OK. Time for another lesson in American history. Topic: the California girl. More than a decade ago, The Beach Boys released a song praising the particular heart-stopping qualities of the girls of the Golden State. Subsequently, Brian Wilson went into seclusion and refused to come out of his bedroom for several years. Perhaps he had one or two of the creatures stashed away. How else can we explain the sacrifice involved in not looking upon the likes of Susan Lynn Kiger, the lady who graces our gatefold this month? Miss January is a genuine California girl, a top-of-the-line model who (except for one brief trip to Hawaii) has never left the state. She is, like others of her kind, spontaneous, agile, sun-tanned, lithe, athletic, willing and able to take on all comers. She can drink the best of us under the table, having learned that trick at rugby games, where she was keeper of the chest. Exhausted teams would come off the field and ask, "Hey, wasn't there a six-pack in there a minute ago?" Smile. She will do almost anything on a dare. When a friend asked her if she would pose for a Kansas City Meat Company poster explaining the choice cuts of a well-turned back ("You can't beat Western meat"), Kiger donned a Stetson and obliged. Nowadays, she lives in an apartment with her sister and dreams of the day when she will have a yard big enough for a large dog and a horse. (She grew up riding bareback through the surf at Laguna Beach.) Also big enough for a one-on-one relationship. Kiger needs space. Mind you, Susan gets along well enough with people, she just likes her privacy. She worked for a year as a cocktail waitress at a place called Charlie Brown's, then used her money to spend a winter in the mountains. Getting away from the crowds seems to be her main occupation these days. ("I plan to take the money I earn as a Playmate and invest it in land -- my own piece of the earth.") Being a California girl has its drawbacks. Susan has a collection of stories about run-ins with other kinds of Californians -- such as the Hollywood weirdo: "If a man is old, rich and unattached, he's a pervert. Take my word for it." Miss January describes herself as old-fashioned: She wants to marry and have kids. Well, someone has to supply the demand for California girls, right?
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