and copyright of 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
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
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.
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?"
Detroit Playboy Club, 1963-64