Bunny Penny Biography
Biography courtesy and copyright of Bunny Penny.

Bunny Penny
Bunny Penny

What fun! The reunion. Why did I hesitate about going, even for a minute?! I didn't know if I would know anyone else, it had been so many years. It was great and brought back so many memories, so many stories.

One of the first persons I recognized was Keith Hefner, the man that hired me 40 years ago. I needed to speak to him at the reunion and have a picture taken for future memories. He is still the gentleman I remember.

When my husband Carl, an Intern at the time, suggested I apply for the position of Bunny at the new Detroit Playboy club, I was actually floored. I think a combination of admiration for the whole glamor thing of Playboy and his own self-confidence, made it OK for me to be there. His long hours at the hospital and poor pay check made some job for me mandatory, so why not have some fun. A year old baby Leslie, was a consideration too.

I did apply, and got the job! Yea! It started with training and fittings for the famous Bunny costume. All of the girls were excited and we worked in the spirit of fun and the camaraderie was great. Sorority sisters couldn't have been closer. We felt glamorous in our satin costumes, sore feet aside, we looked good. The tipped trays, the union pickets and awkward first days were forgotten. We were Playboy Bunnies!!!

We had a press opening, and then the public opening on New Year's Eve, 1963. We all made good money and had fun doing it. Some of the Doctor's wives at my husband's hospital were scandalized, to find me working there. He was proud of me and happy to have his own Bunny. Incidentally, I made more money in a week then he made in a month.

I got the job!
I got the job!

Some outstanding memories were; the after work cocktails at the Intermission, where I learned to drink Grand Marnier - Oh Boy! Also the back room at Grecian Gardens in Detroit's Greektown, where night club stars mingled with politicos and wheeler dealers till the early morning hours, drinking cocktails from coffee cups and having yummy Greek food. We felt so cool to be a part of all the fun.

I remember seeing Bunny Joy get a $600 tip and nearly fainting. I remember Viva and her beautiful Jaguar she drove to work. I loved that car. I remember my locker partner Kitty and how we ended up at a party on a yacht, with my husband Carl, Coleman Young, later Mayor of Detroit, and his girlfriend Joyce Garrett. I remember Bunny Kathy, a sweetheart, and frequent Bunny of the Year, the one girl I have kept in touch with. All good memories.

After all these years and the many things I've accomplished, my family is my best work. My husband Carl, my four children, now adults, that I am so proud of: Leslie, Melissa, Carl and Daniel. The Art History Degree, that I worked for late at night after my family was asleep, is one of great prides. The German language courses, which I needed for research, was very interesting. I am also very proud of the more then 20 years of Volunteer work I did at the Detroit Institute of Arts, being a Docent and Speakers Bureau member. I was honored by being selected for the Governors Honor Role 2004, for my museum work. It has been a great trip! I am still asked at Intern graduation parties, "Is it true you were a Playboy Bunny?"

Bunny Penny
Detroit Playboy Club, 1963-64

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