From: Peggy Wilkins <mozart@lib.uchicago.edu>, 31 Oct 2002
Subject: playboy50: Let's begin

Here is my contribution to "What Is PLAYBOY". This will be quite long... and the best of it is at the end, I think.

In the world of PLAYBOY, I probably stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. I'm 37, heterosexual (this question comes up often), female—and I've been collecting PLAYBOY for nearly 25 years now. I have an almost complete collection of back issues (i'm currently missing only 7 issues from 1954), a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the magazine and its history, pictorials included, and am one of the most vocal PLAYBOY supporters around. This is not the sort of thing that one ordinarily expects to see. While some of this must be due to the individual quirkiness of "me", that I exist as a PLAYBOY admirer also speaks to the broad appeal of PLAYBOY, and says some interesting things about what it is. Let's look at how I got here and see if we can draw any useful conclusions. Along the way I would like to take a look at some particular issues of PLAYBOY from around the time I first started reading it, and discuss what it was that made such an impression on me.

I came to see my first issue of PLAYBOY in a slightly roundabout (yet particularly appropriate) way. I was 12 years old in the spring of 1978, and had been a voracious fan of Marilyn Monroe since I was 10. That term "fan" (a shortening of the word "fanatic") described me perfectly at that time, as I sought out literally any and every reference to Marilyn with a degree of singleminded dedication found only in the very young. I happened to notice on the newsstands one day the May 1978 issue of Oui magazine, which had on its cover an actress named Linda Kerridge who was a stunning double of Marilyn. Being the MM fanatic that I was, I had to have this issue. However, obtaining it was a bit problematic; Oui's publisher was Hugh Hefner, and as PLAYBOY's "sister" publication, it was an adult title that was tantalizingly unavailable to me. I tried and failed several times to purchase this issue, until evenutally, as someone who at that age could (often quite literally) never take no for an answer, I ended up stealing a copy from a book store! (What a shame that societal attitudes sometimes cause one to decide to resort to such behavior; but that is another topic altogether.)

I watched the bookstore for future issues of Oui, scanning the magazine for reader letters about the Marilyn feature and hoping for more pictures of Linda as Marilyn, and so ended up with a couple more issues. Now to come to the relevant part: each issue of Oui carried a full page advertisement for the corresponding issue of PLAYBOY. Printed against a full page picture of the Playmate of the Month was a small reproduction of that issue's cover and a summary of its contents. I had taken particular note of the ad in that May 1978 issue, and then looking through the July 1978 issue of Oui, I noticed the PLAYBOY ad page with the July 1978 cover and a particularly lovely picture of Playmate Karen Morton. The cover showed Pamela Sue Martin, then the star of the Nancy Drew TV series, with the caption, "TV's Nancy Drew Undraped". Corny as this sounds, as a 12-year-old devotee of the Nancy Drew mysteries (you are probably all cringing now!), I really had to see that issue. So that's how the July 1978 PLAYBOY, volume 25 number 7, came to be my first issue. It may not be politically correct, but that's how my interest in Marilyn Monroe led me to PLAYBOY magazine.

I wasn't able to get many issues of PLAYBOY around this time due to the age difficulty, but I did check out issues on the newsstand whenever I could. Somehow I found out that Marilyn Monroe was in the January 1979 25th Anniversary issue, and that became my third issue of PLAYBOY.

And this 25th Anniversary issue is something I really want to talk about here. It delighted me from the first time I saw it just because of all the references to Marilyn—and it was also my first view of her Golden Dreams calendar pose in color. I ended up reading and rereading this issue cover to cover over time—perhaps this is the result of PLAYBOY issues being hard for me to obtain at the time, and therefore few and far between—and it left me literally in awe. It was the best issue of a magazine that I had ever seen, and I was someone who enjoyed a lot of magazines. It also told me a lot, both implicitly and explicitly, about what PLAYBOY was about.

Here is some of what left such a strong impression on me:

I started buying every issue of PLAYBOY starting with the January 1980 issue. Here are some particularly strong impressions from that first full year.

January 1980: Playmate Gig Gangel's centerfold left me in awe. The beautiful model, elegant set, and deep colors, the supreme sharpness of the image printed on glossy paper, and the pose and expert lighting that focused one's attention directly on the model all worked together to make me want to look at that picture, and just keep looking. I quite literally could hardly take my eyes from it.

April 1980: The Playmate Reunion brought back familiar faces and centerfolds from that January 1979 foldout; this treatment of the Playmates demonstrated their importance to the world of PLAYBOY.

May 1980: Terri Knepper (Welles) cover: I could hardly look away from this amazing cover: bright colors, beautiful sharp picture, and above all one of the best models ever. A clear demonstration of the impact and importance of the cover.

June 1980: My first Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten. Another superb cover. The contents copy called her pictorial "luscious" and it really was. The closing picture evoked Marilyn Monroe in the best possible way—that is, in the sense of spirit, rather than in imitation.

So what did I learn from my first few PLAYBOY issues in general, and from the 25th anniversary issue in particular?

I believe that these are among the most important defining characteristics of PLAYBOY: these are the traits that led to its wide acceptance and wild popularity. They certainly led me to sit up and take notice. As PLAYBOY heads into the future, these principles must be revisited, re-evaluated, and ultimately re-formed.

From: Raymond Benson <rbinperson@comcast.net>, 28 Oct 2002
Subject: What is PLAYBOY?

What is PLAYBOY? Hmmm, a magazine? A club? A brand name? A lifestyle? A famous guy who used to smoke a pipe and wear only pajamas? The answer is all these things and more.

For me, PLAYBOY began in the mid-sixties, around the time I became fascinated with James Bond. As "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" were coming out, I would sneak peeks at the "Girls of James Bond" features that started appearing (November 1965 is the first one I remember, although I also remember looking at the Ursula Andress pictorial in the summer of 1965). As I wasn't old enough to actually buy the magazine, I had to be content with peeking at the store (there were some convenience stores in those days where the magazines were simply there on display). Then, a little later in the sixties, an older kid on my block seemed to have a way of buying the mags, so I'd look at (and yes, read) his copies. Sometimes he'd give me issues. My very first issue that I owned and kept hidden in the drawer was July 1968. Melodye Prentiss was the centerfold. Boy, was I in love with her. She was so damn *pretty*! I was 12 years old. I collected sporadic issues secretly through the rest of the sixties. Everything about the magazines was fascinating—the artwork, the articles, the fiction, the cartoons, but like most males my age—it was the girls that provided the fantasy. The PLAYBOY Playmates became goddesses. Never in my richest imagination did I ever think I would know a Playmate, much less *meet* one. (Thank you Glamourcon for changing all that!)

I turned 16 in 1971 and lo and behold, my parents didn't care when I said I wanted to start subscribing to PLAYBOY. So I did. My first issue I owned that didn't have to be "hidden" was October 1971. (I already had most of the issues from the 70s by that time anyway, heh heh.) I've never missed an issue since.

My work and PLAYBOY intersected in 1997, when I suddenly found myself published in the magazine. Un-f**king-believable. More than a dream come true. A dream I didn't think I was even allowed to dream. And it got better. I got to meet Hef, visit the Mansion, meet Playmates, attend the 1999 Playmate Reunion, and was published five more times in the magazine.

So, I consider myself inexplicably linked to PLAYBOY. Emotionally and literally. It's one of those rites of passage that I experienced at an early age and stuck with because it touched my life in a profound way.

I have gone from being much younger than the Playmates in the magazine to being, well, much older. Styles have changed and looks have changed. The Playmate today is not quite the same as what she was in the 60s and 70s. (As my wife comments, it's interesting to note the evolution of pubic hair styles throughout the decades...) A history of PLAYBOY is a history of the latter half of the 20th century—which is precisely when I've been alive.

Thus, PLAYBOY represents, to me, a chronicle of my life. Just like music does—when you hear a certain song or album, it evokes the memories of that time period. When I think of Liv Lindeland, or Cyndi Wood, or Debra Jo Fondren, or Denise McConnell, I recall where I was and what I was doing when I was entranced by that particular Playmate. The same goes for the 80s and 90s and beyond, even after real relationships and a marriage that continues today.

From: ominusal@excite.com <ominusal@excite.com>, 29 Oct 2002
Subject: An "outsider's" view of what PLAYBOY is

To me, PLAYBOY is exactly what it says on the cover - Entertainment for Men. I believe that it was in the very first issue that Hef said that the magazine was meant to be a diversion from the worries of the atomic age (I don't remember the exact quote). In that respect, PLAYBOY has succeeded wonderfully. Every issue of PLAYBOY I ever picked up has been entertaining.

That doesn't mean that I like everything about every issue. Maybe I don't agree with this month's Playmate selection. Or maybe I'm not interested in this month's interview subject. But then there is the fiction. And the movie review. And the music review. And the fashion. And the "men" column. There is always enough to keep me entertained.

Compared to its competitors, I'd like to point out what PLAYBOY isn't. PLAYBOY isn't only about sex. I think that distinguishes it from its early competitors, such as Hustler and Penthouse. PLAYBOY isn't only about attitude. I think that distinguishes it from its current competitors, such as FHM and Maxim.

In the context of American society (and no, I'm not American), PLAYBOY is a lot more than just the content between the covers. I think PLAYBOY is both a catalyst and a reflection of much that has happened since 1953. But I'll leave it to academics and members of this forum to debate PLAYBOY's place in history.

From: Mark Tomlonson <tomlonson@wmich.edu>, 31 Oct 2002
Subject: My life as a Playboy

I was moderately surprised about how many of the things Peggy wrote resonate with me and my experience.

Most men respond in some way or other to pretty much any picture of a naked woman that is even remotely sexual, and a good deal that aren't. Yet of all the pictures of naked woman on the Internet and on the newsstand, PLAYBOY is the only producer that I even bother to check out. As Peggy indicated, there is definitely something about the graphic allure of PLAYBOY.

Context matters, and PLAYBOY pretty much always shows their women in context, especially the featured women. They come from somewhere. They have a first and last name. They have family. They have hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes that have nothing to do with sex.

The sex in PLAYBOY is also part of the larger context of life. Sometimes we're sexy, sometimes we're political, sometimes we want a good story, sometimes we want to laugh. Because PLAYBOY presents sex in context rather than solo it holds my interest long after other nudes have faded away.

PLAYBOY is not the only magazine to have published pin-ups with artistic value. But they have done it longer and more consistently than any other magazine. It's out of this that I say that PLAYBOY wouldn't be PLAYBOY without the centerfold. It's a unique viewing experience on the magazine racks. It's not just that the picture is big, it's that most of the time it reflects a great deal of thought and preparation on the part of its producers. Quality will out, and I can't say too strongly how upset I was with Kim Stanfield's centerfold. The Stepford-wife plastic look seemed a betrayal of the standards on which PLAYBOY had built its empire.

In an open comment to Peggy, I have no trouble understanding a heterosexual woman who appreciates male-oriented erotica on PLAYBOY's level. Why do so many ads and features in women's magazines include high-quality female nudes? On the surface, it's the basic response to an attractive arrangement of form, light and line. On a deeper, monkey-brain level, it's the evolutioanry need male and female babies have to respond to adult women. Even if you take the heterosexual male elements out of a typical PLAYBOY photograph, there is still a lot to admire.

As to how I started reading PLAYBOY and why I keep doing it, the reasosn have all been spelled out by previous posters. I started reading in secret, then buying my own and then realizing how much value is in the average issue.

From: Dan Stiffler <calendar-girls@adelphia.net>, 01 Nov 2002
Subject: PLAYBOY Identity

PLAYBOY is a distinct aspect of my identity and has been since May 1962, when I purchased my first issue, just before my fourteenth birthday. Owning that magazine was a rite of passage, perhaps the first on my own. In that sense, it was my first step into adulthood. By myself, I took that issue of PLAYBOY off the rack at Blind George's Newsstand and put down my fifty cents at the counter. I then climbed on my bicycle and raced back to the school. It was lunch hour. For the rest of the day PLAYBOY gave weight to my PeeChee notebook. After school, in the gymnasium of my junior high, on the pull-out bleachers, some of my friends gathered as I opened the door of my magazine.

This was not my first time opening the pages of PLAYBOY. That had happened at my grandmotheršs house, when I was ten or eleven. My cousin and I had discovered a copy in her basement, probably squirreled away by one of her sons (she had four), one who had recently returned home from a broken marriage. It was the November 1958 issue; the cover mentioned Brigitte Bardot. I already knew about BB, had seen an article about her in one of my parents' magazines, maybe it was Life or Look. I was pretty sure that I was in love with her. Here BB was, "unexpurgated"! In a few seconds, I figured out what that word meant.

My cousin and I gave a quick and dirty look at the magazine...then we got bold. The centerfold seemed like something that needed to be pinned up. I don't know for sure whose idea this was, but, if later life is connected to the early in any meaningful way, it was mine. Thus, Joan Staley went up on the basement wall. I didn't know then that she was called Joan Staley, a girl whose father was a Navy chaplain and who had appeared on Perry Mason. I only knew that she was standing naked, facing me, looking directly at me. Years later I would see that she was "on set," with a script modestly held in front and with a CBS eye on the camera hovering in back. Then, as a boy who had thought he was in love with only Brigitte Bardot, I could only stare back.

At some point, my cousin and I began to worry. I do not remember why we decided to build a fire in the basement fireplace and then throw the magazine and the centerfold into the fire, but I remember doing it. I imagine that we were destroying the evidence.

My second experience with PLAYBOY was very quick, a matter of seconds really. A year or so after the fire, I was visiting the house of the same cousin. We had gone into his parents' bedroom for some reason and I saw on the dresser, in full view, the March 1960 issue. That cover is unforgettable, even if you have seen hundreds of others before first seeing it. Anyway, this was my second PLAYBOY cover, and I remember walking up to the dresser and standing in front of it, looking at this magazine that was out in the open, in the bedroom of a married man, who was my fatheršs brother, and in the bedroom of my aunt, upon whom I was sweet. I thought, this is the way it should be: out in full sight. It would be years before I would see Sally Sarell, Miss March, but I knew then that PLAYBOY should be on the dresser top, not stashed away in the basement.

Unfortunately, in the house of my uncle's brother, I would have to stash my PLAYBOYs. My early issues have quite a history. Our house did not have a basement, but the bookshelves in my bedroom had sliding doors. And in Southern Oregon there are woods for burying treasures, woods only me and my buddies knew about. Well, maybe the Indians knew before us, but we were the first white guys to find those woods. Good places to bury a wood-shop box filled with a beginner's collection.

When I went off to college, I lived my first year off-campus, at my grandmother's house. I was attending a liberal arts school that was too expensive for me but I could save room and board by staying with my grandma. One of the first things I did when I moved in was go to an art store and buy one of those make-it-yourself frames. It was wooden. I put Dianne Chandler into my frame and then on my bedroom wall. Grandma teased me but didn't seem to mind too much.

The next year I moved on-campus. In my fraternity house, I added framed centerfolds to my new wall space. I had seen the Playboy Clubs pictorials and I liked the design of a wall with framed playmates. You know that scene in Animal House where Otter takes the dean's wife up to his frat room and seduces her? There are framed playmates hanging on that wall. I didn't have the bar, nor the dean's wife, but I had the playmates. That was my room.

My first issue, the one at the bottom of a growing stack on my book shelves, had a feature about plans for the Playboy penthouse, which would have been built if Hef hadnšt found his Chicago mansion. It's true that Cynthia Maddox is quite simply the most remarkable feature of May 1962 and it's also true that Marya Carter was my "first playmate," but the Playboy penthouse really got me to thinking. I was already crazy about the E-type Jag parked in the garage. Boy, if I lived in a place like that and drove an E-type, maybe I could get a girl like Cynthia Maddox to come on over. I guess I still think about that place sometimes.

Today, most of my wall hangings are pin-ups. Alberto Vargas, Pompeo Posar, Art Paul, Chuck Miller, and Marilyn, lots of Marilyn. It's one thing to leave PLAYBOY out on the dresser top; something else, I suppose, to put it on the walls in the place where you live. But then PLAYBOY is a part of my identity, not one I have wanted to hide—at least not since that day with the March 1960 cover.

From: Dianne Chandler <dichandler@mindspring.com>, 03 Nov 2002
Subject: My contribution

As a PLAYBOY Playmate way back in 1966 (Miss September) I can't contain my enthusiasm for this round-table discussion, and am very grateful to Peggy for all her hard work in organizing it. Like Peggy, I was probably perceived as odd when, at 17 and still in high school, I was surreptitiously buying PLAYBOY at small corner stores which wouldn't have sold me cigarettes, had I smoked. I think I always said it was for my dad, which was total BS because my parents had divorced when I was about 6.

I guess at first it was the cartoons that probably drew me in, and then I became fascinated by the whole "Playboy Philosophy" which I would pore over each month. Coming from a rabidly religious background, I found the editorials to be a real breath of fresh air in contrast to the stale, phony, sanctimonious views of my mother and other family members and neighbors. I had engaged in sex at about 16 and no lightning bolts had come down from the heavens to scar my forehead with a red "X", and I was very healthy, active, and enjoyed my life as much as my limited financial resources would allow.

Always the rebel, by the time I was in my late teens I resisted almost everything I had been taught. It seemed like almost everything was some sort of lie to keep me from enjoying life, because it was contrary to religious principles to have fun. Calvinistic, Catholic, whatever, the way to everlasting life was to sacrifice in this world. I just couldn't buy into it. They said pot was terrible, and I saw "Reefer Madness" stoned and laughed my ass off. Of course, after that I didn't believe anything else they said about any other mind-altering substances, and proceeded to find out for myself about them. It seems funny, in retrospect, to note that the interview in "my" issue was with the brilliant Ken Kesey, whose "Sometimes A Great Notion" although not as well known as his award winning "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", was a truly wondrous piece of literature. And from there I was off to Richard Brautigan, Alan Watts, Robert M. Pirsig, Tom Robbins and on and on. And then of course there was the music. Hate to admit that I'm this old, but this was actually before there was a Rolling Stone magazine, just the rock group. (My life's dream is still to meet Keith Richards.) Then I began to get really into jazz, which of course led me into the realm of black recording artists.

Before I really get into the way I evolved into becoming a PLAYBOY Fan, let me explain a bit about my background. When my ever-so-religious mother felt I was too much of a brat to handle, she shipped me off to Arkansas to live with her parents. I was about eight. Certainly old enough for the little black and white TV at my grandparents' house to have an effect on me, and as I sat there watching the news, watching Bull Connor turn the fire hoses on blacks marching non-violently to try to secure their right to vote, I was horrified. What was all this crap I'd heard from all these churchy people all my life about "All men are created equal"? NOW I understood what the priest was saying back where I lived in the Chicago suburbs, when he admonished the parishioners at Sunday church to "vote the right way" or "coloreds" would overcome the neighborhood. The whites in Arkansas were patient but serious about explaining why I couldn't use just any water fountain, and why I could not swim in the local pool when black kids were in it. Incidentally, this occurred at Ft. Smith, the US Army Base, where my grandfather was the base electrician. I was sternly lectured about swimming with the "n-word". This was OUR government, I thought. How could they treat these people like they were so different? They seemed just like me, but with a great tan! How could we discriminate against them like this, both in church and in government?

My questions went unanswered or were brushed aside by adults. Fast-forward to late high school. Somehow got a hold of a PLAYBOY. The Philosophy was fascinating, but the interview was with someone like James Baldwin, whose books I had read all of by that time. I devoured it. I kept thinking "See, if a big magazine like PLAYBOY will address this issue of race, it will have to come out of the closet and it will have to end; it's against the law"! But of course, it didn't at first. However, at that time, PLAYBOY to me meant all that was a challenge to society, a publication that had the courage to stand up to this awful discrimination, and Hef seemed like a visionary to me. I was getting more and more into the Chicago blues scene, and after my first taste of the magazine I was as addicted as if it were a drug. Lenny Bruce, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Malcolm X, Jimmy Carter, Bobby Seale and innumerable musicians and writers were showcased in this delectable package, which provided me with hours of interesting reading for a couple bucks. And it was so far ahead of the curve! The magazine STOOD for something! Commuters on the train could brazenly carry it under their arm and use the old, standing line "I read it for the articles". Like most cliché's, it was only funny because it was true.

You could tell a lot about a person if you just saw them buying or walking along with a PLAYBOY magazine. If they only wanted to look at T&A, they would have purchased much less expensive and often cumbersome publications. It was axiomatic that if you read PLAYBOY, you READ it, hence you were probably politically liberal and relatively enlightened on such issues as race, the war, censorship, minority rights (including women's rights) and the freedoms our constitution and the Bill of Rights guaranteed to all Americans. I don't mean to sound so pompous. At age 18 or 19 you are pretty full of yourself and certain that you know it all... Remember "Don't trust anybody over 30"? And I felt that if I were somehow associated with PLAYBOY I, too, would be bringing some of these issues to light - that I would be in some small way helping to promote the truth.

Now that it's been 35 years since I appeared in the magazine my views on many issues have certainly evolved, just as I've gone from a perky 34C to a rather unwieldy 38DD! I still admire and respect the PLAYBOY magazine of the '60s and '70s when PLAYBOY really took a stand and boldly proclaimed the liberal position. They took on issues which were very controversial and I believe they changed the culture of this country for the better.

My own little story is simply a post-script to the above: as a student at University of Illinois, and being a PLAYBOY addict, I noticed an ad for "lunchtime Bunnies" at the Chicago Playboy Club. I sent in a few snapshots and to my great surprise I was accepted. Since the club was just across the street from the first PLAYBOY offices on Ohio Street, the employees, including the photographers, regularly came over for lunch. When one of them approached me about taking test shots for Playmate, I was certain he was kidding. Playmates were those golden girls, or long, dark-haired beauties, all very glamorous, and I was just a college kid. After the a couple of weeks of bantering about it I agreed, and believe me, nobody has ever been as surprised as I, in my cutoffs & U of I T-shirt, at home cleaning house, was when Marilyn Grabowski phoned to tell me I had been accepted as a Playmate. It was as if I were Cinderella! My whole life changed in that instant, and as I have said on many Playmate chats and on innumerable interviews and appearances, it has been the most wonderful and exciting event in my life. And it filled that void within me, not to be a glamour-girl, which was unbelievablyly fun and wonderful, but to also feel I was making a statement on a much larger platform than I ever could on my own. The magazine stood against the war, yet supported the troops - Jo Collins went to Viet Nam. We visited all branches of the military here at home in Veteran's hospitals and took pictures with them and just sat and visited with them. Believe me, if you weren't there you cannot imagine the emotion that went into these visits - these guys were our age!

In the years since, I feel the magazine has simply lost some of its direction. Where is its editorial zeal that made it such a formidable force in the culture of the '60s and '70s? Much of this influence has been absorbed into our lives without our thinking from whence it came. When I worked as a Bunny, there were actually still nightclubs in Chicago where Lionel Hampton could entertain, but was not allowed to eat dinner after the show! PLAYBOY encouraged all minorities to stand up for their rights and did everything they could to help. Hef was involved in those days. Perhaps now he feels, understandably, that he has fought the good fight and it is time to pass the torch. I hope the magazine will regain its original, feisty stance and begin to take up a political position again. Certainly there are issues out there waiting to be addressed by the thoughtful and insightful minds PLAYBOY can bring to bear. Good new fiction (the Scott Turow article in the new issue is a great start). Let's have interviews with Gen. Tommy Franks, with Ken Lay the former CEO of Enron (not just the "girls of Enron") with Jeb Bush, with Richie Daley. I won't bring up the "cookie-cutter" Playmates of late; enough has been said about that. Pretty girls in the nude will always be a pleasure to anyone except the fanatical right and Islam. It's just my personal feeling that we need to adopt an editorial policy that is germane to intelligent persons who enjoy challenging interviews, new, high-quality fiction, stunning covers and controversial articles. We need to define WHO we are today, and what we STAND FOR.

From: Juan Carlos Araujo <nickcharly@yahoo.com.ar>, 28 Oct 2002
Subject: My PLAYBOY history I

My history with PLAYBOY is born in May of 1970 when I buy the issue of May of that year. In Argentina under censorship in all referring to sex the only form to obtain an issue of PLAYBOY was of contraband in some "kioscos" of magazines that obtain it of people who traveled to the United States. That change my life radically. Of being an administrative employee it with time happens to have my own activity and to see the life of another form.

From: Peggy Wilkins <mozart@lib.uchicago.edu>, 08 Nov 2002
Subject: PLAYBOY: Principia; and The Next Generation

I have greatly enjoyed reading the various responses to our initial question, What Is PLAYBOY? Your contributions confirmed that PLAYBOY has touched each of us in very personal ways. We first saw the magazine out of curiosity, or via happenstance, and found something in it that we responded to that went beyond initial expectations. Both Dan and Raymond remarked on a strong personal identification felt with the magazine: its content mirrors their interests, the history of their lives, and even all of American culture for the latter half of the 20th century. Dan early on perceived the magazine as something valuable, actually burying it underground as if it were treasure. At first, it was stashed away, hidden from view; later, as we grew up and saw its value as a total package, it was left out proudly in plain view and was even displayed on the walls in our homes. It reflected and influenced style. Dan, Alfred, and I each especially remember the covers, Dan calling his second viewed PLAYBOY cover "unforgettable". To Juan, PLAYBOY stood out in stark contrast to the censorship in Argentina and represented a different, better life. To Dianne, PLAYBOY stood up publicly to face controversial issues, and in so doing contributed to making important and sorely needed changes in American culture.

These points we have made are not insignificant: they point to the vision that has driven the magazine's content, and to the editorial zeal (to use Dianne's wonderfully apt phrase) that has been so plainly evident in that content.

Peggy Wilkins
Last modified: Mon Apr 5 02:01:02 CDT 2004