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We’ve come a long way from Gilligan’s Island

Remember watching “Gilligan’s Island” on TV as a kid? Among the shipwrecked cast members was Dawn Wells, who played the role of wholesome “Maryann” in the sitcom. A friend of mine (by chance our graduation photos appeared opposite each other in the 1956 Reno High School yearbook) she laughs looking back at the show: “It was OK for me to wear short shorts, but the censors wouldn’t allow me to show my bellybutton.”

Similarly, the actress who portrayed Ginger, the movie star, could not show any cleavage.

Just too darned erotic for mainstream America.



Flash forward 50 years to the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, now appearing on news racks all over America.

The Internet is where you’ll even find opportunities to watch some of the models frolic during the photo shoots. And that’s the way it is.

There’s the smiling face of nubile young Hannah Davis, mere fractions of an inch from showing everything the lower half of a bikini is supposed to cover.




It quickens the pulse, lemme tell ya.

Picking up my issue from the mailbox I tried to visualize how the cover photo would have been received at Reno High in my high school days.

I mean besides groups of boys thrashing around and shouting, “Let me see! Let me see!”

Mrs. DeRuff, our librarian, would have gone catatonic. No question about it.

Mr. Rosachi, who played the role of disciplinarian over we, hormone-charged youngsters, would be giving out demerits by the hundred to anyone who laid eyes on it.

Our principal would have sent it straight to the incinerator. Nowadays I doubt it would scarcely cause a ripple (which ironically rhymes with “nipple”).

This is by far the most popular edition of Sports Illustrated, and its editors used previous issues to ask that readers who did not want to receive the issue, to please let them know.

Why? Well, for sports purists, it contains no sports news.

But, trust me: most guys don’t care.

These are the days, see, when the nightly TV news unblushingly has advertisements for such things as “performance enhancing” Cialis and vaginal creams.

I rather doubt that the editors of this family newspaper will run a cover photo of the issue in question. I probably wouldn’t.

But if you miss it, check out the newsstand or go online to SI.com/swimsuit. The Internet is where you’ll even find opportunities to watch some of the models frolic during the photo shoots.

And that’s the way it is.

Dick Tracy lives in Grass Valley.


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