august playmate lannie balcom is one of playboy's loveliest distaff staffers
Although our continuing search for Playmate candidates may take us anywhere in the world, we're never averse to finding fair damsels right in our own back yard. In the case of our august beauty for August, 24-year-old Lannie Balcom, the back yard we refer to is our Chicago front office, where this blonde and gray-eyed eyeful does her daily nine-to-five duties as the Assistant Manager of Playboy's College Bureau. "I've had lots of interesting jobs before -- dancing teacher, stewardess, dental assistant and secretary," says Lannie, "but my present position is by far the most demanding of the lot. I'm the sort of person who's not happy unless I'm busy all the time, and with my current responsibilities to the magazine's more than 450 campus representatives, in addition to working on college surveys, subscriptions and correspondence with students and local advertisers, I hardly have time for a coffee break. Don't get the idea that I'm complaining, though, because I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, I'm looking forward to adding the upcoming Playmate promotion tours to my schedule." Celebrating her first anniversary as a Playboy employee, centerfoldom's favorite campus correspondent initially graced these pages last August as one of the Bunnies of Chicago and subsequently adorned our April cover, meanwhile trading in her cottontail for a career in publishing. "I enjoyed being a Bunny," she told us, "but when I found out the magazine was looking for an editorial receptionist, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I never dreamed I'd come up through the ranks so quickly, but that's the way things are around here -- fast and furious." Lannie currently shares an apartment with two of her former cottontailed colleagues at the Playboy Mansion, and, although she still gets homesick for her native Phoenix -- where she recently returned for a vacation -- she now considers herself a confirmed Chicagoan. "The Balcoms are a very close-knit family by nature," Lannie confided. "I guess that comes from their history of frontier living. One of my ancestors, a distant aunt named Elizabeth Balcombe, struck up more than just a nodding acquaintance with Napoleon and, as a result, the Balcoms had to leave Europe in a hurry after Waterloo. Most of them headed for Australia, but our branch of the clan settled in what is now Clarkdale, Arizona, and kept fighting Indians until their tenancy rights were no longer questioned." On her few dateless nights, Lannie prefers good books to bad video ("Steinbeck, Fleming and Tennessee Williams are my favorites"), or brushes up on her culinary capacities ("I specialize in Mexican dishes, but my homemade cheesecake is the most"). And so is Lannie.
Photography by J. Barry O'Rourke