Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Here’s a news story that stopped me in my tracks. Rick Fox has filed for divorce from Vanessa Williams. Read that again. Rick Fox has filed for divorce from Vanessa Williams. Vanessa-freakin’-Williams! For my money, the greatest Miss America ever. And still a babe. Astounding.

I’d have much less trouble digesting the converse. After all, he’s a marginal NBA player who probably frequents strip clubs and only won championship rings because he was in the right place at the right time, namely somewhere on the wing when Shaq and Kobe were scoring all the points for the Lakers. Plus, he just got traded to the Celtics and Vanessa probably didn’t want to move away from Hollywood and those lucrative Radio Shack commercials.

Maybe I’m just remembering back to 1984, when I was in charge of ordering magazines for the San Jose State bookstore. When rumors broke about Bob Guccione buying nude pictures of the gorgeous reigning Miss America, I ordered 100 copies of the October Penthouse for the college bookstore. My manager questioned my judgment at the time, but the magazines sold out in less than a day. Of course, as the assistant manager, I had to review the issue carefully to make sure that it met the lofty academic standards of the university. I’m pleased to report that the issue exceeded all of my expectations. The black-and-white photos were, um, both artistic and provocative. That issue stayed under my bed for a long, long time… I knew the photos wouldn’t hurt her career, in fact, one could argue that they MADE her career.

Quick, name a former Miss America. Odds are if you’re around my age (40), your first answer would be Vanessa Williams, even though she had the shortest reign ever. If you’re older, you might say Phyllis George or Mary Ann Mobley, maybe Tawny Little Schneider. But Vanessa trumped them all. And now, some scrub is divorcing her?! Bastard. Time to look for that issue, that is, if my wife didn’t throw it away fifteen years ago…


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