Posts Tagged ‘vietnam’

R.I.P. retread — Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Happy Holidays from Cynthia Myers, Miss December 1968

November 5, 2011

Been buried in academic work, but I needed to throw out a quick, sad retread of Ms. Myers’ “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” post. Beautiful, adventurous Cynthia passed away yesterday of undisclosed causes, per Hef.

R.I.P., Ms. Myers (9/12/50-11/4/11).


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

“Wholly Toledo!” is the name of the article that accompanies the pictorial for the lovely and talented Cynthia Myers, Playboy’s Miss December 1968. Her wildly popular centerfold shot her to stardom among the troops in Vietnam, and a pinup of her is featured in the film Hamburger Hill. She has been a teen model, a television personality, played a lesbian songstress in one of the most famous camp films out there, and become an unwitting space cowgirl in her 60 years on this planet. Buckle up, because here we go!



Cynthia wrote to Playboy a few years ago, informing us that she’d like to be considered as a centerfold beauty. Assistant Picture Editor Marilyn Grabowski answered with a reminder that our Playmates must be of legal age but that Cynthia should keep in touch. She did just that.

Well, kind of.

The shoot was in June of ’68, and Ms. Meyers was born in September of ’50, but Playboy waited until Cynthia was comfortably 18 to publish her pictorial. It had become common practice for the magazine after the scandal with Elizabeth Ann Roberts.

In fact, the most recently featured “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” playmate, the fantastic Susan Bernard, was also 17 at her photoshoot and saw her spread published after she turned 18.

Posing underage for Playboy is not the only common ground between Ms. Bernard and Ms. Myers. While Ms. Bernard was featured in Russ Meyers’ cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, today’s special gal starred in his 1970 film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

I promise to have a full-out Movie Moment for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls one of these days. For my friend’s recent 31st birthday, I sent him a picture of the cast of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with him tagged as Dolly Read and me as Cynthia Myers. I explained that I originally had me as Dolly and him as Cynthia, but I switched it because it was his birthday.

You know Roger Ebert wrote it? I don’t think he ever gets to criticize a movie again.

Cynthia is pictured reading a five-year-old palmistry pamphlet about what the following year once held for her because she placed a large credulity in psychic phenomenon.

“I’ve known since I was 15 that I’d be a Playmate. It’s almost as if this had been fated to happen.” Cynthia’s penchant for precognition can be traced to her early teens.

(Ibid.)



“A junior high school friend of mine in Toledo,” she says, “was a nut on palmistry, astrology and even reading tea leaves and crystal balls. Like most people, I thought is was just a bunch of baloney. But when I began reading about prophets like Edgar Cayce, I began to realize that there are strange spiritual forces in the world undreamed of even in The Playboy Philosophy.”

(Ibid.)

Ms. Myers, I think you’d be surprised by what the Playboy philosophy can dream of.

In 1994, it was revealed that a picture from Ms. Myers’ centerfold pictorial was among several that crafty NASA jokesters have launched in to space over the years. Ms. Myers, together with Leslie Bianchini, Angela Dorian, and Reagan Wilson, was snuck in to the checklist for the Apollo 12 mission that was placed in astronauts’ suit cuff on their trip to the moon in November of 1969. Ms. Myers specifically took her space journey with astronaut Al Bean.

Don’t forget: Describe the protruberances.

Boobs : Geeks :: Horse : Carriage. I think it’s kind of funny and sweet.

And the gals didn’t just go up in the lunar landing module: they straight moon walked. The astronauts found their pictures while fulfilling their extravehicular (read: outside the module on the lunar surface) mission duties on the moon itself.


Pete Conrad got Miss September 1967, Angela Dorian, (“Seen any interesting hills and valleys?”) and Miss October 1967, Reagan Wilson (“Preferred tether partner”). Al Bean got Miss December 1968, Cynthia Myers (“Don’t forget — Describe the protuberances”), and Miss January 1969, Leslie Bianchini (“Survey — her activity”).

(“Playboy Playmates pranked into Apollo 12 mission checklists.” January 13, 2007. BoingBoing.net.)


Conrad told us in 1994: “I had no idea they were with us. It wasn’t until we actually got out on the lunar surface and were well into our first moon walk that I found them.” Bean recalled: “It was about two and a half hours into the extravehicular activity. I flipped the page over and there she was. I hopped over to where Pete was and showed him mine, and he showed me his.”

(Ibid.)

A large, color version of the shot of Cynthia that was smuggled up to the moon in the Apollo 12.

Lest we forget, the lovely and talented DeDe Lind, Miss August 1967 and, like Cynthia, one of the most popular Playmates in the magazine’s history, also rode shotgun on the Apollo 12 mission. She was in the control console, her picture labelled, “Map of a heavenly body.”

I always feel compelled when talking about the Playmate pictures and NASA to bring up the fact that my sorority’s badge is on the moon. Neil Armstrong put it there for his wife. It’s my sorority’s badge and it is on the moon. The moon that is in space. Sorry, but I get pretty cocky and excited by that. Tell a friend.

This much more recent picture of Ms. Myers just might get her kicked out of the Red Hat Society.

Can our prescient Playmate predict anything about her future? “I’m going to be an actress,” she says simply. “Notice I didn’t say ‘I’d like to be,’ but ‘I’m going to be.’ I don’t know how good I’ll be as an actress, but I’ll be one.”

(“Wholly Toledo!” Playboy. December 1968.)


Judging from her track record as a prophetess — and from her already abundant attributes — we’d like to venture a prediction of our own: Playmatehood should be just the beginning for the remarkable Miss Myers.
(Ibid.)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Happy Holidays from Cynthia Myers, Miss December 1968

December 20, 2010


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

“Wholly Toledo!” is the name of the article that accompanies the pictorial for the lovely and talented Cynthia Myers, Playboy’s Miss December 1968. Her wildly popular centerfold shot her to stardom among the troops in Vietnam, and a pinup of her is featured in the film Hamburger Hill. She has been a teen model, a television personality, played a lesbian songstress in one of the most famous camp films out there, and become an unwitting space cowgirl in her 60 years on this planet. Buckle up, because here we go!



Cynthia wrote to Playboy a few years ago, informing us that she’d like to be considered as a centerfold beauty. Assistant Picture Editor Marilyn Grabowski answered with a reminder that our Playmates must be of legal age but that Cynthia should keep in touch. She did just that.

Well, kind of.

The shot was in June of ’68, and Ms. Meyers was born in September of ’50, but Playboy waited until Cynthia was comfortably 18 to publish her pictorial. It had become common practice for the magazine after the scandal with Elizabeth Ann Roberts.

In fact, the most recently featured “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” playmate, the fantastic Susan Bernard, was also 17 at her photoshoot and saw her spread published after she turned 18.

Posing underage for Playboy is not the only common ground between Ms. Bernard and Ms. Myers. While Ms. Bernard was featured in Russ Meyers’ cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, today’s special gal starred in his 1970 film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

I promise to have a full-out Movie Moment for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls one of these days. For my friend’s recent 31st birthday, I sent him a picture of the cast of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with him tagged as Dolly Read and me as Cynthia Myers. I explained that I originally had me as Dolly and him as Cynthia, but I switched it because it was his birthday.

You know Roger Ebert wrote it? I don’t think he ever gets to criticize a movie again.

Cynthia is pictured reading a five-year-old palmistry pamphlet about what the following year once held for her because she placed a large credulity in psychic phenomenon.

“I’ve known since I was 15 that I’d be a Playmate. It’s almost as if this had been fated to happen.” Cynthia’s penchant for precognition can be traced to her early teens.

(Ibid.)



“A junior high school friend of mine in Toledo,” she says, “was a nut on palmistry, astrology and even reading tea leaves and crystal balls. Like most people, I thought is was just a bunch of baloney. But when I began reading about prophets like Edgar Cayce, I began to realize that there are strange spiritual forces in the world undreamed of even in The Playboy Philosophy.”

(Ibid.)

Ms. Myers, I think you’d be surprised by what the Playboy philosophy can dream of.

In 1994, it was revealed that a picture from Ms. Myers’ centerfold pictorial was among several that crafty NASA jokesters have launched in to space over the years. Ms. Myers, together with Leslie Bianchini, Angela Dorian, and Reagan Wilson, was snuck in to the checklist for the Apollo 12 mission that was placed in astronauts’ suit cuff on their trip to the moon in November of 1969. Ms. Myers specifically took her space journey with astronaut Al Bean.

Don’t forget: Describe the protruberances.

Boobs : Geeks :: Horse : Carriage. I think it’s kind of funny and sweet.

And the gals didn’t just go up in the lunar landing module: they straight moon walked. The astronauts found their pictures while fulfilling their extravehicular (read: outside the module on the lunar surface) mission duties on the moon itself.


Pete Conrad got Miss September 1967, Angela Dorian, (“Seen any interesting hills and valleys?”) and Miss October 1967, Reagan Wilson (“Preferred tether partner”). Al Bean got Miss December 1968, Cynthia Myers (“Don’t forget — Describe the protuberances”), and Miss January 1969, Leslie Bianchini (“Survey — her activity”).

(“Playboy Playmates pranked into Apollo 12 mission checklists.” January 13, 2007. BoingBoing.net.)


Conrad told us in 1994: “I had no idea they were with us. It wasn’t until we actually got out on the lunar surface and were well into our first moon walk that I found them.” Bean recalled: “It was about two and a half hours into the extravehicular activity. I flipped the page over and there she was. I hopped over to where Pete was and showed him mine, and he showed me his.”

(Ibid.)

A large, color version of the shot of Cynthia that was smuggled up to the moon in the Apollo 12.

Lest we forget, the lovely and talented DeDe Lind, Miss August 1967 and, like Cynthia, one of the most popular Playmates in the magazine’s history, also rode shotgun on the Apollo 12 mission. She was in the control console, her picture labelled, “Map of a heavenly body.”

I always feel compelled when talking about the Playmate pictures and NASA to bring up the fact that my sorority’s badge is on the moon. Neil Armstrong put it there for his wife. It’s my sorority’s badge and it is on the moon. The moon that is in space. Sorry, but I get pretty cocky and excited by that. Tell a friend.

This much more recent picture of Ms. Myers just might get her kicked out of the Red Hat Society.

Can our prescient Playmate predict anything about her future? “I’m going to be an actress,” she says simply. “Notice I didn’t say ‘I’d like to be,’ but ‘I’m going to be.’ I don’t know how good I’ll be as an actress, but I’ll be one.”

(“Wholly Toledo!” Playboy. December 1968.)


Judging from her track record as a prophetess — and from her already abundant attributes — we’d like to venture a prediction of our own: Playmatehood should be just the beginning for the remarkable Miss Myers.
(Ibid.)

Talk nerdy to me: Art of the Nerd

June 18, 2010

‘Nam-native Beetle-Bailey ear-necklace update: I still suck.

But seeing me hunched over and going through a ream of paper trying to do studies inspired kidlet to grab one of her own most recent “commissioned pieces,” the last assigned coloring project she had before school ended. Speaking of Jurassic Park and bloodthirsty drawings:

When she first brought it home, knowing what a girly-girl she can often be, I asked naively, “Is your T. Rex a girl dinosaur? With lipstick and fingernails?” She gave me a long-suffering, how-sad-that-my-mother-is-Grimace-from-Ronald-McDonaldland expression and said, “Mommy. Tyrannosaurus Rex was a killer. That is blood.”

Check. It was already all cut out so we put it on a couple popsicle sticks so she could use him as part of her various paper puppet shows.

Think about it: wouldn’t every single puppet show you’ve ever seen have been improved by the introduction of a tyrannosaur? It’s like a recipe for Imaginary Awesome and you just kicked it up a notch. T. Rexes are truly the paprika in the potato salad of the toybox.

So I was trying my hand yet again at drawing Beetle. The problem is I want his shirt open to display the necklace to best advantage as well as convey how unhinged he’s become, but both the open shirt and his chest itself are giving me trouble as far as drawing them as simply but representatively as possible, and I can only imagine my plan for his right hand to be flashing a peace sign will also end in tears. Meanwhile, kidlet, like I said, went and fetched her T. Rex puppet.

She made “Blarrrghhh, Gahrrrrr, Rawrrrrr” kind of noises at me from the other side of the table, kneeling so only the puppet showed and, when that did not sufficiently distract me, she snuck up beside me and pounced, pretending the dinosaur was biting my hand (very convincing flesh-tearing noises accompanied this move), and I said, “You’re very scary, but I’m kind of in the middle of this. Why don’t you go eat a Barbie? We can play later. Promise.”


First the T. Rex turned his cap backward, then they started the arm-wrestling. If you do not understand this humorous reference and you want to get in on the cheesey action flick joke, rent Over the Top (Menahem Golan, 1987). Don’t necessarily buy it though, heh.

Kidlet danced the dinosaur away, making stomping noises with her feet to simulate his weight stalking out of the room, then stuck the puppet back around the corner and said loudly in a deep, ominous voice, “You haven’t seen the last of Tyrannosaurus Rex!!”

I said, “I’m pretty sure I have, actually.” Extinction is a bitch. But the whole exchange cracked me up and lightened my mood. She’s so wonderful. I don’t know where she came from but I’m damned lucky she’s here.

Lastly, the best thing I have ever seen, a comic panel that never fails to cheer me up:


via

Everything is right in that picture. Especially how psyched the tyrannosaur pilot looks. I told you: they are the paprika in the recipe of AWESOME!

All apologies

June 18, 2010

Where is this afternoon going? Super-sorry. I know I’ve been poo about posting up the usual shenanigans today — no Blake, no Girl of Summer, no Batman, like practically nothing at all yet — but I was fully absorbed in a project this morning. Must’ve been all this Vietnam talk lately, but I basically woke up today with only one goal on my mind:

Draw Beetle Bailey with a necklace of human ears.


Reference image.

Not in a funny way. In a dark and serious, satirical but sad way, like to make a point.

Way harder than it sounds, as it turns out. Reminds me of this great idea I had a few months back for a single-panel comic of a rat in hawaiian shirt and boater hat with a little cane and tiny specs, standing upright, top legs like arms spread grandly, saying, “Welcome — to Thoracic Park!” And the rat-John Hammond saying this was to be inside a rotting human rib cage along with little precious mousey-rat versions of Doctors Sattler, Grant, and Malcolm, and it would have been wonderful (is there a name for what’s wrong with me?) but for the ass-huge stumbling block of my complete inability to transfer the idea in as effective a way as I’d hoped from mind to paper. Blocked it fifteen different ways and it never gelled.


It’s the end of the world as we know it. Did You Know?

Looks like that’s going to be the story with Beetle going Apocalypse Now-style native. Another for the Fail tray. I’m going to try a little more later today. Keep you posted.

I hate it when my ambition oustrips my art skills. Blarg.

Music Moment: There’s no tomorrow — The Mighty Hannibal, “Hymn No. 5”

June 16, 2010

If you skip the Music Moments normally … don’t skip this one. Banned from the airwaves and all-but-lost to obscurity, this song is one of the best Vietnam tell-it-like-it-is protest songs and one of the greatest soul singles I have heard in recent memory, period.

The Mighty Hannibal — “Hymn No. 5”


I wrote my baby from Vietnam
and this is what I said,

“I want to see you
(You know that)
I want to see you
I want to see you
(Yes I do, now)
Yes, I do.


via northern soul in the u.k.

“Sleeping in these foxholes
Hungry and cold
I had a dream last night

I dreamed I saw you
(You know that I)
I dreamed I saw you
(Yes, I did, yeah)
I dreamed I saw you
(Yeah, I want to say that I)
(I dreamed, a dream)
Yes, I did.”


I want somebody
to tell my mother
And go down yonder in Georgia
and tell my father
that I’m way over here
crawling in these trench-holes,
covered with blood,
but one thing that I know:


There’s no tomorrow,
There’s no tomorrow,
There’s no tomorrow —
they’ll bury me.


I want everybody
in the sound of my voice this evening
to help me sing this hymn number five.

I want you to moan one time.
(humming chorus)


Sometimes I wonder,
I wonder what was it that I did?
I tried to be a good father,
I did the best that I could.
And I wonder, who’s going to take care of my kids?
I’m a long way from home, children.

But I want the world to know
the one thing that I did.
I’m gone for good.


via American Ethnography: Vietnam Zippos.

“Hymn No. 5” was banned from stateside radio-play lickety-split for its “controversial” lyrics. I searched high and low on the internet for those incendiary, heartfelt lyrics, but no go. So, fuck you, censorious witchhunt world of the late 60’s and paranoid early 70’s played out across this present world wide web, because I’m not as lazy as you suppose — I’m typing them out myself. (see above.)


The protest in ’71. The largest of its kind.

From the infinitely worthy Soul Shack:

The Mighty Hannibal is one of those Soul artists that is wrongfully obscure. The world of popular music is filled with myth building, myths sometimes becoming truth, facts obscured. A handful of people these days remember Hannibal. The kind of people who like to hang out in dusty record shops, swap endless amounts of stories and usually useless little facts about obscure and forgotten Soul singers that are God’s gift only in our minds.

(“Platters That Matter: Hymn No. 5.” January 9, 2008.)


from photographer Declan McCullagh, “A dilapidated section of Hue’s citadel, site of major Vietnam War battle involving U.S. Marines and U.S. Army calvary regiments, slowly being rebuilt.”

Hannibal’s “Hymn No. 5” is in my opinion an exception. It is one of those few obscure Soul records that should be saved from forgetfulness. “Hymn No. 5” is both a record of rare beauty and relevance.

(Ibid.)



With the war in Iraq still taking young lives on a daily basis I feel it is important that art like this is remembered. It is through art that we understand the true atrocities of war. If we left it up to our politicians war would be narrowed down to one-liners and personal interest. The news may gives us the facts, photographers may give us the images, but art gives us the personal implications. A song like “Hymn No 5” allows us to feel what war means, allows us to forget the bullshit of the politicians, the confusing statistics scientists use, transcend the daily cold news and actually feel what war does to people. Art allows us to experience the very human consequence of war.

(Ibid.)

Quoted in full because I could not have articulated it as well. A thousand thanks.

The Mighty Hannibal was initially active in the West Coast soul scene, working with Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive,” “Harlem Nocturne”) and Johnny “Guitar” Watson (“Gangster of Love”) before launching his own less-than-widely-known but well-appreciated solo career. Born James Timothy Shaw, the Mighty Hannibal grew up with his folks Corrie Bell and James Henry Shaw in Atlanta, GA and then eventually wung his way West. (Can we put a permanent ban on calling it “Hotlanta?” Can that be done?)


Vernon Jordan.

I mention Mr. Shaw’s family as a roundabout and oblique way of announcing that we are coming up on twenty-three years since the overdose/drowning death of AIDS-stricken early porn-and-free-speech crusader Althea Flynt. (Seems random. Bear with me because everything is related and everything is falling apart.) The Mighty Hannibal’s first cousin, the famous lawyer, civil rights crusader, and all-around controversial dude Vernon Jordan (pictured above) has a common bond with Althea’s husband, never-once-controversial-a-day-of-his-life-wink-wink, the paraplegic and litigious Hustler mastermind, Mr. Larry Flynt (pictured below): they have both survived assassination efforts by murderous racist fuckface Joseph Paul Franklin.

For the record, Franklin —and hell, no, I am not throwing up a link to his attention-seeking, Aryan Nations-loving, hopefully-daily-reamed-out butthole; if you want to know more, wiki his sick ass — has never been tried for either of their attempted murders, though he has confessed. He currently sits on Death Row in Missouri, a sentence for which he thanked his jury, assuring them that if they had not condemned him, he would only escape and keep killing in the name of race wars. Also he was a big fan of the Beltway Snipers, who took their cues from his methodology. He was probably pretty surprised when they turned out to be of a heritage he thought was going to Hell. In his face. So, yeah, that dickhead’s on Death Row now. Uh, good? I guess? Not sure that killing him is the solution, although I understand it will satisfy a need for vengeance (which they’ll call “closure” and I deeply understand why because of some of my own shit but it still sits uneasy with me) on the part of his victims’ families. But still. What the good Lord makes of all that is anyone’s guess.


You are all like, why is this a picture of Larry and Althea Flynt and not of Joseph Paul Franklin, and I am all like, “Because I don’t support pathological interest in killers. How about focusing on the people whose lives they interrupted? Go somewhere else if that’s what you want, you stupid, sick fuck, and I hope you never endure the type of loss it will apparently take to snap you out of your ignorant murderer-worshiping, celebrity-and-violence-driven stupor.” If you’re offended by all that, then PLEASE feel free never to return to this journal.

When you stack Franklin’s heinous crimes — which I am not happy to have even touched upon in this entry but I did want to bring the fact of Mr. Jordan’s and Mr. Shaw’s blood relationship to your attention as they are both forthright guys who are serious about civil rights and speaking the truth no matter how ugly it is — up against the subject of this song, hate piled upon hate … it is difficult to even understand where the good can come from on this earth. There is evil in the big picture just as much as the devil is in the details. Genocide and crime and blood and war on one another, which can only be against God’s plan? ought they must be?, stalk every continent. There’s no tomorrow.

Yikes. In reviewing this, I guess it seems that foul mood of earlier today has not yet passed. Super-sorry. Kickass song, though, right? And again, please do scope out the awesome Soul Shack.

William Blake Month: Fathers and Friends; Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors

June 16, 2010


Photographed by Giasco Bertoli. Ladies’ Gun Club. The term is “Firearms enthusiast.” Never “Gun Nut.”

Forth from the dead dust rattling bones to bones
Join: shaking convuls’d the shivering clay breathes
And all flesh naked stands; Fathers and Friends;
Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors;


The Grave is a woman in Blake’s vision. cf: Kali, Shiva, Sekhmet, feral cats who eat their kittens, bathtub ladies from Texas making little angels to be the stars in their hellbound crowns — the Mother/Destroyer, yes? Just like Earth. Just like life.

The Grave shrieks with delight, & shakes
Her hollow womb, & clasps the solid stem;
Her bosom swells with wild desire;
And milk & blood & glandous wine,
In rivers rush & shout & dance,
On mountain, dale and plain.
The SONG of LOS is Ended

(William Blake, excerpt from “The Song of Los.”)

“The Song of Los” is the last of Blake’s so-called Continental Prophesies, where he shared his visions of the future for America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The excerpt just quoted concludes his prophecy for Asia and Africa.

Golly, good thing Blake was wrong, am I right. Agony and apocalypse, with naked children and flames and howls and shivering clay? In Africa and Asia? What a nut. How off base.

Ugh. Sorry, but as much as I enjoyed putting together DeDe Lind’s post, her comments about the Vietnam War and my subsequent reflections on those words with the ramifications of her centerfold’s popularity has resulted in a chain of thought about the twentieth century and where we’ll go next that has put me in kind of a foul mood. I will try to improve.




Catholic Charities donations for aid to orphans in Asia, wherein if you click through you can specifically target children in Vietnam. (It is very difficult to provide accounted-for aid there due to the corruption of many alleged non-profits run-roughshod-over by the government in their headquarters of what is now called Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — but I know from long interactions that this branch of this particular outfit is trustworthy.)

The International Red Cross/Red Crescent, click through to see about making donations to help efforts to feed the starving children in the Sudan.

Is your guilt assuaged? Mine’s not. Not just yet.

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!

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: The essentials

March 12, 2010


Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam.

Sam Haskins Month, Day 16: More Gill because I can

December 16, 2009

Sam basically discovered Gill. She was one of his favorite models, and I think it’s reflected in the work they put out together. This series of shots comes again from Five Girls.

Click the pic to see it big.

Gill was an art student in Johannesburg in the early sixties. Not a professional model, she just walked into the studio one day and was a total natural in front of the camera.

There were stories of Vietnam soldiers taking copies of Five Girls (often gifted to them by their wives or girlfriends) to war, so Gill was also a Vietnam pinup. The fan mail generated by Five Girls in the 60s included letters from both men and women. (Sam Haskins’ blog, entry dated 21 April 2008)