Go figure. The girl spends her entire life growing up in Lexington -- the fertile crescent of the U.S. Thoroughbred horse market. Her father is in the horse business. Her boyfriend is in the horse business. She has been riding since she was three years old. Naturally, Melissa Evridge will embark on an equestrian career. Whoa, there. Wait just a Kentucky minute. Miss August has opted out of the family enterprise and has decided that if anyone belongs in the winner's circle, she does. Luckily for us. Life seems to be a series of exciting choices for Missy Evridge. After she appeared in Playboy's Girls of the Southeastern Conference last October, things started happening to this small-town girl with big-city dreams. All of a sudden, she had to decide whether or not to leave school, move to New York or Los Angeles and continue her modeling career or even take the plunge into acting. "Being in Playboy really had an impact on my life. It made me sort of a mini-celebrity here in Lexington," she says now. "Of course, some people here weren't as pleased with it as I was." She was invited to leave the bank where she was working at the time but now, looking back philosophically, declares, "It was probably for the best. I've decided to devote all my time to finishing my schooling. That's very important to me. Eventually, I'd love to model and act and still have Lexington as my home base," Missy says with a determined look on her face. "I did live in New York for a while but didn't like it much. Lexington is really a small town. Everyone seems so interconnected. It makes it feel like family, and I like that feeling. Plus, there's more for me to accomplish here in my own back yard." She's not just saying that, either. Melissa is a card-carrying member of Greenpeace and more than a bit concerned about the environment. "Watch me. When I go places, I'm always picking up other people's litter. It makes me so mad that we're trashing the places we live in. Everybody can make a difference. I'd just like to make people more aware of their space."
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