Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Playboy Club, Dallas, Texas 1977-82

Did I ever tell you my Playboy Bunny Club story?
Trying to find a prompt to get me writing today I had a flash back...
I am going back to my first knowledge of the Playboy Club, hearing my parents discuss whether my dad would join. We had no extra money, so there was no discussion. I also heard my parents gossip about our neighbors (three houses down to the left, facing my parents home)- the husband who quit his profitable job to become a minister, his wife who was very attractive and came out for the paper in her robe, and their two children, both boys. I think they were little brats and she would never let them leave the yard. I thought my mom was strict. I believe we were around our tweens, I was the oldest at fifteen (yes I know, we were bored). The club opened around 1977 in a high rise off of Central Expressway- which is now owned by SMU for offices. Another residence was the Dallas Cowboy franchise, which football players frequented the club.
The wife was rumored to have found part-time employment at the club. We did not let a day go by without harassing this woman after the husband moved out and she filed for divorce. The scandal hardly could contain us. The neighborhood boys wanted to see her come out and lose the robe, so it was always something to get her to the door. My sister, Steve (Leslie's younger brother, my first boyfriend), and Tim always hid behind these enormous (in height and width) bushes and we would ring her door bell just to watch her come and get pissed off at us. We would all run and laugh. Once the hormonal boys were rewarded by her coming to the door in her bunny costume without hiding under her infamous trench coat.

Eventually another neighbor, first house to the left, Janet, for kicks and a dare from her husband went and tried out for the bunny job, and got it. I babysat for them from fourteen to leaving home at sixteen, but often would visit when I came home. When I was about to turn 18 in 1979 they confessed to her having the Playboy Club Bunny job part-time. Then she let me try on her costume, which was black, because she had flaming red hair. It fit. But I am sure it was against the rules. Not sure.
 I was very mature body wise, her husband used to tease me about having boobs. I think he was a boob man, and I gave him a boob cup for a gift once. Janet's sister was visiting and they asked me if I wanted to do something special for my 18th. Her sister was 22 and wanted to go to the Playboy Club, they gave us the key but we all ended up going. There was a lure to this private club scene, and I wanted to check it out. I do remember feeling everyone was so much older than I was.

I ordered a Tom Collins, because I had no idea what to drink. I wasn't much of a drinker, and got tipsy. It was very dark in the, entrances, hallways, and to the bathrooms. I called out 'Oh man is it dark or what' and out of the blue an African American man came out of the darkness, his big white eyes and teeth smiling saying BOO; it was Ed 'Too Tall' Jones. Janet was behind me, excited she told me who it was. He laughed out loud as my heart was beating so fast. I have a picture of myself that night wearing a gown and make-up, and with one of my neighbors wigs on. Janet made me up, so I looked a lot older than I was.

The club closed less than a year later, and it seemed the eighties I loved came around- Madonna, big hair, monochrome colors, music with lots of saxophone and shoulder pads. Did I mention leggings? I miss those and shoulder pads the most. It was fun reading the various sites about those times, my parents era coming to an end. The young seem to grow into their twenties and we older folk stop aging as time goes by, swifter than a jack rabbit on the run...

I see these cute little bunnies all over the landscape here in New Jersey. The jack rabbits of my youth, the size of kangaroo passing in front of my parents car in west Texas, would eat these babes alive. We do remember bigger than life images don't we!

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