Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Legend of a Different Sort

My dad, who passed away a few years ago, and whom I think about often, was a lifelong railroad man. I've already chronicled a couple of my railroad adventures and will undoubtedly write about more of them in the future. Railroads played a big part in my youth.

When I was, I suppose twelve or thirteen years old, I discovered magazines. I was selling the Grand Forks Herald in the streets of downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and making decent money for a twelve-year old. Fifty or so cents a day could keep an adult alive in those days, if he didn't mind living in a camp down by the river.

At times, after I'd sold my papers, I'd walk down to the train station, to a very well-stocked newsstand across the street. I liked to peruse Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines, take a look at Argosy and some of the other men's adventure magazines. Mechanix Illustrated was one of my favorites. I still remember Tom McCahill's road tests of the various new cars, in which there was his signature photo of himself, a big man, or his (large) dog Boji, lying in the open trunk of the car he was reviewing to indicate the adequacy of the storage space. Of course, the technology fan that I am today has its roots in these magazines, as well as Popular Science and others.

There were the science fiction monthlies, the horror magazines (whose names fade into obscurity), the crime magazines and, of course, the girlie mags.

Kids my age weren't supposed to wander to the far end of the magazine racks. The little "over 21" sign was supposed to keep kids away from the fledgling Playboy and the many others at the end of the racks.

I didn't let it stop me. The clerks were usually busy helping customers, working on stock or just reading a magazine. Some probably just didn't care. Occasionally, I'd step a couple of feet beyond the limits and leaf through this girlie magazine or that. The curiosity of a twelve-year-old boy is a very real.

Scantily-dressed women will always attract the looks of young boys and men. From the girls with torn dresses, shrinking in horror from the long, curved fangs of a bug-eyed monster on the cover of a sci-fi pulp to the women in red or black lingerie posed in the girlie magazines, to the now almost forgotten nudist camp magazines, only one name survives to this day.

Bettie Page.

Her photos have appeared in several issues of Playboy magazine, including a feature as Playmate of the Month in the January, 1955 issue, and had hundreds of photos published in various men's magazines in those few years. Photos in and out of then very risque lingerie and in poses suggesting both kinky sex and pure feminine beauty.

Bettie Page, at this writing, is still alive, but just. She was being treated for pneumonia, was about to be released when she suffered a sudden heart attack that's left her in critical condition in an LA hospital. This according to a DenverPost.com story, here.

Bettie is 85 now, and has lived in relative obscurity for decades, until granting some interviews in recent years.

I, of course, wish Bettie a full recovery.

But, I've outgrown all that stuff now. Like hell, I have!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

Addendum: Ms Page passed away yesterday, December 11. Rest easy, Bettie. You'll be remembered for a long, long time.

15 comments:

Lone Chatelaine said...

Bettie Page is awesome. That's when women were WOMEN.

T. F. Stern said...

There was a film made in black and white, not too long ago, which was sort of a biography of Bettie Page. I don't know how much of it was true; but the woman who played the role looked so similar as to be be spot on double for her.

Col. Hogan said...

LC,

There's a photo of her face at age 80, on imdb. And she's a very good looking octogenarian. Still has the bangs, too.

Col. Hogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T. F. Stern said...

I posted a YouTube video last night with the Theme for Peter Gunn. What might be of interest to you, once the video was completed, there on the bottom tool bar were several "related" music video clips and one of them had Bettie Page doing a soft bondage scene with the Peter Gunn music in the background. There are lots of links to Bettie after the second video.

Col. Hogan said...

TF,

I remember the movie, but I haven't seen it. Meanwhile, I'll look into the Youtube videos as soon as I can get them to play on my computer....I think it's caught a virus or something.

smartass sob said...

There's a photo of her face at age 80, on imdb. And she's a very good looking octogenarian.


I'm not surprised - women with truly beautiful facial features tend to retain them even into old age barring disease or disfigurment of some kind. She had - has - nice eyes.

sasob

Oswald Bastable said...

I agree- when women were real WOMAN- not stick insects with silicon bits!

Oswald Bastable said...

I agree- when women were real WOMAN- not stick insects with silicon bits!

Col. Hogan said...

Sasob,

Nice eyes....bedroom eyes. And, a delightful smile. She also has the most beautiful clavicles I've ever seen!

Col. Hogan said...

Oswald,

Yes, they do grow up kind of skinny, not to mention top heavy, pretty often.

Rumor has it that they don't need water wings either, when they swim.

mksviews said...

There are still beautiful women out there folks, on the outside and one the inside. I dare to say, most are on the conservative side. ;)

Col. Hogan said...

MK,

Agreed. Though I'd place libertarians on that list, as well.

Reading is a lost art among leftists, and those who profess to dislike politics. Hence, they have no reasoning ability and no basis 'pon which to form reasoned opinions. Hence, they're the ones who present themselves as "airheads."

smartass sob said...

Unfortunately, Colonel, I just heard on the ten o'clock news tonight that Ms. Paige has just passed away - about five days after suffering a heart attack, I think they said. May she rest in peace.

sasob

Col. Hogan said...

Sasob,

May she rest in peace, indeed!

Well, she left a lot of herself behind, in photos and the memories of her fans. She won't be soon forgotten.