We have a sort of “show and tell” at our Over the Hill Gang coffee sessions. Needless to day, when you have a group of guys pushing 90 years of age and who have led long careers, including high education, military service, world travel, vast mountain climbing and many other wild and varied adventures, it gets to be a problem coming up with something “new” to pass around.
I lucked out recently and found my original Gold Membership card to the Los Angeles Playboy Club. Had to buy it years ago because of being lost with my friend Cal Jorgenson while driving around at night during a convention there. We ended up parking in a spot reserved for Hugh Hefner, king of the Playboy empire. We were desperate because we both were starving for food and a bathroom.
The Gang was quite impressed with the rather expensive membership card and it was good to have something to show upon hearing of the November death of Hefner. He was the one who first produced a very slick, successful magazine promoting random sex and young ladies without any clothes. He soon had imitators, including a super-raunchy mag called “Penthouse.”
I only bought one copy of that publication and the following column featured one of the “revealing” stories therein. My column was reproduced by other newspapers, including the Seattle P.I. in the fall of 1984. This is it:
Curiosity is a mighty force up all living things, and especially on us mere mortals. Sometimes, it costs us dearly … like the time I would up in the hospital wing trying to see if it was really impossible to ride a toy wagon down Murphy’s Hill, but curiosity is also the instinctive influence which leads us to all knowledge.
I once read that, if a man loses curiosity, his education ends. Someplace else, it was written, “Show me a disinterested person and I will show you and uninteresting person.”
I never ever want to stop learning, and, who among us would deliberately become a bore? These are the absolute and only reasons why I put on dark glasses, a low-brimmed hat and then went downtown and bought THAT Penthouse Magazine.
When the do-gooders start firing Miss America, I want to know why.
The way I figure it, wife Iris wouldn’t have found the dumb magazine, under a pile of newspaper clippings, if she wasn’t a bit curious herself.
And, in the second place, she should have had enough faith in her husband to believe what I told her about my not actually “looking” at the naughty pictures.
To remain informed, it seems we conscientious professional journalists must forever tread the razor’s edge.
Life is good.
G.George Ostrom is an award-winning columnist. He lives in Kalispell.