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  Texas : Feature : Columns : Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories :

Christa Speck Was the Most Beautiful of All

by Bill Cherry
It was in the days of bachelor pads and Christa Speck...the most beautiful Playmate ever. 

The cool jazz of Ella, Sinatra, Mathis and the Count with Johnny Rivers and Maynard thrown in every once in a while.  The apartment in a complex with as many airline stewardess neighbors as possible.  

Chevis and waters by the pool.  Trying not to look drunk when you were totally blatto.

Hoping to scope out ittsy bittsy, teeny weenie, yellow polka dot bikinied chicks if you stayed by the pool long enough, and even though you had a strange colored tan with dark orange hands, elbows and kneecaps compliments of a five buck bottle of Man Tan.

Trying to cook from the recipes of Playboy chef Thomas Mario (who, although I never saw a picture of him, I know was far cooler and more urbane than Emeril), smoke a pipe and basically live like Hugh Hefner said we should.  And to be sure we knew how, he told us every month in the Playboy Philosophy and the Playboy Advisor columns.

And I never doubted for a second this was the Real Me.  I just had a different name and was shorter than Hef.  And I lived in Denton, Texas and he lived in Chicago.  How could that really matter?  I knew they were nothing more than minor obstructions to Playboy bachelor justice.

So on my limited college budget I decorated my apartment with Danish Modern furniture on top of a turquoise and orange shag carpet, had Ella and the Count playing on the Gerrard record changer, puffed on my pipe and invited the airline stewardesses by for cocktails and a bit of my interpretation of the Playboy philosophy (which they hardly ever bought). 

And I made sure my turquoise and orange shag had been freshly raked before the cocktail hour.

For future reference, I saved every Playboy Magazine.  I've got them from July 1962 through December 1971.  And I had them all professionally bound just like good books.  Leatherette covers with gold lettering on the spines and fronts, sewn and glued...the whole nine yards. 

And then after all of that Playboy lifestyle concentration, wouldn't you know, I fell in love and got married.  (No, not to an airline stewardess. And she's never once worn an ittsy, bittsy, yellow polka dot bikini.)

So, I've been toting these volumes around for years.  Now I know it's time for me to accept the fact that my Playboy days are over.  My wife said last year that at 67 it was time to stop dreaming.  “It ain't gonna happen for you,” she told me.
So I put my Playboy volumes up for auction on Ebay thinking that perhaps I had been replaced by another young man who lived in an apartment building with airline flight attendants. He would surely pay a pretty penny for my vintage Playboys.

Maybe he and his friends would come across Christa Speck’s pictures and know that she was the most beautiful Playmate ever. And contemporaneously I would have to admit to myself that she was never my real life girlfriend, and I would know for sure that she never would be. 

The Playboy volumes didn’t sell. They didn’t even get a bid. So Christa Speck, Hef’s sexual counsel, the recipes of Thomas Mario and the dreams of a 1960s young man are stored again in the plastic tubs in my garage. And yesterday I hit 68-years.
Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories April 23, 2008 column
Copyright William S. Cherry
All rights reserved

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Bill Cherry, a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other bookstores.
 
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