I have always been interested in writing. As mentioned previously, I spent much of my career as a technical writer. After retiring, I returned to BC and started new activities. I met a woman (in an exercise class) who belonged to a creative writing group and she invited me to join. (Participants, by the way, were aged 66 to 90.)
What makes you step forward after all these years and tell about your model career in this forum? Nostalgia?
As a member of this group, I had to produce one 10-15 minute ?story? each month. Great! Now, I was a member, what could I write about? It wasn?t hard to decide. All the ladies were writing stories of their past ? memoirs. Some wrote short vignettes, others presented episodes that were part of a longer story they were writing. I started with a couple of short narratives about five-year-old me ? my earliest memories. Then, I wrote ?Boobs.? After presenting ?Boobs,? I began to focus on the period my memoir would explore ? my activities from age 16 to age 25. (I call it my ?leap before I look? period.)
Writing a memoir involves research. After 40 - 50 years, names have been forgotten, visual details are fuzzy, specific dates need to be verified, etc. All the ladies, even those 80+, are internet experts. It helps to have pictures, letters, etc. to jog the memory.
I had a portfolio of pictures from my modelling days, but nowhere near a full collection of the magazine pictures that had appeared. I used Google to search the internet for possible vintage magazines that might contain my pictures. I found one ? Escapade, December 1963 ? containing pictures I had never seen. Googling for a specific name, in my case ?Gloria Dawn,? can be a long, arduous process because the search engine found dozens of Gloria Dawn?s before it located one relating to me. So I didn?t google my modelling name often, and I didn?t get any more hits.
A few months ago, I discovered it was easier to search eBay for vintage pinup magazines. On September 15th, I discovered a listing for Modern Man that contained my picture. I had one copy of this Ron Vogel centerfold, but my copy was wrinkled and torn, and I wanted a less blemished copy for my collection (and the complete magazine, not just the picture I tore from the magazine). However, the eBay seller, who you know on this internet site as ?jgabby,? stated in his listing that he would only ship to the US. So I contacted him, via eBay, asking if he would ship to Canada, stating that I wanted this issue because I was the centerfold model.
Thus began an e-mail correspondence. Jgabby graciously sent the magazine to me free of charge, asking only that I send back a second copy autographed.
As jgabby was a collector, buyer and seller of vintage pinup magazines, I asked if he would keep his eyes open for magazines featuring my pictures. I mentioned I had modelled for a couple of photographers as a brunette but never seen magazine spreads in which I appeared as a brunette. Jgabby found the Jaguar spread. (I am certain it is me, because one of the B&W?s in the spread shows me taking off my own dress ? I have a non-nude picture of me in that dress ? and another B&W displays the mole on my left back shoulder ? a mole I had since age 14.)
Jgabby also told me that he found images of me on the My Archives Vintage Porn website and attached its URL. This is how I discovered your group.
So, it is not so much a case of my suddenly ?stepping forward.? I have been working on a memoir for two years; I have been searching for magazines containing my pictures for two years. I discovered this site by accident. If jgabby had shipped to Canada, I would simply have bid on the magazine and never started the correspondence that led to my ?speaking up.?
Probably other models from the 60's would ?step forward? also if they knew about this site. Once a person reaches age 60, she usually doesn't feel the need to keep secrets.
I am not saying that you would get a stampede of former 60's models visiting this website, but you would probably get a few. Two barriers stop most of these older models from ?stepping forward?:
Many people my age are reluctant to try new ways of using the internet. For example, I have had a hard time getting my friends ? that is, people I know well ? to join Facebook. Even those friends with whom I correspond regularly by e-mail are reluctant to try something different. So I am obliged to become ?friends? with their children/grandchildren and hope that these children/grandchildren periodically relay my news and show my photos to their mother/father/grandmother. (Sorry group, the pictures are of my cats, grandchildren and travels, and all you would find out is that Michael Connelly is one of my favourite authors, Taxi Driver and Hotel Rwanda are two of my favourite movies, and that I really, really like the blues. ?Buddy Guy is coming to town on November 10th and I got my ticket two minutes after they went on sale.? No interesting information about my modelling days on Facebook.)
Any model searching for pictures of herself would not find this website if she simply typed her modelling name into the Google search engine. Google is the best we have right now, but it is still an imperfect search tool. I consider myself a fairly sophisticated user of the internet, but I would never have found this group if it hadn?t been for jgabby. He is in the business of collecting and selling vintage men?s magazines, and so would know the right ?tags? to use to search for these items.