We were the
Bunnies and an empire was created on our backsides and believe me, we
worked hard, very hard. The amazing thing that I am sure most people
don’t know is that we did not even receive minimum wage, all we
received on our pay checks was tips from the keyholders, and with
deductions on top of that.
that would be illegal, but in those days you could work for tips only.
In other words, we paid to work there, you might say. Yes, we made
money, but it really was hard work. We used to have $2.50 deducted for
costume cleaning and $2.50 for meals, and we used to have a chuckle as
we always swore that Hef had a chicken farm because the majority of
nights we ate chicken.
in one of the Bunny dorms at the mansion and I only paid $50.00 per
month to live in this amazing house right in the middle of the near
north (trés chic) area of Chicago. We had free use of the underground
swimming pool, underwater bar, billiard room, sauna and sun room.
There were liveried servants to take care of our needs and we could
order from a menu at the house 24 hours a day though this would be
charged to us as food was not included at the mansion.
rarely saw Hef in those days as he was a recluse. Playboy
International, the magazine would bring all the work to him. His suite
was on the ground floor and oft times I would be descending the stairs
and I would look down through his glass doors and see hopeful
Playmate’s pictures strewn all over the floor. He rarely came out of
there except for Sunday. That day a movie was shown in the ballroom
and he would appear with whatever girl was his for that day, Pepsi and
Hershey bars in hand and would settle to watch the film. After that he
would chat with us a bit and then disappear. I always found him to be
rather a boring person, but then even though I lived under his roof, I
would hardly say I knew him after a few Sunday afternoons.
I remember I used
to lay about with my roommates, there were eight of us in each dorm
and we would put our fingers up to our mouths as if to say,
shhhhh, we always swore the place had
cameras everywhere. Once the girls dared me to smuggle my hairdresser
into our dorm. He was gay so we figured we’d be pretty safe. I
did it! It was a hoot! :)
remember also the day I arrived in Chicago. I had attended a girl’s
Catholic boarding school and after one or two jobs I saw the ad in a
magazine and decided to apply. I was residing in California at
the time. I went to LA to be interviewed and was offered the job
After a month, I
received a ticket to Chicago and was told I would be picked up at the
palmer House hotel in Chicago, that all the arrangements had been
made. I had at this point lived in various places but had never
been very far a field on my own...so ....as the taxi was wending it’s
way down to the city, I was awestruck by the size of the buildings and
the size of everything! I was picked up by a liveried chauffeur
and driven to 1340 N. State Parkway, my new address.
liveried footman carried my bags up to my dorm and set them down and
left. There appeared to be nobody in the sitting room which
separated the two bedrooms which held two sets of bunk beds. I began
to explore and came to the bathroom. I head water splashing and looked
down to my right and saw a lovely blonde girl taking a bath. I guess
there was a look of surprise on my face as she looked up at me and
said, “if you think these are big, dahling, you
should see my heart.” Her name was
Marika Lukacs. She was a Hungarian and her accent was delightful,
very like the Gabor sisters. Marika and I are featured in
Kathryn Leigh Scott’s
Bunny retrospective -
The Bunny Years.
I could go on and
on, but I don’t know if you need any of my ramblings, though it’s fun