Shepherd and Playboy--it kind of makes sense. Shepherd and Hefner were both self-made working-class guys from the Midwest trying terribly hard to convince the world that they were not the shy, inept dreamy types who spent most of their adolescent on the outside looking in--truth be told, Hefner, even at his peak of cultural signifigance (and he actually had some, many years ago) still had his nose pressed against the glass--the outsider with the in-crowd even when the party was at his house . . .
Somehow, Playboy's Girls Next Door don't seem like a good fit with Homan, Indiana.....maybe the women of the old Maidens calendars would fit better "Girls from down your street & up your alley". Playboy turned me on to Shep when I first read "Wanda Hickey", and also turned me on to the joys of PG Wodehouse. A more burning question is why can't I buy a Red Ryder t-shirt or jammies at the Fred Harman museum in Pagosa Springs?
I remember our family driving down a road in Cal City just over the Hammond line in the early 1960's, when the spicier side of Cal City had already faded. There was a huge, and somewhat unkept marquis that announced that "Cynthia the body" was appearing nightly.