LETTER PERFECT Miss December's direct-mail approach made her a choice Christmas Playmate
From time to time, our continuing coast-to-coast quest for potential Playmates is made easier by a pretty candidate who elects to expedite matters by mailing a sample snap-shot or two of herself to our editorial offices in Chicago. One such thoughtful miss, whose recent missive and lovely lingerie-clad likeness appeared in our September issue (Dear Playboy), was a blonde and blue-eyed beauty named Dinah Willis, who hails from Hobbs, New Mexico, and wrote asking us: "Is there any chance of a small-town girl who doesn't know any important professional photographers . . . becoming a Playmate?" A quick appraisal of Dinah's delightful face and form indicated that her chances were good enough to warrant our flying her to the Playboy Studio in Chicago, where our photographers were able to capture her essential gatefold glamour and provide us with a hearth-warming holiday Playmate. During the several days of test shooting and the ultimate posing as our Playmate of the Month for December, Dinah was a welcome guest at the Playboy Mansion, where friendly female staffers and the local contingent of cottontails who bunk in the Bunny Dorm helped make her Windy City stay an especially pleasant experience. "To tell the truth, I'd never even been north of New Mexico," the tall (5'8") 20-year-old told us in her charming drawl. "But everybody was so wonderful and took so much time to show me around town, that I felt right at home. Just having the chance to come to a big city like Chicago and meet such a great group of kids made the whole trip worth while, to say nothing of all that money I received for my Playmate photos." A professional poodle breeder and clipper by trade ("My oldest toy, Teena Marie, was a regional champ last year"), and a spare-time scuba-diving enthusiast and pistol expert, the opulently endowed (37-23-36) Miss Willis has devoted most of her off-hours this past fall to her increasing interest in the field of underwater photography. "I've always been kind of an amateur photo bug," says Dinah, "So when my mom bought me a Yashica 35-millimeter camera for my birthday last August, and a skindiving friend of mine helped me build a waterproof plexiglass housing for it, I really wanted to learn all I could about underwater camera techniques. Nowadays, I spend most of my free weekends south of the border shooting stills in San Carlos Bay, or talking shop with all the other amateur shutterbugs who come there to dive." Dinah's few stay-at-home evenings are spent brushing up on her painting ("I stick to watercolors most of the time, but I've dabbled in everything from oils to toothpick sculpture"), listening to her collection of country-and-western LPs ("Hank Williams is my ideal") and cooking Mexican dinners ("Outside of tacos and enchiladas I'm a total washout on the domestic scene"). Eschewing any long-range plans for the present, Dinah is currently concentrating on making enough profits from her canine-clipping service to keep the family coffers from running low. As she explained, "With my father dead and my older brother, Keith, in the Army, I'm the only breadwinner in the family. Of course, my Playmate money will take care of any emergency, so all I have to do is earn enough to make ends meet for the next year or so. I'd like to travel a little before I settle down, anyway. There's not much for a young girl to do in my home town except get married, have babies and watch television -- and I hate television!"