Thursday, June 7, 2007
New age "pinup girls"
Lorys Crisafulli of Monongahela at her photo shoot for a 2008 calendar featuring a dozen women, the youngest of whom is 68 years old. (photo by Chris Grilli of Grilli’s Studios, New Eagle, Pa.)
MONONGAHELA – As Miss January, Lorys Crisafulli is bearing “some of it all” inside a black convertible GT, dripping pearls with a bottle of champagne.
Miss October, Kathleen Bordini, is seated in a coffin beside a black cat and pumpkin in the risqué 2008 calendar featuring a dozen different “pinup girls” from the Monongahela area, the youngest of whom is 69.
“Every one of them was intimidated at first,” said Crisafulli, 80, who is hoping to put her home area on the map with the idea. “There is a lot more giggling going on.”
She was inspired to do the project after seeing the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls.”The film starring Helen Mirren revolves around the true story of a group of Liverpool women who became a media sensation after posing nude in a calendar for a charity.
Crisafulli, a retired owner of a New Eagle antiques shop, first approached the Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the calendar. But its board politely declined, thinking the project didn’t stand a chance to raise money, she said.
“The initial response is, ‘Oh, no,’” said Claudia Williams, a local furniture store owner who volunteered to sell advertisements to pay the printing costs.
“My sons kind of laughed, really. I don’t think they’re overly surprised by the things I do,” said Bordini, 74, a nutrition supervisor for Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services/Aging Services in Charleroi. The photograph of her in the casket appears beside the caption, “Get the best for the rest of your life.”
“At least I got out on my own,” said Bordini, who cast a ghostly smile in the shot. “It’s better than going in there and staying.”
None of the women took off all of their clothes, but gave the appearance that they might be nude. Such props as a car door or a vase of flowers are strategically placed to hide certain body parts that, if shown, could give the calendar an R rating.
Sally Stephenson, 84, shown above, second from right, appears in the calendar beside the Monongahela River wearing what appears to be only a Navy collar and saluting behind a lectern.
“If anyone asks if I was nude, I’m going to say that only the riverboat pilots know,” said Stephenson, a retired California University of Pennsylvania social studies professor.
She also was among 1,000 females in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services during World War II who taught instrument flying to male pilots.
The profits from the sale of the calendars will go to the Monongahela Area Historical Society, which found the project to be a “daring idea,” said its president, Sue Bowers.
“It had been done before, but not around here,” Bowers said. “It was a wonderful surprise that this spunky ladies were willing to do this ...”
In its first printing, 500 calendars will be sold for $10 apiece.
“I anticipate selling 2,500,” Williams said. “I have classmates out of state who can’t wait.”
The calendars will be published in mid-July 2007, and sold in local stores, as well on the City of Monongahela’s Web site.
Published with permission of the Observer-Reporter