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Must Be Gorgeous

(by Jillian Van Hefty)

In the mid-1960s, my mom worked in Chicago’s Drake Hotel lounge as a cigarette girl, a job that had one requirement: “Must be gorgeous!” She sported a gravity-defying, strawberry-blond beehive and carried packs of Winstons, Lucky Strikes, and Pall Malls on a tray that hung around her neck. Her uniform looked part flight attendant, part Playboy Bunny, and you know damn well she was pinched on the butt every shift. Additionally, she had a British accent, and if that didn’t pile on the sexiness, well….