Biography courtesy and copyright of Joy Percival.
I grew up in Florida. I remember watching wild monkeys play in the trees behind our house. Of course it's all condos now as time marches on.
My father's job moved us to Michigan. I don't think my mother ever forgave him for taking her away from sunny Florida. They made return visits often and retired in Marathon, where my dad fished daily. I have a brother who still lives in the Keys Growing up I was very shy even though I was always elected for one thing or another in school. My shyness use to drive my mother crazy.
After graduation I spent some time back in Florida. where I dated a guy who worked for the Miami Herald News, so I was always in the paper for some kind of advertisement.
Eventually I went back to Michigan. I was looking for work when my mother told me about the Playboy Club that had just opened in Detroit. I panicked at her suggestion. She really didn't want me to go there did she? The next thing I know I'm in heels and ears. Talk about a life change!! Being treated like royalty, going to fine restaurants, meeting famous people and not to mention making lots of money. In the dressing room of the club, we would unzip our costumes and money would appear from everywhere, it was like a magic act.
It wasn't long before I had a 17th floor apt. and a Corvette. The parking tickets I got on that car were the only kind of ticket I have ever received. I guess you just can't park by the side door of the club in a hour parking zone when you are late for your shift. I bet all of us Bunnies would love to have the money back we paid in parking tickets. Eventually the club got us parking closer to the door. I have to say the first days of training were an eye opener for me. If it hadn't been for John Citrone, Dickie Wong and the kindness of the other Bunnies, I would never had made it through training.
After learning the floor routine, the next thing to conquer were the aching feet. I remember sitting backwards on the commode and sticking my sore (still in nylons) feet in the water and flushing for a good five minutes. We all knew that little secret. It was comical to hear us all sloshing when we walked back to our stations. We all laughed about finding the good seat.
I remember short skirts with tall boots, Mary Quant mascara over two pair of eye lashes, trying to get our hair the highest, having a large bag of make-up and curlers, Twiggy skinny, trying to find glue for our false finger nails, painting finger nail polish on a run that had just started in our nylons, love-ins on Belle Isle, hippies, Motown, going over to Canada to appear on the Bill Kennedy TV show, going to the Rooster Tail and watching the Supremes in their early days, all of us having our picture taken with Wilt 'the Stilt' Chamberlain. I remember the 60's riots: I watched the tanks drive by from my apartment window. The times they were a changing.
We had the greatest entertainers at the club, Hines, Hines and Dad with Gregory Hines, Flip Wilson, who was my favorite, Lana Catrell, Gladys Knight, Slappy White was so funny, and the king of one liners, Henny Youngman. These were just a few.
After work there were always entertainers at the Grecian Gardens and the Pink Panther. I still can't believe none of us were at the Grecian Gardens when they were raided for serving drinks after hours in the back room. We spent many nights there having great dinners with great people.
On our stage was the Matt Michaels Trio. Once, well more than once, someone from the trio would sneak up behind you while you were on stage introducing the act for the night and unzip your costume!! Well let me tell you, when it happened to me, my voice went soprano as I tried to hold the microphone, hold my tray and keep up the top half of my costume. There were laughs all around. Promotions were always a lot of fun. We once went on a plane with propellers and no seats to upper Michigan. but when we got there we were once again treated like royalty.
I was a Bunny Mother for a while, but it wasn't near as much fun as being a Bunny. So a big thanks to all the people who changed my life and gave me so many memories, starting with the man himself, Hugh Hefner, and the Bunnies: Kathy, Jeanne, Fran, Dolly, Lee, Topsy, Russi, Lori, Echo, Terri, Kitty, Jo, and last but not least Ronni. These are just a few of the Bunnies I will always keep in my heart and wish the best for.
After I put away my heels and ears, I met and married Mel, my husband of 34 years. Mel is the greatest, and he thinks I can do no wrong, now you know why he is the greatest. We have two girls and now they can do no wrong. The girls have us wrapped around their little fingers. They are truly a gift and the light of our lives.
After moving from our lake house we bought a 30-acre riding academy in Milford where we taught jumping, eventing, dressage and even did a handicap program for 10 years. We stayed in that business for 20 years. We now live in horse country in a town named Tryon in North Carolina. The weather is wonderful and I ride in the mountains by my house as often as I can.
As for our girls, Jennifer lives in Las Vegas and is a licensed Sommelier in wine serving and just bought a house. She works at the Venetian and a local casino by her house. Amber lives just outside of Orlando, Florida. She takes after my mother and will never live anywhere else, and lives on a lake and spends her time wake boarding. Any time you go to her house you will always find a bunch of people with boats and boards.
Once again the Bunny Days changed my life and mom would be proud as I'm no longer shy.