presence in this photo set makes them slightly uninviting, and it’s one of the last where a man makes an appearance in the picture, rather than being implicit in the photograph’s composition.

I remember when I modeled for an art class, there was always a point where the professor called for the students to turn their easels to the centers, and I, or we, if I was working with another model, got to wrap our sheets around us and shuffle around seeing the drawings. There was this one deaf guy who consistently drew me like a mix between Xena and a ballerina. He was really generous about increasing breast size and upping my level of arm tone. Long story short, that’s how I know the sign for “thank you!”


RIP. She was a good soul, it seems.

Interestingly, Betty is one of the few Playmates who is a permanent resident of the Playboy family. In accordance with her wishes and at the concession of Hef, who always invited her and her husband, AVN-award-winning producer Harold Lime, to events and parties, her ashes were scattered at the grounds of the Playboy mansion in a private ceremony following her death from heart failure in 2000.