This Fourteenth Holiday Anniversary issue is 230 pages fatter--and will be purchased by close to 5,000,000 more readers--than the first undated playboy, which appeared on newsstands in December 1953. A goodly share of the credit for this bright circumstance belongs to those writers who make the magazine a compendium of thought-provoking and lighthearted entertainment month after month--which is why, for more than a decade, we have annually awarded bonuses of $1000 to the authors of the previous year's best articles and stories. The editors' award in fiction for 1967 goes to Isaac Bashevis Singer for his powerful December tale, The Lecture. The 63-year-old author's first story with a New World setting was his third Playboy contribution and appeared as accolades poured in from every major literary review for his fifth novel, The Manor. Irwin Shaw, Gerald Green and Len Deighton, too, were singled out for especially brilliant fictional efforts last year. Our gala December issue also produced first-prize pieces in two of the three remaining award categories: John Kenneth Galbraith's first playboy article, Resolving Our Vietnam Predicament, the editors agreed, combined the economist's elegant prose with pellucid logic on America's most explosive topic: and Jean Shepherd's The Return of the Smiling Wimpy Doll was deemed funnier not only than his two other 1967 contributions but also than any of the year's other pieces of humor or satire. Runners-up in the nonfiction category were Nat Hentoff (the 1966 winner in the genre), Paul Goodman and Rolf Hochhuth. Shepherd has won our top humor honors three years in succession now, confirming what our mail has shown since his first Playboy piece was published in June 1964: The pride of Hammond, Indiana, is one of the funniest penmen in the business. Editors voted H. Allen Smith, Richard Armour and Marvin Kitman next in order of mirth for pieces published during 1967. Last January, we initiated a fourth award: the best work--be it fiction, nonfiction or humor--by a new contributor. In close balloting, our 1967 $1000 bonus went to Rafael Steinberg, who described a poignant Korean War episode in May's Day of Good Fortune. The story was the Far Eastoriented free-lancer's first published fiction. Jacob Brackman, Frank Robinson and G.L. Tassone were also judged uniquely talented new Playboy voices.
Playboy, January, 1968, Vol. 15, No. 1. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc., Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada. $20 for three years, $15 for two years. $8 for one year, elsewhere add $4.60 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Associate Advertising Manager, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, MI 2-1000, Detroit, Joseph Guenther, Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, YU 2-7994; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Once again, our Eleventh-Hour Santa (on page 187) is an auspicious assemblage of lavish last-minute Christmas bounty. Should your shopping list, however, include a few hard-to-please types who deserve a token of your esteem even more original than those pictured in that feature, we present herewith our annual supplementary list of offbeat booty designed to delight the most jaded recipient.
Speaking volumes for the intelligence of both the giver and the recipient is the gift of a book. And no area of Christmas largess can cater to so wide a variety of interests. Herewith, a select sampling to help one celebrate and cerebrate:
When a movie sets out to lampoon war, war heroes and patriotism in general, as does Richard Lester's How I Won the War, it has to be better than just good; it must be superbly satiric to avoid the long knives of the jingoists on the one hand and the hatchets of disappointed sympathizers on the other. Unfortunately, Lester's new film is so far from even good that he is bound to get it from both sides. After the flash and panache of A Hard Day's Night and The Knack, he seems to feel that his freewheeling narrative form is appropriate to all themes and occasions; and the lamentable flattening of the fun in his A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum apparently has not caused him to think otherwise. There is an arrogance here, a determination to be clever at all costs--but neither arrogance nor cleverness is quite the proper psychological ground for launching a bitter exposé of the stupidities and brutalities of modern warfare. Based on a novel by Patrick Ryan, the film follows the adventures of a British platoon led, ineptly, by young Michael Crawford from the rigorous desert campaign in North Africa to the crossing of the Rhine in France. Although Crawford keeps a sparrowlike eye cocked for the safest way to win the War, somehow his bestlaid battle plans always end up with somebody--usually one of his own men--getting killed, and generally gorily. Even John Lennon, on temporary leave from the Beatles, dies suddenly and ingloriously in action--before he's had a chance to prove his capabilities as an actor--his guts ripped open by enemy gunfire. This may be what passes today for black comedy, and Lester obviously thinks it is; but Charles Wood's heavy-handed script, for all its iconoclastic barbs at Churchill, Montgomery, Patton, et al., is written all wrong to make it work. And Lester relentlessly stages an ultrarealistic version of combat; his men the too vividly to make the film anything but fitfully funny. Add to this an almost unintelligible sound track--even the English are said to be having difficulty understanding it--plus some color tricks that seem egregiously out of place, and the picture becomes more an experiment in tasteless exhibitionism than the scathing antiwar statement that Lester, as generously quoted in the press, apparently intended. "If I were hit by a truck tomorrow," he stated in one such interview, "I'd wish to be judged on this film." We wish him better than that.
A profusion of sumptuous sounds this season makes the giving and the getting of recorded bounty delightfully simple and simply delightful. Foremost and most formidable among the offerings is Westminster's two-volume, 12-LP production of Mozart's Symphonies performed by the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London under the baton of Erich Leinsdorf. Although rechanneled for stereo, the recordings are sonically splendid. But for dazzling reproduction, we recommend William Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra playing the nine Beethoven Symphonies. The eight-LP Command package is overwhelming in its aural impact. Handel's Organ Concertos (Archive) is yet another treat for the ear. Eduard Müller is the organist and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis is under the direction of August Wenzinger. The five-record set is exceptional in performance and packaging. Equally engaging is Vivaldi's "La Cetra" (Philips)--12 concerti for strings and continuo (in this case, organ)--which features the chamber orchestra I Musici and the solo violin of Felix Ayo. The works are exquisitely perfected miniatures.
Harold Wonder (Jerry Orbach), the hero of Bruce Jay Friedman's first play, Scuba Duba, thinks of himself as a "warm, glandular human being," an expert on pressure points and erogenous zones and a liberal on racial matters. Actually, Harold is a flop--even on erogenous zones. He and his wife have rented a villa on the Riviera, and as the play begins, she has run off with a scuba diver, a Negro scuba diver. His masculinity challenged, his liberalism put to the crucial test, Harold responds by blowing his cool. "Spade frogman" is the nicest thing he calls the diver, and his other epithets would make Lester Maddox blanch. Desperate for commiseration, he phones his mother in New York and an analyst friend in France (who comes running over with a fat tart in tow) and finally settles down to converse with the girl (Brenda Smiley) in the villa next door. While wearing a tiny bikini that keeps threatening to disappear, she regales him with wild tales of her Candyish sex life. This is a grab bag of a play, not so different except in language from many Broadway comedies and a cut below Friedman's black-comic novels. It stoops, too often, for the easy laugh and the "in"-name drop. In the second act, however, Friedman gets down to business--the business of showing up Whitey. The wife returns--with two Negroes: the sassy scuba diver (who is Harold's wish fulfillment of a cuckolder) and the real rival, a mild-mannered poet named Ambrose. This loss of a target unnerves Harold, until the poet coughs. "He's colored and he's coughing," says Harold, and with true Fried-manish logic, he accuses, "He's a colored cougher!" Novelist Friedman is still a playwright-in-progress, but his star is a fully formed comic. Charging around the villa in a floppy bathrobe, waving a scythe to ward off future invaders like Father Time in a fit of paranoia, Orbach captures the essence of the hapless Harold, the self-made loser whose only real weapon is his tongue. At the New Theater, 154 East 54th Street.
You can still beat the crowds to a region whose cosmopolitan cities and white-sanded strands are destined to make it a major retreat for the international set: South America's mid-Atlantic coast. Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina have been quietly constructing elegant tourist facilities to keep pace with the area's increasing popularity; plan to jet there before the big ballyhoo begins.
In a time that encourages and handsomely rewards the specialist and the technician, Norman Mailer has refused to mine the secure, predictable lode of fame as a best-selling novelist--a lode that seemed his for the asking after his gritty, outspoken "The Naked and the Dead" was hailed by one critic on its publication in 1948 as "the greatest war novel produced in this century," earned first place on the best-seller list and its author found himself internationally famous at 25. Instead, Mailer has chosen to lead--both as a writer and as a man--a full-blooded, often dangerous life of trial and error and, above all, of growth. His literary output is varied, Gargantuan and unpredictable. The author of nine books, he has been a poet, autobiographer, short-story writer, theologian, polemicist, essayist, political analyst, science-fiction writer, cultural prophet, columnist, book reviewer, dramatist, moralist and architectural critic--while remaining one of the handful of important living novelists; his next-to-last novel, "An American Dream," despite mixed critical reception, was a 1965 best seller. Recognition of his contributions to American literature earned him election last spring to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the honor society in the arts. His latest novel, "Why Are We in Vietnam?," was greeted this past fall with the customary mixed chorus of praise and vituperation--hardly any of it moderate in tone.
I was born out of wedlock--the son of Franklin Faxon Taylor and Gretchen Shurz Oxencroft, his onetime secretary. I have not met my mother for several years, but I can see her now--her gray hair flying and her fierce blue eyes set plainly in her face like the water holes in a prairie. She was born in an Indiana quarry town, the fourth and by far the plainest of four daughters. Neither of her parents had more than a high school education. The hardships and boredom of the provincial Middle West forced them into an uncompromising and nearly liturgical regard for the escape routes of learning. They kept a volume of the complete works of Shakespeare on their parlor table like a sort of mace. Her father was a Yorkshireman with thick lightbrown hair and large features. He was slender and wiry and was discovered, in his 40s, to have tuberculosis. He began as a quarry worker, was promoted to quarry foreman and then, during a drop in the limestone market, was unemployed. In the house where she was raised there was a gilt mirror, a horsehair sofa and some china and silver that her mother had brought from Philadelphia. None of this was claimed to prove lost grandeur or even lost comfort, but Philadelphia! Philadelphia!--how like a city of light it must have seemed in the limestone flats. Gretchen detested her name and claimed at one time or another to be named Grace, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Gertrude, Gabriella, Giselle and Gloria. In her adolescence, a public library was opened in the village where she lived and through some accident or misdirection, she absorbed the complete works of John Galsworthy. This left her with a slight English accent and an immutable clash between the world of her reveries and the limestone country. Going home from the library one winter afternoon on a trolley car, she saw her father standing under a street lamp with his lunch pail. The driver did not stop for him and Gretchen turned to a woman beside her and exclaimed: "Did you see that poor creature! He signaled for the tram to stop, but the driver quite overlooked him." These were the accents of Galsworthy in which she had been immersed all afternoon, and how could she fit her father into this landscape? He would have failed as a servant or gardener. He might have passed as a groom, although the only horses he knew were the wheel horses at the quarry. She knew what a decent, courageous and cleanly man he was and it was the intolerable sense of his aloneness that had forced her, in a contemptible way, to disclaim him. Gretchen--or Gwendolyn, as she then called herself--graduated from high school with honors and was given a scholarship at the university in Bloomington. A week or so after her graduation from the university, she left the limestone country to make her fortune in New York. Her parents came down to the station to see her off. Her father was wasted. Her mother's coat was threadbare. As they waved goodbye, another traveler asked if they were her parents. It was still in her to explain in they accents of Galsworthy that they were merely some poor people she had visited, but instead she exclaimed: "Oh, yes, yes, they are my mother and father."
Once upon a time, a very ordinary young man, the son of a well-to-do merchant, got a sudden flash of insight. Though friends were shocked and relatives dismayed, he junked his expensive wardrobe and walked out of his father's opulent home to spend the rest of his life singing and telling people about God and love. Lots of people still think Saint Francis of Assisi was some kind of nut. He wanted everybody to stop trying to get rich and to live in joyous poverty. He refused to make any provision for the next day, since he thought that would cast doubts on God's beneficence. He looked with contempt on book learning and put his trust in feelings. He annoyed the religiously orthodox by preaching to the birds, composing canticles to the sun and pandering a whimsical kind of pantheism. Yet he was eventually made a saint.
<p>So Pete Crocker, the sheriff of Barnstable County, which was the whole of Cape Cod, came into the Federal Ethical Suicide Parlor in Hyannis one May afternoon--and he told the two six-foot Hostesses there that they weren't to be alarmed, but that a notorious nothinghead named Billy the Poet was believed headed for the Cape.</p>
When all is said and drunk, the toasts remembered longest are the toasts that taste best. Long after the single syllable "Cheers" and the dissyllabic "Here's t' ye" and the clever New Year's Eve offerings of the silver-tongued toastmasters have gone up and down the hatch, the mouth will yearn for the mellow but stunning flavor of a holiday bourbon rum punch swirling around a big block of ice. The bacchanalian spell is now upon us and an overflowing river of champagne fills bumpers everywhere with the most eminent and easiest of all liquid pledges. At the yearend holidays, particularly, the arbiter bibendi should be on his guard against the make-believe carbonated white wines that suddenly show up on liquor shelves dressed up to look like champagne and that hope to pass unnoticed in the busy revels. There are great bubbly wines, such as the German sparkling Sekt and the Italian asti spumante; but when that magic wishing hour of midnight rolls around and champagne is to be offered, remember the old toast, "May all your pain be sham pain and all your champagne real." And in the name of good toastmanship, we would add, "May all your Scotch be at least eight years old and preferably twelve, may your bourbon be the smoothest, your gin the clearest, your rum worthy of a yo-ho-ho and your vodka the cleanest tasting this side of the Volga."
Once each year a small fete occurs at my local NBC, CBS or ABC television studio. I am invited for my annual love match with the new producers and vice-presidents, who shake my hand dine me well and cry:
Stella Stevens made her debut as a Playmate in January 1960, as she was graduating from walk-ons to stardom, in Hollywood's Li'l Abner. January 1968 finds the iconoclastic sex star, comedienne and aspiring songwriter from Memphis more delectable--if that's possible--more serious about her craft, more in demand than ever. Stella's upcoming roles include that of a gangster's ex-mistress in a thriller with David McCallum (Sol Madrid); a working girl who snares Dean Martin in a romantic spoof (How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life); and a with-it nun who clashes with her mother superior, Rosalind Russell (Where Angels Go ... Trouble Follows). To help bring in the New Year, Miss Stevens took time out to bare--among other things--her latest thoughts on acting, nudity and hippies.
In Mexico city, the bars close at two A.M. Those who are serious about their drinking and not mere dilettantes move on to the bordellos, where life plays on into the dawn. At Tia Serafina's, for instance, there is an excellent bar and passable mariachis. I had come into Serafina's about three o'clock one morning. The place was jammed. There were 20 Mexicans and half a dozen American tourists, like myself, who had gotten off the Chapultepec-Palace-Xochimilco-run-out-to-the-Pyramids tour.
Several Months Ago, I received what appeared to be the biggest assignment of my career. The editors of a leading biweekly national magazine sent me a classified ad from The Wall Street Journal announcing that the Turkish government was offering to sell a surplus battleship named the Sultan Yavuz Selim. (I later learned the Turks called it by the diminutive "Yavuz," much the way Americans refer to the U.S.S. Missouri as the "Mo.") The Yavuz was moored at the Poyraz wharf, the Golcuk naval base, in Turkey, waiting for the highest bidder.
The First Encounter between Earthman and alien is one of the oldest and most hackneyed themes of science fiction. Indeed, it has now become such a cliche that "Take me to your leader" jokes are perfectly familiar even to those benighted souls who have never read a word of science fiction in their lives.
Connie Kreski has patterned her life style on the maxim carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero--enjoy today, trust little to tomorrow. Miss January, who doesn't claim to be a Latin scholar, interprets this as a call to the active pursuit of pleasure. "I want to get out into the world and see and do everything I possibly can," she says. When she was accepted as a Playmate, therefore, 20-year-old Connie acted on two of her immediate priorities: She moved into her own pad in suburban Detroit (her home town) and then flew off to London for two weeks. "London swings just as much as I heard it did--maybe even more," Miss January reports. "Just shopping for clothes could have taken up all my time if I'd let it--the Mod shops in Knightsbridge sell the wildest outfits I've ever seen." Now the possessor of a half-dozen new microskirts, Connie is one member of the young generation who doesn't believe in never trusting anyone over 30: "Men that age usually have resolved their hangups and are confident enough to be themselves. And that's fine with me, for it allows me to be myself." And what is that self? Says the 5' 5" beautiful blonde, "Just a girl who wants to live life to the hilt for the next ten years or so and afterward settle down to raise a family."
It was a thoughtful day for Dr. Braun. Winter. Saturday. The short end of December. He was alone in his apartment and woke late, lying in bed until noon, in the room kept very dark, working with a thought--a feeling: Now you see it, now you don't. Now a content, now a vacancy. Now an important individual, a force, a necessary existence; suddenly nothing. A frame without a picture, a mirror with missing glass. The feeling of necessary existence might be the aggressive, instinctive vitality we share with a dog or an ape. The difference being in the power of mind or spirit to declare I am. Plus the inevitable inference I am not. Dr. Braun was no more pleased with being than with its opposite. For him an age of equilibrium seemed to be coming in. How nice! Anyway, he had no project for putting the world in rational order, and for no special reason he got up. Washed his wrinkled but not elderly face with freezing tap water, which changed the nighttime gray to a more agreeable color. He brushed his teeth. Standing upright, scrubbing the teeth as if he were looking after an idol. He then ran the big old-fashioned tub to sponge himself, backing into the thick stream of the Roman faucet, soaping beneath with the same cake of soap he would apply later to his beard. Under the swell of his belly, the tip of his parts, somewhere between his heels. His heels needed scrubbing. He dried himself with yesterday's shirt, an economy. It was going to the laundry anyway. Yes, with the self-respecting expression human beings inherit from ancestors for whom bathing was a solemnity. A sadness.
When the crashing stock market tolled the death knell of the brash, baby-faced flapper, Peruvian-born Alberto Vargas had already spent a dozen years capturing on canvas the myriad charms of American beauties. His career began when a friend of Flo Ziegfeld spotted Vargas in the window of a New York typewriter shop, doing a portrait of a girl as a publicity stunt. During his decade-long association with the Great Showman, Vargas limned hundreds of fetchingly undraped young ladies for poster illustrations--a fine sampling of which appeared in the January 1964 issue of playboy. After Ziegfeld's death in 1932, Vargas headed for Hollywood, where he temporarily lent his talents to 20th Century-Fox. While there, he applied his ability to combine the feminine ideal with the charmingly real and produced distinctive studies of such film greats as Garbo (right); but as a man forever enchanted by beauty, he also continued to draw--and immortalize--such spritely unknowns as grace these pages. Perhaps reflecting the mood of the Depression, his girls of the Thirties are more subdued than his flappers. Caught in a charismatic haze, lounging in diaphanous gowns or silky step-ins, they've traded their ebullient Twenties enthusiasm for a quieter sophistication and a tantalizing hint of worldliness.
Rosati is to Rome what Ciro's once was to Hollywood: the place where celebrities go to see one another--and to be seen. Situated in the center of the Piazza del Popolo, a short stroll from the fabled Via Veneto, Rosati produces pastries perfect enough to ensure a loyal, affluent following. But the real specialty of the house these days is the charismatic company it keeps: Producers and aspiring film queens from the sound stages of Cinecitta, writers, intellectuals, industrialists and society swingers alike pursue la dolce vita in Rosati's simple yet sophisticated setting--the ground floor (and front sidewalk) of a four-story brownstone. Shortly after noon each day, when the rest of Rome has already shut down until four o'clock, the establishment's habitués capture their favorite pink-clothed tables, there to sit and sip for hours. Artist LeRoy Neiman, Playboy'sboulevardier-with-brush, spent a good part of a recent visit to Rome dropping in at Rosati and reports:"In the afternoon, as soon as Rosati's outdoor tables begin filling up, the Piazza del Popolo also becomes jammed--with traffic. Cars that pass in front of Rosati have only two speeds--slow and stop--and there are two very good reasons for this. The first is that it's considered bad form to drive by Rosati's without personally checking to see if any movie stars or nonfilm 'names' of similar magnitude are around. Secondly, many Rosati regulars won't sit at an empty table. Instead, they drive around the Piazza until they see some seated friends. Then they run out of their cars to embrace and talk. Eventually, they'll remember to get back into their automobiles and look for parking--but not before they've helped create an absolutely enormous traffic tie-up." Even though Rosati is a favored retreat for many of the noblest Romans of them all, Neiman notes, the open-air emporium once each week abruptly eschews its tête-à-tête with the international set. Says Neiman, "When Sunday-morning Mass lets out at the neighboring cathedrals of Santa Maria de' Miracoli and Santa Maria di Monte Santo, crowds of churchgoing families meet at Rosati for breakfast. The scene almost seems like a parable: The socialites have been allowed to have all the fun they want, but you always know Rome finally belongs to its solid citizens."
Take The Sportiest Car you can think of, with all the high-performance options and all the right accessories. Then come along with me and have a look at one of the latest Formula I Ferraris. With an engine smaller than the average American semicompact, the Ferrari produces enough power to force the sleek light-metal projectile to speeds in excess of 200 mph; and what's more, it can reach these speeds very quickly, indeed, in the right hands. You find the car is as comfortable and skillfully tailored as a well-fitting glove--and, like a glove, it's terribly difficult to put on; yet once it's on, it fits you like a second skin. The seat is made to fit you and you alone, and it wraps around you to hold you tightly in position under cornering loads that can pull you sideways with a force greater than that of gravity. The sides of the car and the windscreen leave a very small gap through which you (continued on page 231) The Racing Driver (continued from page 157) have to lower yourself into position by standing on the seat with your arms above your head and slowly wriggling your legs into the long tunnel beneath the tiny, leather-padded steering wheel. You have to sit well back with your arms at full stretch, because otherwise your elbows would foul the sides of the car when you tried to turn the wheel, and you peer out over a low screen at the huge, wide expanse of road out there in front. The steering is quick and direct (no power assistance here!) and the slightest movement of the tiny wheel has a surprisingly large effect on the pair of wide-section road wheels out front. There are pedals down there beneath your feet--a heavy clutch with very short travel and no half measures about it, a delicate brake pedal (which still needs an awful lot of beef behind it to force those iron-hard brake pads up against the ventilated disks hard enough to pull a baby like this to a stop from full speed) and a narrow throttle pedal curving round behind the brake--this is so that the driver can control both pedals with one foot (drivers call this heel-and-toeing) when he wants to brake and change gear at the same time. There's a tiny manual shift lever poking out through a small aluminum gate right next to your leg; and on the small panel in front of you, there are a tachometer, ammeter, gauges for oil pressure and temperature, water temperature and switches for ignition, fuel and self. No speedometer, because speed, speed, doesn't matter--what the driver really wants to know is how fast he's going in which gear, how the engine is feeling and how long he's got before he has to stop for oil or gas. The interior of this brutally powerful, hideously expensive piece of high-speed machinery is as raw, exciting and functional as a fighter cockpit. This is no place for amateurs.
The President of a medium-sized company in which I held a substantial interest once found himself hopelessly overburdened with work, due to the implementation of an expansion program. The company president--let's call him "Edward Blaine"--decided to hire an assistant. He thought a capable aide could relieve him of much onerous and time-consuming detail, keep an eye on minor routine matters and act as a sort of buffer and sifter. Blaine reasoned that with such help he would be able to better concentrate on the many major problems confronting his company.
Dawn, from sky to sewer, was dirty. New York City was a busted comb standing on its back. Long gray hairs of smoke hung between the teeth. Trash cans wore lids like berets. Summer pressed hot hands on the tenements. Water trucks flushed the cobbled streets. The outgoing tide carried oil, timbers, contraceptives and dead fish on its bosom. The dapper mayor, Jimmy Walker, awakened wearing pearl-gray spats.
I have served as a Senator of the United states since January 1959. Previously, I was elected four times to the U.S.House of Representatives; and before that, I served terms in the General Assembly of Ohio and in appointive office in the state government. I have encountered thousands of lobbyists and have known scores of them well. Most of them I respect and trust. Some I would throw out of my office on sight.
"What's Past is Prolog," especially for the consummately attractive girls whom Playboy finds to grace its gatefold each month: The world-wide exposure of the Playmate invariably opens the door to exciting new opportunities both within and outside the magazine's special world. Shakespeare's line has meaning, too, for Playboy readers, who are reintroduced each January to the previous twelvemonth's Playmates. First among our recaptured captivators this year is last year's ultimate entry. Lynn Winchell, a five-foot picture of vivaciousness, remains well settled in Southern California, where her public-relations work for a land-development company helps others settle in what she calls "the grooviest state in the country." Recreational activities as dissimilar as water-skiing and jockeying a dune buggy in the expanse of desert between her native San Fernando Valley and the area around the Salton Sea occupy busy Lynn's precious nonworking hours, and their very dissimilarity is the key to her crush on California: "Where else are the desert, good skiing and incredible beaches all within easy driving distance and usable year round?" asks Miss December, a typically enthusiastic and life-loving 1967 Playmate.
A Virgin Coed, on being asked why she is taking the pill, explains that just as she wants to feel absolutely free to say yes without fear of pregnancy, so she wants to be sure that when she says no she isn't using this same fear as a cop-out. A lyrically graphic book of poetry about sexual euphoria, composed largely in love's forbidden language, is the object of an obscenity action in San Francisco, and its author is neither Allen Ginsberg nor Henry Miller but a pretty young poetess in tank top and hip-huggers. A clear-eyed maiden in patterned stockings lists her five civil rights arrests with the same quiet pride with which her older sister once listed her sorority affiliation. A high-fashion model, earning $50,000 a year, takes ten months off to gypsy around Europe with a hippie poet, making the Provo scene in Amsterdam, living on bread and wine on the beach at Iviza, and comes home to resume her career with no more scars to her psyche than the secretary of the past brought back from her proverbial two weeks of man hunting in the Poconos. A plain girl from a plain neighborhood in Brooklyn, driven by the urge to sing but refusing to accept the old showbiz rule that plain girls are doomed to being funny (so many Cass Dalys or Martha Rayes), creates an eerie beauty out of her large nose and aquiline features, inspiring thereby a whole style of kookie chic. Serious actresses, who have "done time" at the Actors Studio, appear fully nude in films or Happenings and do not feel like exhibitionists, much less whores. A folk singer devotes part of the fortune she has amassed with her ethereal, May-moon voice to the establishment of a school for the teaching of nonviolent direct action. A young socialite, bored by the charity-bazaar organizing and cotillion chaperoning that were the fate of her kind in other years, appears in underground movies, pals around with working-class minstrels from Liverpool and, far from being ostracized by her set, leads the march of Park Avenue down to the East Village.
It is night; outside the windows of my dear Château Monte-Cristo, snow is falling, and I add another log to the fire. My shiver, at this moment, does not come from the bleakness of the weather but from my memory of a tale heard long ago on another evening. I recall the handsome face of General Yusuf as, with infinite sadness, he told me that story.
For more than a decade now, Playboy's bewhiskered cartoonist, Shel Silverstein, has risibly illuminated for us many of the nation's odd corners, including Fire Island and Greenwich Village; he has toured the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, gone bird watching in London and embarked on his own mission to Moscow. Yet his star had never led him to Hollywood--an omission that is rectified herewith, as Shel dispels the golden haze and peeks under assorted halos to portray the producer-hunting starlets, the status-hunting executives, the goggle-eyed tourists, the fast-talking guides and the fast-moving youth of the world's dream capital. Not even the secrets of such sanctified figures as Mickey Mouse and Goofy escape Shel's quest for truth. "It's all true: It is a town of phonies," says Shel, "lazy, shallow guys, desperate girls and smalltime hustlers--I feel completely happy and at home there!"