Though Playboy Scouts the country in search of girl-next-door beauty, we've never fallen for the cliché that the grass is always greener away from home--as the five girls from our own offices and eleven Bunnies who have graduated to Playmate status over the years attest. Among our most recent--and delightful--interoffice discoveries are the swinger on this month's cover, Playboy receptionist Lynn Hahn, and Miss July, Playmate Melodye Prentiss, who currently brightens our Copy Department. Whether he finds his subjects down the hall or a couple of thousand miles away, Staff Photographer Pompeo Posar, who shot both Lynn and Melodye--this issue marks his 23rd cover and 20th Playmate--ranks among the few lensmen we know with an unerring eye for the unique qualities that make a girl Playboy perfect.
Playboy, July, 1968, Vol. 15, No. 7. 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, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 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, Robert A. Mc Kenzie, 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.
Last holiday season, we jokingly presented a new interpretation of The Night Before Christmas as it might appear to a dedicated disciple of Timothy Leary. Well, as the saying says, it's impossible for satire to keep up with reality these days. The following is from a dead-serious article, "A Psychiatrist Looks at Jack and the Beanstalk," by Phillip Epstein, M.D., in The Book of Grass, edited by George Andrews and Simon Vinkenoog:
When Ian Fleming died, his super-agent James Bond was riding the longest wave of success the book and movie industries had witnessed in many a year. Pitting vim and wile against Smersh and Spectre, tangling with the dislikes of Goldfinger and Dr. No, 007 captured the best-seller lists time and again. It is not astonishing, therefore, that James Bond should have been granted a new lease on life. The reincarnation is accomplished in Colonel Sun, a James Bond Adventure (Harper & Row), by Robert Markham, better known as Kingsley Amis--perhaps this publishing season's least pseudonymous pseudonym and thus hardly in keeping with international intrigue. Since the story line--involving Colonel Sun of the Chinese People's Army--is standard Bond, it's more interesting to note where Fleming's genes leave off and Amis' plastic surgery begins. Two discernible departures: First, while the original Bond never seemed to wonder whether his ends were worth his devastating means, the reincarnation takes time out to philosophize. Comparing the acquisitive life of the West with the sterile conformity of the East, he concludes: "There were still two sides: a doubtfully, conditionally right and an unconditionally, unchangeably wrong." Thus, the birth of the thinking man's Bond. Second, he not only seduces a luscious hot-pants before, during and after his adventure but develops what could almost be called a decent relationship with her--and she's a Russian agent. In the course of this intermittently thoughtful new life, Bond also finds a second or two to wonder about the sorry fate of pawns in the great East-West spy game. All of which poses the question: Does the infusion of a soul into James Bond's body take some of the pizzazz out of what had become high-camp yet suspenseful put-on? For some, no doubt; but others will find 007 marginally believable--though perhaps less dazzling. In short, the rumors of Bond's death are greatly exaggerated. Yet for those who remember their Bondage with pleasure, it may seem that--like Sherlock Holmes after his plunge over a waterfall with Moriarty, and like Lazarus after his brush with death--their hero doesn't quite radiate his pre-reincarnation charisma. Amis does provide Bond with a new switcheroo, however. In this book, he's involved in a British-Russian fictional entente; it's the Chincoms who are the villains. Should the thought of a tough British agent playing footsie with the Soviet apparat seem improbably original to you, remember that this was a standard Eric Ambler ploy in those innocent pre-Bomb, pre-Bond days before the Iron Curtain fell on the British lion's forepaws. But don't accuse Amis of borrowing from Ambler; even in his heyday, there was nothing really new under the Sun Yat-sen: History reminds us that the lion and the bear were able to line up and bear each other when George V and the czar were allies in World War One.
Putting Broadway hits on film sometimes does to comedy what slow freezing does to fresh vegetables; but all's well with The Odd Couple, Neil Simon's rowdy essay on the psychological warfare known as marriage. Simon's subjects are a mismatched pair of estranged husbands who try to pool their idiosyncrasies in a vast Manhattan apartment infested with poker players and potato chips. Because the playwright did his own adaptation, and because director Gene (Barefoot in the Park) Saks helps in the job of Simon-izing, there is minimal fuss about "opening up" the stage version--and the trim carpentry of the original seems intact. Odd Couple's chief cinematic coup is to let Walter Matthau repeat--perhaps a bit slavishly in the matter of hewing to Mike Nichols' original directing--his stage role as Oscar, the slob sportswriter who feels that a man's surroundings ought to reflect the squalor of his inner self. And there isn't an actor in Hollywood better suited than Jack Lemmon to play vis-à-vis Matthau as the tortured Felix, "a walking soap opera" who cries a lot, sends suicide telegrams and has a compulsion to cook and clean. When the two settle down for an evening of fun, frolic and burned meat loaf with a pair of twittery English sparrows from upstairs, the question of who's funnier becomes wildly irrelevant.
There is no restaurant in all of New York City that serves the new mood of the metropolis as well as The Fountain Cafe, located lakeside at 72nd Street in Central Park. In the very brief time it has been open--a brain child of the astonishing Thomas Hoving--it has become a delightful "in" spot for lunch or for dinner during the spring, summer and early fall. Not only is its location ideal for an outdoor café but its warm, impeccable service and first-rate food are better than one has a right to expect of a restaurant with a superior atmosphere compounded of greenery, century-old architecture and summer breezes off the lake. Nestled at the foot of the great baroque staircase at The Bethesda Fountain in the Park's 72nd Street transverse, the Cafe is under the direction of maître de Arthur Decuir this season. The one menu for lunch and dinner is ingeniously compatible with the atmosphere. The Stuffed Artichoke with Shrimp Rémoulade or the Guacamole and Tostados are typical appetizers. Emphasis, of course, is on cold soup, such as the Vichyssoise or Gazpacho. The selection of Continental sandwich platters, all of which are brightly and originally done, ranges from Beefsteak Tartar to Danish Ham and Curried Egg with Peach Chutney. For more substantial dining, there is the Cold Salmon Steak with Green Sauce or the Brittany Crêpe Filled with Chicken and Mushrooms. The French Omelet with either herbs or Swiss gruyère is a case in point of a difficult dish done exceptionally well. Desserts are Continental--a Viennese Chocolate Cake or Kirsch Torte, for example. While a wide range of wines and liquors is available, sangria is seen on many tables. If that drink becomes a new national favorite, it will be because so many prominent people have learned to enjoy it at The Fountain Cafe. The Cafe is open from 11 A.M. to 11 P.M. for lunch and dinner, from the middle of May to the last warm day in September. Reservations are not accepted--not even from Mr. Hoving or from Mayor Lindsay, both of whom are regulars.
Welcome to My Love (Capitol), Nancy Wilson's new LP, offers no surprises--which means that it's consistently first-rate. The charts are by conductor Oliver Nelson and they're very good. The marvelous Miss Wilson applies herself enthusiastically and engagingly to such items as In the Heat of the Night, Angel Eyes, I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco and Why Try to Change Me Now--all fine and mellow.
Hoofer, hustler, composer, playwright, outrageous egotist and perpetual charmer, George M. Cohan would seem to be a perfect larger-than-life subject for a Broadway musical. Indeed, it's hard to see how his musical biography, George M!, could have gone wrong. With song-and-dance man Joel Grey (who lighted up Cabaret) playing the title role, 32 Cohan numbers, including Give My Regards to Broadway, Mary and You're a Grand Old Flag, and the best new score on Broadway, how much more insurance do you need? But no amount of bright lights, jazzy costumes, American flags, campy scenery, thumping player pianos, clattering tap dancers, fire twirlers and performing dogs can obscure the meagerness of this show's conception. Authors Michael Stewart and John and Fran Pascal have seemingly sifted through the grand old man's clippings and songbooks, picked out some highlights and plunked them on stage with no sense of rhythm or dramatic pace. As produced, directed and choreographed by Joe Layton, everything is a production number. George's father dies. George pauses--sob--then swings into Over There, and the chorus follows. Suddenly, the actors go on strike, ask Cohan to join them. He warns, "Change Broadway and you'll kill it, Hank." Who's Hank and what change? There's always a Hank or a Fred to wander on stage and catch a line or a song cue. Confronted with a crowded stage, an inept book, a shallow characterization, a loud orchestra and a pile-driver production, Joel Grey has his hang-ups. He has to make you forget not only Cagney but also that raucous, frenetic musical called George M! He can't quite bring it off. At the Palace, 1564 Broadway.
There is a very attractive young lady with a delightful personality whom I would like to date. The only problem is that she is a couple of inches taller than I am. I would appreciate your views on physical scale in a human relationship.--P. C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Hollywood's legendary masculine idols are gone; potent box-office names like Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper are remembered largely by their legacy of celluloid on "The Late, Late Show." And such heroes of another generation as Cary Grant, who hasn't made a movie in three years, is old enough to qualify for Social Security. Almost by default, Paul Newman now stands conspicuously alone as the male sex star of American films. His rugged, chiseled face and coolly seductive presence lures women of all ages away from their television sets--except when his films are on--and into the nation's movie theaters. Comprehensive exhibitor surveys and personal-opinion polls verify that the Newman charisma prevails as that of no other actor on this side of the Atlantic. In a New York restaurant not long ago, a well-dressed matron of the type who normally would never even approach a star, much less ask for an autograph, stumbled into his table, blushed, stammered, shook her head and finally murmured, "I just couldn't help it. I had to keep staring at you." And a sophisticated publicity woman at Time Inc. confessed at a cocktail party, "I simply can't watch him on the screen. He's too much."
Tony Nailles went out for football in high school and made the second squad in his junior year. He had never been a good student--he got mostly Cs--but in French his marks were so low they were scarcely worth recording. One afternoon, when he was about to join the squad for practice, it was announced over the squawk box that he should report to the principal. He was not afraid of the principal, but he was disturbed at the thought of missing any of the routines of football practice. When he stepped into the outer office, a secretary asked him to sit down.
At 24, successful and charming Kecia has already graced the covers of hundreds of magazines--including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, McCall's and Harper's Bazaar--and belongs to that elite circle of top fashion models that includes Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Donyale Luna, Veruschka and Penelope Tree. Modeling for Kecia means total involvement and she approaches it dynamically, performing before the camera with the same enthusiasm displayed by Veruschka in the writhing opening scenes of Blow-Up. She says of her thoughts during a shooting session: "I want to go to bed with the photographer. Only an erotically charged atmosphere brings out the best in me and, I immodestly believe, also in the photographer. Naturally, I don't let my feelings run away with me during the session. I'm merely using them as wings to fly in the right direction. It's my way of taking a trip--and it is a hell of a lot better and less harmful than LSD for stimulation." Now an outspoken member of the jet set, Kecia traces her beginnings to Halli, Finland, where she was born on a farm. The family emigrated to Canada when she was 12, and shortly afterward a German photographer, who happened to see her in a Vancouver department store, signed her to model for the store's catalog; from that assignment she rapidly became a favorite of such internationally known lensmen as Richard Avedon, Art Kane and Douglas Kirkland. Currently boasting luxurious New York and Paris apartments, a dazzling wardrobe and assignments stretching months ahead, forward-thinking Kecia recently expanded the scope of her career by appearing in a French film (Un Epais Manteau de Sang) and making her au naturel debut in print for Playboy. "At first," she says, "I thought I could not do it. But my professionalism overcame my inhibitions and now I have no objection to posing nude for photographers whose artistic integrity is unquestioned."
As a Longtime Admirer of Variety's unique headline vernacular, we've wondered how the showbiz bible would have bannered important historical events. In doing so, we've come up with a spanking-new parlor game, which we sneak-preview herewith for our readers. We'll supply the Variety-type headlines; you guess the events. You can rate yourself as follows: all correct--smash; 15--19 right--clicko; 10--14--ho-hum; 5--9--ntg; if you get fewer than 5 right--bomb.
By the age of 32, Henry Keanridge had accumulated a wife and two children, a mistress and two girlfriends. His wife, Miriam, suspected nothing about the existence of the mistress and the girlfriends. His mistress, Linda, knew about his wife and one of the girlfriends. The first of his girlfriends, Lorna, knew nothing about his wife, his mistress or the other girlfriend. His second girlfriend, Dee, knew only about his wife. If these facts seem confusing, it can be imagined the difficulty that Henry had remembering these items, plus a thousand other necessary details of the intimate lives of these four women. Fortunately, Henry had the assistance of ELSA, the Electronic Logistics Systems Analyzer.
Now that America has been so dramatically saved from the threat of democracy, we can finally tell the whole inspiring story of the Second Constitutional Convention, the most joyous gathering of true conservatives since Mussolini's inaugural ball. It's a story still unknown to most Americans, for the convention was seen only on closed-circuit TV in Greece, Spain and Bavaria.
For Honey-Blonde Melodye Prentiss, the path to becoming Playmate of the Month was a short elevator ride to Playboy's 11th-floor Photo Studio from our 9th-floor Editorial Library, where she was working part time as a researcher when an alert colleague pegged her as perfect Playmate material. Finding enough time to pose, however, presented something of a problem: Besides gracing our offices part of the week, she was taking a full schedule of courses at the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute. "I enjoy being under pressure," Melodye says of her energetic regimen. "If every waking minute isn't used efficiently, I consider myself lazy. Sometimes, of course, it would be pleasant to pretend there's nothing that has to be done, but I have a compulsion to accomplish as much as possible." Her will to achieve obviously has its way. Before entering the Art Institute, Melodye studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, winning first prizes in both its annual drawing and its annual painting contests and top honors in a school-wide scholarship competition. When our Playmate does play, she takes to the beach, the tennis courts or the bridle paths ("I've been riding since I was five, and now I'd like to take jumping lessons"). This summer, she's earning living expenses and pocket money (her tuition is covered by scholarships from the Illinois State Scholarship Commission and the Ford Foundation) by working full time in our Copy Department, as a sharp-eyed checker of factual information for future issues of Playboy. Of her own future, Miss July says, "My primary goals are to excel as a painter and to grow intellectually, to learn how to communicate more effectively with people. I don't think it's always necessary to talk to have an exchange of thoughts and ideas; if you share a bond with someone, you sense things without speaking. Words can sometimes detract from communication." Accordingly, we'll say no more, so you may silently commune with Melodye.
Americans, for some inexplicable reason, have always given short shrift to vegetables. In this country, everyone seems to docilely accept those ubiquitous dishes of succotash blandly accompanying the platters of fried chicken and the self-effacing string beans that meekly attend the roast ribs of beef. But in Europe, hosts hold vegetables in high esteem.
As the Presidential Campaign progresses and the possibility arises of major changes in foreign and domestic policies, it seems appropriate to review some of the major events of the past year or so and their effects on the American people. I think we will all agree that it has not been a happy time for the Executive, for Congress or for our country. The divisions among us are deep and the problems that beset us seem intractable. The center of our troubles is the war in Vietnam--a war that has isolated the United States from its friends abroad, disrupted our domestic affairs and divided the American people as no other issue of the 20th Century has divided them. (There has arisen, as of this writing, hope that peace negotiations will soon begin in Paris. At this early stage it is difficult--and perhaps unwise--to comment on their prospects, except to express the wish that they will, indeed, occur and will bring the war to an early end.)
White, that classic summertime scene stealer, again makes light work of styling up your wardrobe. But this year, accentuate the positive appeal of white with a bright color; shirts, ties and neck scarfs in strong solids and bold plaids add an upbeat dimension to today's fashion picture. Warm-weather offerings range from a plantation-owner double-breasted suit and deep-tone shirt to a tunic-look shirt worn with a gold medallion.
Twenty years ago, a television-station operator had to beg sports promoters for the chance to include wrestling and the roller derby in a local program schedule. Hollywood film producers disdainfully eyed television with disparaging disinterest, while radio newscasters regarded their televised counterparts as second-class citizens. And non-commercial television did not even exist.
"I tell myself I'll start drawing today and head down Haight Street toward Hippie Hill," says our bearded Shel Silverstein. "Three people sit in a doorway smoking grass. A guy in a monk's robe asks me for some spare change. Electric rock comes from a basement window. The girls line up at the free clinic to get their birth-control pills--a sign says, don't give the clap to someone you love. The tourists drive by with their windows rolled up. 'Wanna buy a lid?' The Diggers ladle out free beef stew and apples. Beads, pot pipes, posters, underground newspapers for sale. Written on a psychedelic-painted truck, don't laugh, your daughter may be in here! A hand reaches out of some bushes and gives me a roach. A long-haired girl takes my hand and leads me up a path through some trees, where we lie down. Afterward, she smiles and says, 'Welcome to Haight-Ashbury.' I think I'll wait and draw tomorrow."
On an October day in 1842, the flagship of Commodore Thomas Catesby Jones, U. S. Navy, hove to outside the town of Monterey, the capital city of what was then the Mexican empire of Alta California. The commodore had sailed in all haste from Peru, where he had formed the impression from local intelligence agents that Mexico and the United States were on the verge of war. Once in sight of the drowsy little town of Monterey, and undeterred by the absence of any warlike activity ashore, he sent a detachment of 150 seamen to pull down the Mexican flag that flew over the dilapidated fortress of Monterey and to raise Old Glory in its place. This was done to the accompaniment of hoarse cheering and a succession of vigorous salvos fired from ship and shore.
There was a Scholar who was writing a book on the stratagems of women; he had studied all the tricks they use to deceive men and had reduced all of this invaluable information to 49 chapters. But, alas, the 50th chapter would not come. He knew that there must be one thing in the world he had missed.