My families association with Hef began in the 60s when TL was featured as an interview subject in the magazine. That interview still remains one of the pivotal early profiles. Not long after that Hef was vital in raising money for TL’s legal defense against “the man” for trying to shut down his ideas. This was huge.
I’m sure there will be some chatter about Playboy’s objectification of women and all the tangental issues that go along with that. Perhaps what many young people don’t realize is that Hef was a fierce champion of First Amendment rights, fringe political issues, anti-authoritarian causes and for creating a modern day dreamland that was all his own and was beyond anything recognizable in 1950s America.
“Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.”
In my youth my parents would regale me with stories of wild hedonistic tinged nights at the Playboy mansion. God only knows what really went on but I was treated to stories of Kareem calling my dad “doc” and the casual elegance of Jack just hanging out talking to Babs. Naturally like any young man growing up in LA during the 80’s, I couldn’t wait for it to be my turn.
That didn’t come until much much later and quite honestly by the time I arrived I felt like I was 20-30 years too late. It was cool to meet him, sure. But the “Hef” mystique is one of the few tapestries in life that make me feel I was born at the wrong time.
Shine on Hef. You were a maverick.