GIRLS OF YORE: LAURA MISCH

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The Seventies was the Golden Age of Playboy magazine. Now, we don’t make that statement with any less than a full hour or so of intense discussion and since we think we won that round, we thought we’d celebrate with Miss February ’75: Laura Misch.

Now, what we love about Laura is her wicked dry sense of humor and the fact that she’s a good writer. OK, OK, there are a few other things we love about Laura, but hell, everyone goes there first. And she’s one of the few Playmates we think we’d like to sit down and have a few drinks with and, well, just talk, y’know?

Born an Okie the same week that Hef released his very first issue of Playboy, Laura grew up a tomboy (gawd, doesn’t every Playmate say that?) before running off to New Orleans to see what the world had to offer her. Now, by the early Seventies, the Playboy Clubs were all over the country in major party cities and Hef was in the middle of dealing with the twisted moral codes of the Deep South and how they worked their way past the front door of his palaces in southern towns like The Big Easy. And Laura had been promised a job at the club, provided she could learn how to master the famous “Bunny Dip,” and there was just nothing that was going to get in her way. As she would later recall, she had “big, proud titties suitable for framing” and was going to put them to good use.

While working at the club, the magazine sent a photographer to New Orleans to do some talent scouting for upcoming issues and wasted no time getting Laura in front of the camera. A few setups, a few wardrobe changes and some hair and makeup and Laura soon found herself in Chicago at the Playboy HQ – and discussions of Playmate and a cover were soon being had by the people with the enviable job of making decisions like that.

As these things usually went, the trajectory of those big and proud titties landed her in some films of the day (not the least of which was that pillar of Seventies filmmaking, Mandingo – also the theme of her February ’75 covershoot), a few car show girl stints and other modeling gigs for Hef, but she never left New Orleans. Married a cop, lived a life that could only be realized in that town and had a great time doing it.

Laura eventually left that man and the town that made the Laura Misch we know and love, but she never stopped writing. One of our favorite pieces of hers is the one she wrote for Salon about her life as a New Orleans Bunny: a quick wit, a sense of self-deprecation mixed with a sense of humor and never taking those years during the Seventies too seriously. Like we said; we love that.

Laura is still writing and publishing books from her base in Colorado. We’re working up the nerve to call her for an assignment…

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