Saturday, February 25, 2017

Girls! Girls! Girls! -- A special S.I. Swimsuit edition

Cover girl Carol Alt from the Feb. 8, 1982 issue
IN A WORLD WITHOUT the Internet, a dark time known as the '80s, there were only a couple of ways a clean-cut teenage boy could see pictures of beautiful, yet scantily-clad women.

You could find a sympathetic news stand cashier, willing to let you buy skin mags before you were old enough to shave. You could sneak a peak at your dad's stash of porn, or your big brother's or your degenerate friends, or your friends' dads and brothers, or you could wait patiently for that annual edition of Sports Illustrated issue that they too wanted to see: the Swimsuit Issue.

This was, back then, kind of a big deal... and a big departure from the magazine's steady winter diet of basketball and hockey, football and whatnot.. and for a teenage boy freed from not having to skulk around with contraband copies of Playboy, Penthouse and their smuttier kin, almost as good.

And so it was, in February 1982, that my treasured copy of S.I. arrived in the mail, with a cover photo devoted to lovely, one-piece-wearing Carol Alt, a supermodel who was, coincidentally, then married to star New York Rangers defenseman Ron Greschner. Joining Alt inside the covers was another future hockey wife, Kim Alexis, along with models Charissa Craig and Kathryn Redding, all cavorting in Kenya. 

The photos were inspiring, and even educational as I learned the French word for bathing suit is maillot (something my high school French teacher should have illustrated this way for mnemonic purposes). I also learned there are people who's job it was to design those barely-there outfits, among them Leah Gottlieb of Gottex fame and someone named Norma Kamali.

Charissa Craig in a Cole of California

Red-head Kathryn Redding in a
Marcia Friedman-designed
Le Bag maillot.

I also learned, as did S.I. editors, that not everybody appreciated the magazine's departure from its more standard fare, for sure as pitchers and catchers would soon arrive at Arizona and Florida spring training sites, Sports Illustrated's letters page would soon be populated with angry missives from folks expecting more wholesome, less immodest content.

Kim Alexis wearing Norma Kamali
But life moves on for teenagers and for supermodels, none of us being the static moments of our best selves for very long. Plus the web, being what it is, has effectively blunted whatever shock/moral outrage value accompanied a high bare skin-to-swim suit ratio of some S.I. photos.

Alexis, according to Wikipedia, was for a time married to Greschner's one-time Rangers teammate, Ron Duguay. Now she is a blogger at Alt too is writing at

Charissa Craig is a real estate agent in northern New Jersey. Kathryn Redding was briefly an actress, featured in the 1981 Albert Finney/Susan Dey modeling-meets-sci-fi movie ``Looker.'' Beyond that, the readily-available public trail goes cold.

Duguay and Greschner, had their own modeling gigs of a sort.

Both men appeared in TV commercials for Sassoon jeans with Rangers teammates Phil Esposito, Anders Hedberg and Don Maloney. Duguay suited up for a 1979 spot, while the Alt spouse displaced him a year later.

But you didn't come here to read this or to see them. You came to look at the pictures.

-- Follow me on Twitter @paperboyarchive

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