Address Dear Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60611
Wendy's Winning Ways
After reading your May Playboy Interview with Wendy Carlos, I have come to the conclusion that she is probably the most intelligent and sensitive interviewee you've ever had. Her every statement is filled with erudition and a deep understanding of the sometimes terrifying forces we may face in life. Besides which she is very attractive. I kept looking back in amazement from the text to the pictures. I can't wait to hear more of those virtuoso synthesizer performances we've come to love. Welcome back, Wendy!
Ed DeJesus, Narragansett, Rhode Island
Thank you for the Carlos interview. You have always had the reputation of shedding light in dark places, and this interview, reasoned, reasonable and compassionate, will do much to help many people. As a transgendered person myself, I have some idea of how much. I only wish I had read it 15 years ago, but I'm glad at least that people can read it now.
Linda Lee, Oakland, California
Hats off to Wendy Carlos for "coming out" in a truly joyous way. Hats off to Arthur Bell for conducting this happy and liberating interview. The taboos are breaking down, thank goodness, and we who don't fit society's mold look forward to the day when gender will not matter and sexuality will become a free expression of love between living beings. Thank you, Playboy, for bringing us one step closer to that enlightened age!
Leslie B. Oren, Olympia, Washington
I, too, am a transsexual and had sex-reassignment surgery three years ago. Back in the town where I went through most of the transition from male to female, I found that the attitudes of most people toward this subject are changing for the better. In a way, I'm sad for Wendy, because she had to disclose her secret to the world. The most successful of us, and perhaps the happiest, are those like myself whom no one will ever know about. I'm living a full and exciting life with my husband (who knows of my past) in a town where no one knows me as other than "normal." All this success is due to the love and understanding of family, friends and hundreds of others who helped me with the journey.
(Name withheld by request), Yakima, Washington
I was surprised and pleased to see that your May Playboy Interview was with a transsexual. Public understanding of this rare phenomenon can only be helped by exposing the public to courageous people such as Wendy Carlos. For persons interested in learning more about transsexualism, the Janus Information Facility (The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550) distributes informational pamphlets and referrals to experienced doctors. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the Playboy Foundation for its monetary contribution made at the time of the founding of the Janus Information Facility. The support of the Playboy Foundation enabled us to carry on this important information-giving-and-referral service when no other funds were available.
Paul A. Walker, Ph.D., Director, The Gender Clinic, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas
I read with interest your article The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Eater, by Rudolph Chelminski (Playboy, May). It further convinced me of the questionable value of a guide such as Kléber on the top-level restaurants, since Jean Didier was apparently known at every one of the restaurants he visited with your writer. I was especially surprised at the encounter at La Pyramide. Two years ago, I visited that restaurant and had two dreadful meals. Upon returning to Paris, I interviewed Didier and asked him how a restaurant such as that maintained its top rating. His answer, as published in The New York Times, was, "Sentiment." He explained that he knew La Pyramide had fallen but that Madame Point was the aging widow of one of France's great cooks and out of respect for his memory, the rating was maintained. The rating, therefore, is not much help to tourists who follow that guide and spend $50 to $60 for an inferior meal.
Mimi Sheraton, The New York Times, New York, New York
Regarding Rudy Chelminski's wonderful article, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Enter, he is a very talented fellow and I think he has done a great job.
Julia Child, Cambridge, Massachusetts
I am amazed at the way Rudy brings in a physical and, parenthetically, a sexual slant to an article on gastronomy, but it all relates. I remember years ago seeing a guy in a restaurant with his girl go through all the preliminaries, stopping, only with difficulty, before actual copulation. My wife and I have been (thanks to Rudy) to several of those restaurants, and I am all the more amazed at Didier's palate--not to say envious of his frank criticisms of chefs and waiters, which I'd never dare.
Henry R. Hope, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I am an expert in turning women on. Whoever wrote that asinine statement that hand kissing should be reserved for "a midget" or for "titled Europeans over the age of 70" (Playboy's Pipeline, "Man & Woman," May) should review his methods of seduction. I happen to know that hand kissing more often than not is quite capable of making la belle femme feel more than merely charmed.
Mark Fineman, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The reference, Mark, is to meeting strangers in public. Naturally, we see no fault in private hand kissing, provided you don't stop there.
La Belle Michele
Your May Playmate, Michele Drake, is gorgeous! Her gatefold is one of the best ever to appear in your magazine and has now become one of my all-time favorites.
S. Schmidt, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My first sighting of Michele Drake came with the Great Playmate Hunt section of your 25th Anniversary Issue. I have contemplated seeing more of her ever since. Of course, I knew you wouldn't let me down. Thanks, Playboy, for a terrific May issue. And especially for a beautiful Miss May.
Tim Wolfe, Boulder, Colorado
We, the men of Johns Hopkins University, heartily approve of your pulchritudinous pinup. After seeing Michele Drake, the California Girl, we're all headed for Stanford. She has our early vote for Playmate of the Year. Could we please have more?
The Johns Hopkins Astronomical and Girl Watching Society, Baltimore, Maryland
We suspect that yours is not an authorized campus organization. However, we can see the value in combining two apparently disparate interests. We doubt that you'll need your telescopes to appreciate this lunar landscape.
Roger Kahn's article Past Their Prime (Playboy, May) is a splendid study of aging athletes, but Kahn is remiss in omitting one of the finest examples of the genre. Archie Moore, the old Mongoose, was 45 (or older) when he held the world's light-heavyweight title. He was a fighter of such defensive skills that his handsome face remains unmarked to this day, and he possessed a punch so devastating that his record of 140 knockouts goes unchallenged.
Walter B. Dunning, Circle Pines, Minnesota
Kahn fails to mention any Nascar drivers, such as Richard Petty and David Pearson, who are both in their 40s and surely must be losing their valuable sense of depth perception, requiring instant decisions on their part, which could very well mean life or death to the aging driver, at speeds well over 100 miles per hour. And what about the aged superstar Jim Bouton, who, at 39, returned to baseball last season? Regardless of what he wrote about baseball (in his best seller, Ball Four), the knuckleballer displayed guts and determination in the four official games he pitched for the Atlanta Braves.
Michael J. McNamer, Orlando, Florida
Files On Parade
The article in the March issue of Playboy magazine (After Hours) is outstanding and we have received many, many favorable comments on it from people around the country. Unfortunately, the article does not show Rolodex® rotary files as a trademark. Rolodex Corporation values its trademarks, since they distinguish our products from competing brands and symbolize our solid reputation in the market place.
Joseph C. Crowley, Jr., Executive Vice-President, Rolodex Corporation, Secaucus, New Jersey
Sorry. We've filed that information away for future reference.
Regarding The Private Life of Marilyn Monroe (Playboy, May), Lena Pepitone should stick to domestic duties, as her own allegations smell worse than her "revelations." Perhaps Marilyn's digestive problems stemmed from the food she was served, as apparently her maid prefers dishing out slop.
Gary C. Day, Nashville, Tennessee
Your candid article brings lo light the sensitive and tortured soul of a misloved woman. Many people can't cope with being "normal," let alone being a lonely sex symbol and star. She was a sincere and genuine person who needed to be loved for herself and herself alone. I wish she weren't gone.
Bill Guyton, High Bridge, New Jersey
As far as this reader is concerned, it seems very unfair that her memory is allowed to be tarnished by the likes of Lena Pepitone and William Stadiem! Personal and private stories are best left untold. If they are published at all, leave them for the supermarket tabloids, not for Playboy. One important thing the writers of this story seemed to forget is that for all her fame, Marilyn was only human!
G. Rehm, New York, New York
To kick a lady when she's not around to defend herself seems to be the current trend. Joan Crawford has been subjected to this viciousness, as has Jayne Mansfield. If Lena Pepitone was Marilyn Monroe's friend, I'd hate like hell to meet her enemies.
John Dell, Santa Barbara, California
Why can't they let this beautiful woman rest in peace? She suffered enough scandals and gossip when she was alive--is there any end in sight? All I personally ever want to remember about Marilyn Monroe is her shining image on the screen and the electricity and sensuality she conveyed. I think this article was in very poor taste and I am shocked that it appeared in Playboy. You're usually far above this sort of gossip.
Monica Pierce, Las Vegas, Nevada
Who cares? I would rather enjoy the delicious façade that she so expertly and painstakingly projected.
Jack McDonnell, Los Angeles, California
I must admit that I haven't read an article as interesting, sad or touching in quite a long time as the one about Marilyn Monroe in your May issue. I commend Lena Pepitone and William Stadiem for the fine writing and I congratulate you for publishing the article.
James Juanitas, San Francisco, California
I feel compelled to send belated thanks for your March issue. I buy your magazine irregularly, mainly just when the fiction looks particularly fine. Both the excerpt from Joseph Heller's Good as Gold and Harlan Ellison's fantasy All the Birds Come Home to Roost are more than worth the admission price.
Neil Renton, Cleveland, Ohio
Let's hear it again, and often, from Philip Cioffari (Lady Chastity's Last Stand, Playboy, May). His fiction is fresh and delightful.
R. D. Reno, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tanks a Lot
The article I Was a Military-Industrial Complex, by Arthur T. Hadley (Playboy, May), concerning the fictitious A. T. Hadley Tank Company, is, on a superficial level, somewhat amusing. There is, however, nothing amusing about the basic dishonesty of keeping up the fiction that such a company existed when, in fact, it was not a functioning entity.
Allan S. Hjerpe, Pacoima Moat & Drawbridge Service, Topanga, California
I Was a Military-Industrial Complex is one of the most amusing articles I have ever read and I enjoyed it immensely. I wish that I had written it.
James M. Gavin, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Gavin is a retired lieutenant general of the Army, former tactics instructor at West Point and U. S. Ambassador to France from 1961 to 1963.
In reference to Reg Potterton's fine article on the Antigua outrage (Captains Outrageous!, April), I must direct you to the paragraph atop page 236 in which he remarks, "One fool wears a patch over his right eye where he was flailed by a snapping wire cable on a flogging headsail." There's no fool like one who will admit his own foolishness. I enclose a photo that you may use as you wish before forwarding it to Reggie with my regards.
Tom Corcoran, Key West, Florida
Thought you might be interested in this all-points bulletin. Apparently, more than one police officer reads Playboy.
All Points: We Respectfully Request that you Refrain from Checking on the Drivers' Licenses of Playboy Playmates Demise P. Mc Connell and Candice Loving--we are not Automated and it Impedes Necessary Traffic form Requesting Stations--the Addresses given in Articles are Correct and I believe the Description of Subjects is Obvious--the only Information we could give you would be the Driver's-License Number. Thank you for your Help.--Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
(Name And Address Withheld By Request)