In Your Dreams

In your dreams
Not everyone can look back and say, “You won’t believe this but…” and then go on to tell the most unbe­liev­able story. But I can.
It starts when I was a photog­ra­pher on Sutter Street and a call came from my Chicago agent, Jack Kapes.
The call went some­thing like this: “Jack Allen, we want you to photo­graph a package design solu­tion for a new product from Avon. It’s an after-bath lotion. And they want to call it “Birthday Suit”.
Nick Sidjakov will be designing the package and promo­tional mate­rial and you need to find a high-fashion model that will pose in the nude. But all in good taste, of course.”
Now I don’t know about you but calls like this don’t come out of the blue for me, ever.
Adjusting my teeth which had fallen to the floor, I gulped an….. “OK” and stum­bled off on my model search.
This sounds like an easy job but finding incred­ible “high fashion” young ladies willing to strip is not duck soup. Believe me.
For days I combed the SF modeling agen­cies feeling like a pervert and finally gave up on the City by the Bay. I ventured south to Holly­wood and contacted some of the photog­ra­pher friends I had down there.
They sent me tons of modeling sheets but none in the area I needed. So, I hopped on a plane and visited “the” nude modeling agency in LA. “Nudes, sure, we got loads of them.” And they did. I looked through a dozen books of lovely ladies hoping to wind up in movies, maga­zines, on TV and who knows, what else. I didn’t know women came in such various shapes and sizes. I was flabbergasted.
I found a beau­tiful young lady and booked her to fly up to SF and spend a week with me and Nick Sidjakov. Now Nick, ever the charmer, had to be in the studio to super­vise the design of the pack­aging and he asked if he could bring his assis­tant with him. “Sure”, I said before I even asked the model if she minded three of us gawking at her naked love­li­ness parading around the set.
On day one of the “shoot” the art director and the copy­writer from Needam, Harper and Steers flew out from Chicago and we now had five drooling, stam­mering idiots plus two assis­tants sitting in canvas chairs awaiting the great strip just before the police could arrive and take us all to the pokey.
As calmly as Gypsy Rose Lee the young lady dropped her robe and day 1 began. She had the most incred­ible body any of us had ever seen. We took ten rolls of film before I called “break” and reloaded the film maga­zines. Not a pin was heard to drop.
She calmly sat down in one of the canvas chairs “sans clothes” amidst the by then stunned boy’s choir. Hallelujah!
We tried to carry on a conver­sa­tion with her while looking into her eyes but had to give up. I finally told her if it both­ered her too much I would clear the set of all the idiots while we reloaded.
“No, its fine”, she said. “I’m from a family of nudists and when I come home from high school off come the clothes. One day we had a small house fire and the local fire depart­ment couldn’t decide whether to turn the hose on the fire or on us. The firemen were so cute”
When she said “high school” I started looking for a place to hide, Thank God I hadn’t ferried her across state lines.
The story just got better as the days turned into a week and hundreds of pictures turned into thou­sands and we sadly shipped her home safe, sound and fully clothed.
She was so unin­hib­ited and un self-conscious that we were able to provide Nick and the Art Director, Tom Gorey, with a ton of mate­rial for the assign­ment. Why I didn’t save some of the film for posterity I’ll never know. I shipped it all to Needam, Harper. I just wasn’t thinking straight. It must have been a touch of the flu.
And now, in case you’re looking for the product, the idea was shelved even­tu­ally. Don’t ask me why.
And I won’t give you the name of the young lady for obvious reasons.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t believe the story either.
Only in my dreams.

Jack Allen