Turning back the clock with Playboy’s Miss February 2007 | NevadaAppeal.com

Turning back the clock with Playboy’s Miss February 2007

Sam Bauman
Entertainment Editor

Sam Bauman/Nevada Appeal

I used to interview Playmates while working at the Playboy ranch in Chicago years ago. It was always fun to be paid to talk to busty, beautiful women and get paid for it. So a few weeks ago the people at the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno told me that a Playboy Playmate would be the unofficial life guard at their Nikki Beach. Why not turn back the clock and see if the Playmates were as nifty today as they were then?

So on a Sunday the Nikki sand beach (yes, there is one) was well populated by young upscale ($30 admission with brunch) sunbathers and swimmers as well as Heather Rene Smith, Miss February 2007. She’s from Sacramento but has been doing a lot of traveling lately.

“I sometimes stay at Hef’s place in Holmby Hills in LA,” she said, youthfully blonde and lovely. (For those who have been hiding under a rock for the last 50 years, Hef is Hugh Hefner, editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine.)

Heather is a very healthy young lady (I forgot to ask her age, sorry) resplendent in a well-occupied sports-top bra and shorts. She was as charmingly chatty and as straightforward as a well-chilled martini. As Hef used to say, “like the girl next door.”

So it was just like the old days in Chicago when I would interview an upcoming Playmate, same questions, but newer, refreshing answers.

Q. How did you get to be a Playmate?

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A. “Well, I went to several casting calls and first appeared in some special publications.” (We magazine editors used to call those one-shots.) Did some charity shows. Then finally I got the call.”

Q. What do you want to do once you’re finished with Playboy personal appearances, like this one?

A. “I’ve been doing fashion shows and more charity events, but I’m studying to become a crime scene investigator. I’ve traveled to all 50 states since my February issue.”

Q. The benefits of being a Playmate?

A. “It’s taken a lot of the stress out of my life. I don’t have to worry about paying my college tuition.” (Playmates were always well rewarded for posing and for appearances.)

Q. Any advice for prospective Playmates?

A. “Don’t try too hard. But keep on trying, going to casting calls, making yourself seen. Avoid those guys who say they are photographers from Playboy. Make sure to check them out.”

Q. How did your family react to you becoming … more visible, shall we say?

A. “They have been very supportive and happy for me. My brother thinks it’s cool.”

Q. How is it to deal with Hef these days?

A. “He’s a perfect gentleman, and he’s so smart. We’ll be looking at a magazine layout and he’ll say something like, ‘We used a picture just like that 11 years ago.'”

Q. Any significant other these days?

A. “No, too busy traveling and doing fashion shows.”

Q. Sports?

A. “Yes, I love to snowboard at Heavenly. I’m not terribly good but it’s fun.”

Q. Should we be looking forward to seeing you as a crime scene investigator on TV?

A. “Heavens, no. I just want to do background work. You know, look for the clues.”

It was like old-home week talking to a Playmate. Notice, no questions about those measurements. You can see some of the photos I took at nevadaappeal.com.

And darned if she wasn’t like that girl next door – that I never met.

MUSIC IN OUR AIR

For a goodly while the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno (160 Liberty St.) has been offering a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. served with local jazz combos in the CafeMusee every third Sunday of the month. Admission is free, but the brunch costs from $1 to $15, depending on your appetite. This weekend they continue the brunch but with an alternative kind of music, classical. The classical sounds play the fourth Sundays. The jazz Sundays are always fine as there are lots of outstanding jazz players in Reno. This Sunday we’ll try the classic event with Allan Fuller and Peter Lenz.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.