Lord Byron wrote, "She walks in beauty like the night"; but Playboy's cover girl, Paulette Lindberg, prefers to ride--in one of the ten vintage autos featured in our concours d'élégance, Ken W. Purdy's Classic-Car Collecting. He knows whereof he writes. "I've owned five of the ten cars I mention," says Purdy. "Which means either I'm prejudiced or I've got very good judgment." These splendid machines, which were so superbly made, are now so carefully treasured that they will probably survive their present owners.
Playboy, May, 1969, Vol. 16, No. 5. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc., Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U.S., its possessions and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year, elsewhere add $2 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, 434-2675; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
There could hardly be an American unaware that a significant number of the nation's college students are engaged in a frontal assault on academic institutions and curricula they consider irrelevant, outmoded and undemocratic. But even among those over-and-under-30 types who sympathize with the rebels' cause, many wonder what the dissidents have to offer in place of the traditions they're attempting to demolish. The curriculum catalog of the free-form, student-organized Midpeninsula Free University in Palo Alto, California, should silence their skepticism, if not their misgivings. Their attention would be arrested, even riveted, as ours was, by an advertisement on the inside cover showing two sullen young couples in somber commencement robes and mortarboards--and a front view of a third couple, totally naked but for smiles, flowers and beads, over a caption reading, "Which university are you going to this fall?" Which, indeed?
First it had to happen, he said; and, second, the man to whom it happened had to "make it all come true." But since Ernest Hemingway's imagination was like a muscle that he had to keep in shape even when he wasn't writing fiction, Papa often made what hadn't really happened seem to come true, too, so that by the end, his life was entangled with his legend and the boundaries between fact and imagination were hopelessly booby-trapped by his overwhelming but disintegrating personality. Numerous accounts of Hemingway's larger-than-life life have attempted to set those fallen guideposts straight, but the book most aficionados have been awaiting is Carlos Baker's Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (Scribner's). Well, it's here; and if you want to know the complete contents of Hemingway's knapsack (down to matches, safety pins and salt) as he set out on a hike at four o'clock on Saturday, June 10, 1915, or the color of the car (pink) in which he drove from Algeciras to La Consula in May 1959, you can rest assured that Baker has uncovered the facts. To a task that required an acute sense of place and personality, he brought only pencil and paper--with the result that one of the most fascinating men of our century is entombed in a routine, if valuable, reference work. Since it was Hemingway's tragedy to die after rather than before his time, becoming the sycophant of his own myth, it's easy to understand Baker's thinly disguised distaste for the subject of a work that took seven years to complete. In fact, he's at his meticulous best in tracking down Hemingway's exaggerations of the real-life sources for the characters and events of his fiction (he never got beyond kissing the prototype of nurse Catherine Barkley, for instance; and, rather than suffering from gangrene under the snows of Kilimanjaro, he underwent a bout with amoebic dysentery). The book takes on considerable power in its account of the final months, revealing not only that Hemingway became psychologically unstable but that he had actually attempted suicide several times before his final success. Baker deserves credit for discovering the facts behind the legend, if not the man behind the myth; but essentially, his biography is an accumulation of undifferentiated information that will have to be financed by the reader's imagination before it will yield much profit. Baker has learned virtually everything about Hemingway's history--but, as Hemingway himself once said, he learned a lot in his life, too, and some of it was true.
Jeanne Moreau's chemistry, combined with the unpredictable brilliance of writer-director Orson Welles, graces The Immortal Story, the bewitching better half of a double bill of two shorter-than-average films (the other one is reviewed below). Welles' meticulous adaptation in English of an exotic tale by Denmark's late great Isak Dinesen is a Wellesian triumph of old-fashioned cinematic story-telling. "In China, at the end of the last century," begins Welles the storyteller, who also generously fills the pivotal role of a strange old millionaire with an even stranger obsession. He has heard the hoary sailors' tale of being picked up in a faraway port by a rich, impotent merchant, then being wined, dined and paid in gold for bedding the merchant's beautiful young wife; and the wheezing eccentric wants to make the story come true, whatever the cost. Welles has the audacity to reveal the middle and end of Dinesen's story at the outset. Thus having scorned any conventional tricks of suspense, he creates a film full of uncommon fascination--subtle in mood, rich, evocative, blindingly beautiful and always alive, as the narrator says of the old man's disquieting Jewish clerk (Roger Coggio), with "things that move like big deep-water fish in the depths of his dark mind." Moreau plays the disillusioned girl hired for the evening's charade; Norman Ashley, the fortunate blond sailor in her bed. The acting throughout is flawless, as is everything else on this unique and compelling occasion.
Nina Simone and Piano! (RCA) has the eminent songstress forgoing all outside assistance, but Miss Simone's formidable talents are really all that's required for a stunning session. Seems I'm Never Tired Lovin' You, Nobody's Fault but Mine, Who Am I and even the oldie I Get Along Without You Very Well pulsate with the highly personal intonation and raw emotion that mark a Simone performance.
Elaine May is alive and well and off-Broadway. She has directed two one-act plays, Adaptation by herself and Next by Terrence McNally. Both bear her lunatic stamp. Adaptation is played out like a TV game show, in which the contestant hops and bounces through encounters, problems and puzzles in search of security. The format enables Miss May to comment with wit and insight on contemporary clichés, drives, goals and hang-ups. She is very much up to her times, whether she's talking about men, women (most of whom sound like her in a Nichols and May routine), children, parents (most children are activists, most parents dullards), education or black-white relations (a liberal Whitey is tossed out of a meeting for addressing his Afro-American brother as Blackie). Adaptation is the key to success, which makes it, as the contestant realizes, "a hard game." The play's a winner. Credit Miss May and actor James Coco for what's best about Next. McNally writes what-if plays. This time, he poses two hypotheses: What if a 48-year-old sissy were drafted, and what if the sergeant giving him his medical once-over were a woman? In the evening's best performance, the flabby, fleshy Coco is marvelous as he tries all possible maneuvers to avoid taking off his clothes and to flunk the exam (he even tries to flunk the eye-chart and word-association tests); when he fails to fail, he dissolves into a quivering mass of jelly. Then McNally attempts to turn his little comedy into something important: Of course, the Army doesn't want him, and Coco suddenly is furious. He demands retribution. The play falls apart. By not taking itself so seriously, Miss May's play makes a much more lasting statement. At the Greenwich Mews, 141 West 13th Street.
I have always believed that women feel the actual flow of semen at the moment of male ejaculation. My girl denies this. She claims this notion is a fantasy-wish projection, which I probably picked up from pornography. She says that in the warmth, wetness and excitement of her own sexual fervor, the spurt of fluid is simply lost to feeling. Is she unusual?--W. R., Cambridge, Massachusetts.
During this decade, no comedian--black or white--has come close to achieving the superstardom Bill Cosby has fashioned for himself in the short space of seven years. CAt 31, he commands a fee of $50,000 a week for night-club dates; and on concert tours, he often earns three times that figure. Cosby has also vaulted to the top of two industries: He won four consecutive Grammys for his comedy albums and three Emmys in a row for his co-starring role as secret agent Alexander Scott on NBC's "I Spy," his first attempt at acting. In 1967, Cosby recorded two albums of rhythm-and-blues vocals, with the perhaps predictable result that one of his cuts, "Little Old Man," was a top pop hit for more than two months. And in April of this year, Cosby began filming his first movie, a remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan," in which he enacts the comic gangster role originally played by Robert Montgomery. So great is the demand for his services that NBC recently signed him to a five-year contract that will net him anywhere from $15,000,000 to $50,000,000; it calls for, among other things, an annual Cosby TV special, two cartoon specials based on his subteen superheroes, Fat Albert and Old Weird Harold, and "The Bill Cosby Show," beginning next fall, in which he will be featured each week as a San Francisco schoolteacher who moonlights as a detective.
Automobile collecting passed out of the string-saving category some time ago. The international auction house of Parke-Bernet, a legend-draped eminence in the art world, now regularly conducts automobile sales; in a recent one, a Mercer brought $45,000. There are 79 major automobile collections in Europe, including one in the Soviet Union and one in Israel; many of these are museums exhibiting only the automobile and artifacts related to it. The Montagu Motor Museum in England and the Museo dell'-Automobile Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia in Italy are two such, and world famous. In this country, the Harrah, Clark and Cunningham collections, in Reno, Southampton and Costa Mesa, California, are housed in museums. The automobile's standing as an object of art, formally attested in 1951, in the famous Museum of Modern Art show in New York (and again in 1953, 1966 and 1969), is firm today, and critics disposed to argue the point on aesthetic grounds must concede instantly on the other standard by which, like it or not, art has always been assayed: value appreciation. Some automobiles are worth 20 times their original value and, while every indicator suggests that prices will continue to rise, it is still possible to assemble a worthwhile personal collection. Money governs: It can be a collection of established classics, or of less valuable specialties, or of near-current models shrewdly chosen as possible rarities tomorrow.
As I Sat in front of my television set watching the second invasion of Czechoslovakia, this time by the Communist storm troopers, resentment and despair, shame, indignation and the frustrated awareness of my total impotence were racing wildly through the corridors of my mind, like the "hounds of heaven" in the famous Housman poem. I was trying to control my breathing and to clear my throat: my whole body was tense, and in my hands there was a kind of physical longing for the controls of the bomber I had flown against the other Nazis during the War. Then, out of some even darker corner of my psyche, there suddenly arose a monstrous thought: This, if ever, was a case for the use of the atom bomb. Under the impact of intolerable provocation, faced with this cynical baiting of my helplessness and weakness through a combination of total frustration and powerless sense of injustice, I was crossing the border of sanity and falling prey to the obscure forces within a Lee Harvey Oswald, a Hitler or a Sirhan Sirhan.
It is Absolutely Essential that anyone today who claims to be a writer must produce a pornographic book. It is a status symbol comparable with that of the Hemingway era, when, in order to be a writer, you had to bag a lion.
Suddenly, one of the front windows broke and a fire started at number-three cash register and I knew right away what had happened. Someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail through the window; because just before the smell of fire and smoke had covered over every single smell in the store, there was this smell of kerosene that had flashed in and out of my nose. "Hey, I'm burning, I'm burning up," Nelson Forman said, first very surprised to see his own clothes on fire, then running away from his post at number three with flames coming out of his back. "Get a blanket," a woman customer said; and when I yelled, "Where in hell 'm I going to get a blanket in a supermarket?" she said, "Get a coat, then, something to wrap around him, at least"; but this was a hot, sticky August day and not a person in the store had even a jacket on, not even the register clerks, though it was compulsory. Nelson ran up aisle A and disappeared for a second before I saw him rounding the imported-cheese section and coming down aisle B, flames still sticking out of his back. Everyone, including a dozen or so customers and the delivery boys and all the clerks except the two who were using the store's only working fire extinguisher to put out the small blaze at number three, just sort of looked dumfounded and helpless at Nelson running up and around and down the aisles, wailing his head off, till I tackled him from in front, a perfect tackle (continued on page 156)Berry-Smashing Day(continued from page 115) right below the knees, so his whole body would buckle and fall backward and lose an extra yard and maybe even loosen the ball from his hands, and rolled him on the floor on his back till most of the flames went out. Then I flipped open five quart bottles of cranberry juice, the nearest liquid I could reach, and poured them over Nelson till the fire was doused, and relaxed from the ordeal, with my breath coming on hard, while all three delivery boys uncapped quart and half-quart bottles of tomato and pineapple and apricot-orange juice and spilled the contents over Nelson, even after his body had stopped smoking.
Man has all but lost his ability to accommodate himself to personal extinction; he must now proceed physically to overcome it. In short, to kill death: to put an end to his own mortality as a certain consequence of being born.
When asked why she wanted to be a Playmate, brown-haired Sally Sheffield candidly replied: "It would be a monetarily rewarding way to build up my ego." But even a cursory examination of Sally's variegated curriculum vitae shows that this talented New Yorker hardly requires such psychic therapy. A dedicated horsewoman since childhood, she has won an array of awards for her equestrian ability--including being judged one of the top ten riders in Manhattan's prestigious National Horse Show at a precocious 16. Sally, who is as accomplished on the piano as she is in the show ring, minored in music at Massachusetts' Wellesley College (where she took her bachelor's degree in psychology), then went on to Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, earning both a master's degree in musicology and a teaching fellowship in English literature. "Though I love books," she says, "I love music even more. The piano is my serious instrument; but for fun, and to learn folk songs, I also play the guitar and the autoharp." (For our less musicologically oriented readers, the latter is a zitherlike instrument that produces chords rather than individual notes). Her musical inclinations helped prepare her for a part-time career as a folk singer in Boston coffeehouses and landed her a leading role in an NBC television series for children titled The First Look, for which she also co-authored the music. "Although I'm a dropout from the Ph.D. program at the conservatory," Sally says, "I'll probably wind up teaching music history at some point." Her goals for the immediate future are far from professorial, however: "I suppose my ambitions are not really unique--to enjoy good health, happiness, a solid marriage and a career to keep me from stagnating. I try hard to guard against mental laziness, because I'm convinced my mind will wither if I don't keep it exercised." Sally wishes she had more spare time to globe-trot ("I did spend eight months working in an Israeli kibbutz--artificially inseminating hens, of all things--but next time, I'd like to be a camera-toting tourist"); to learn another language (she's already fluent in French and Hebrew); and to consume more books. Her literary tastes range from Joseph Conrad and T. S. Eliot to her all-time favorite story, The Wizard of Oz. "But as fond as I am of fictional wizards," she says, "I want my real-life hero to be flexible and fun-loving, though he should be stronger willed than I am--to keep me in line. What I look for most in a man is personal integrity; Moshe Dayan and Adlai Stevenson earned my admiration because of their courage and their honesty." When not daydreaming about her ideal man and free-lancing as an actress-folk singer, Miss May divides her time between the riding academy and her West Side pad--writing music, catching up on her reading and sharpening her culinary skills. Her idea of a perfect evening at home is an elegant French dinner à deux (from escargots bourguignon through crepes suzette) followed by lazing cozily before an open fire. With Sally Sheffield as a companion, that would approximate our idea of a perfect evening, too.
That kid over there, creeping up to Mrs. Jones' hammock with a jar of water, is William F. Buckley, Jr. Watch him. He will be a legend in his own time. He lives with his family in Sharon, Connecticut, and is very conservative. He is about to pour the water on Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones will shortly realize--in the idiom to be popularized by Bob Dylan some 35 years later--that something is happening; but she won't know what it is. She will not appreciate, as she feels the water run through her hair and down her back, that it is holy water and good for her atheist soul. She will not recognize the Roman Catholic ritual of Asperges, being performed, on an emergency basis in the absence of a priest, by the little catechumen from the mansion next door. She will not immediately grasp her role in Bill Buckley's novitiate in conservative evangelism. Like writer-critic Dwight MacDonald, she will think Bill is a spoiled brat; and when--as a result of the brat's ministrations--she goes to heaven, she will be very surprised.
Hosts faced with the question of what drinks to pour before and after their dinner parties should never forget the noted English food-and-drink luminary Winston Churchill. At a sumptuous political luncheon, he once bowled over both top-echelon guests and stunned staff by suddenly commanding, "Take away this pudding; it has no theme."
What is it about the Playboy Club-Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, that launches normally levelheaded people on flights of poetic fancy? Henry Kisor, reporting in the Chicago Daily News on a weekend spent at the luxury resort, wrote: "When all the reviewers called this place 'Xanadu' after that pleasure dome Coleridge built in his mind, they weren't doing it justice. Old Sam, on his wildest hashish trip, could never have imagined the Playboy Club-Hotel." The editors of Institutions, the restaurant-industry magazine, headlined a 16-page feature on Playboy's Lake Geneva operation "Everyman's Eden." And syndicated columnist Irv Kupcinet said, in the Chicago Sun-Times: "It's enough to boggle the mind."
Historians have long claimed that each age rewrites history to suit its own needs; Camille 2000--a fleshy, futuristic updating of Alexandre Dumas' much-revived melodrama--is the application of that assertion to the screen. In former incarnations, Marguerite Gautier, called Camille because of her penchant for camellias, was a Parisian courtesan whose headlong rush toward death was interrupted only by a brief but all-consuming love affair. Camille 2000 shifts the action to Rome, hypes the timeworn plot with an overdose of la dolce vita, Hollywood style, and revamps the traditional tubercular finale into an amphetamine fadeout. As the star-crossed symbol of the fast, empty life, Danièle Gaubert (at right, with Nino Castelnuovo)--who at 25 already has 15 films and a stormy marriage to dictator Trujillo's son behind her--moves through a lavish world inhabited by professional partygoers, homosexuals and sated sylphs of every stripe. For her, life is a spiritual vacuum filled only partially by lover Armand Duval; but for audiences, Camille 2000 is intended as an exotic comment on the decadent trend of contemporary high society.
When the Arbitrator was in America, he usually slept with her, his lips against her open mouth. When he awoke, he would have a faint taste of solvent on the tip of his tongue, a slight scent of oil in his sinuses. The taste and the scent would stay with him until the third sip of his morning coffee.
There Lived in Florence a lady of high estate who valued her beauty as greatly as her noble blood. Thus, she surprised no one in despising her aging husband, whose immense wealth did not compensate her for his extreme vulgarity and waning vigor. Promise of some solace appeared one day in the form of a young man who, though penniless, was appropriately endowed with lusty manhood and refinement of manner.
No! You Fool! No!Accept me as your life's partner, O Lydia....Hostileman-Avenger of the meek, The recalcitrant, The scared and the dubious; Champion of the clumsy, Wheel horse for the inept. Now: Hostileman Faces his most deadly threat as Bernard proposes!
Only one Man we know could claim truthfully that he's simultaneously working on his first symphony, his fourth book of poems, an autobiography and a novel; that he has just finished the musical scores for several movies, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and A Boy Named Charlie Brown; and that he is preparing the screenplay for Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows, a feature film based on his own writings. But Rod McKuen doesn't bother to brag; he's too busy. The self-educated chansonnier acquired his Promethean work habits at the age of 11, when he started supporting his mother and brother as they drifted throughout the West. After a series of rough-and-tumble jobs, an abbreviated stay at San Francisco State College, an Army stint in the Far East and a fling at acting in Hollywood, McKuen went to New York to concentrate on writing and performing his own songs. When RCA asked him the source of a ballad that his friend Glenn Yar-brough had included in an LP, McKuen lied that it was from a book he'd written--thereby obligating himself to write the book. Since then, he's become a one-man cultural explosion: At last count, he had composed about 1000 songs and recorded about 40 albums. His schedule for 1969, in addition to more movie scores and many concerts (one of which was recorded last month at Carnegie Hall), includes a TV special on May tenth and another in November; and his own label, Stanyan Records, will issue its first releases this fall. A solitary traveler for most of his 36 years, McKuen has mellowed to the point where he'd like to settle in California--with a wife--and spend his time "just writing songs for Frank Sinatra, Pet Clark and myself" (Sinatra recently cut an LP of 14 McKuen songs). But so far, he hasn't found a woman who can accept his 16-hour workday--or the increasing demands on his time from producers in New York and Hollywood. "I went so long without my telephone ringing," McKuen says, "that now it's difficult to say no."
Predictably, the 29-year-old president and board chairman of Great Western United Corporation, William White, Jr., bases his business philosophy on free-form management--giving opportunity and responsibility to young, creative people and letting them "do their own thing." The formula obviously works: G.W.U. has grown into a $250,000,000 corporation, and Bill White has become a multimillionaire. He began late in 1964 by parlaying $100,000 of his own money (he's the fourth-generation member of a Colorado banking family) into control of Colorado Milling & Elevator Company, an established flour manufacturer. With the intention of building a multifaceted foods company, he subsequently took over Great Western Sugar, the largest U.S. beet-sugar producer; 30 percent of the Gorton Corporation, a seafood processor; and 50 percent of Shakey's, Inc., a large pizza-parlor franchising operation. Merging these holdings into Great Western United in 1968, White decided to diversify G.W.U. into a marketing company. He sold his interest in Gorton, bought the rest of Shakey's and acquired Emerald Christmas Tree Company and California City Development Company, which plans and builds residential communities. Ground has been broken for a chain of Great Western Steak Houses that he envisions "will do for steaks what Shakey's did for pizza." The base for White's burgeoning empire is Denver, where he often unnerves local businessmen by driving around in a bright-red Glassic Classic--an elegant fiberglass car modeled after the 1932 Ford Phaeton (he keeps a Ferrari in the East). He also maintains apartments in Aspen (he's an avid skier) and New York City and a summer home in East Hampton. Add to these a sizeable art collection, and it's easy to see why he thinks "bachelorhood is fun." So is business; but heading a world-wide empire isn't his life's ambition. As White says, "Arriving isn't nearly as much fun as getting there."
"Like Most Comedians, I'm a manic-depressive," Shecky Greene admits. Happily, there is little room for depression in the torrent of comedic mania with which he inundates audiences--elaborate vignettes on everything from NASA to the Arab-Israeli conflict and devastating impressions of such unlikely luminaries as Sophie Tucker, Harry Belafonte and Maria Ouspenskaya. In contrast with most of his fellow funnymen--who rely on written routines for their material--Shecky adlibs and refines his improvisations on night-club stages in San Francisco, Miami and such intermediate points as Las Vegas, where he headlines 20 weeks a year at the Riviera. "It's like group therapy for me," he says in praise of his favorite action; but his television appearances on the Dean Martin and Johnny Carson shows, though well received, demonstrate that the camera is too impersonal and the time too short to three-dimensionalize an act that usually runs 90 minutes and depends on his proven ability to establish a close rapport with his audience. Born Sheldon Greenfield in 1926 on Chicago's North Side, Shecky found that rapport even as a child entertaining family and friends. After wartime service on an aircraft carrier, he returned home in 1946 and attended college and radio-broadcasting school, but finally won an amateur talent contest. He dropped out of school and graduated to resort engagements at Wisconsin's Oakton Manor, where his career was really launched. Today, at 42, despite his loyal supper-club following, regular TV guest shots and a feature role in Tony Rome with Frank Sinatra, he still hasn't attempted to capture mass attention. "I never wanted it; it's not my nature," the Sheck reflects. "I had more peace of mind working a strip club in Milwaukee." But his strip-joint days are long gone; and after 20 years of night-club work and the promise of many more to come, he finds all the satisfaction he needs in being widely recognized as the comedian's comedian.