Star-Spangled and Starry-Eyed
an ex-army brat, august's out-of-this-world playmate aspires to be an astronaut
Twenty-year-old Gale Olson has lived in more places than most people her age get a chance to visit. At various times in her life, Gale, who was born in Oklahoma, has resided in Alabama, Germany, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Zealand and, currently, California. Says Gale, "My dad was an Army career officer and every time we were just getting used to a new place, it was time to move again." Her father, Major Theodore Olson (Ret.), fought in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam and accumulated a drawerful of medals. The Olsons, who now live in Costa Mesa, are a large, closely knit family. "Having six brothers and three sisters really teaches you a lot about sharing things, materially and emotionally," Gale says. Our August Playmate hopes one day to raise a family almost as large, but that won't come about until she first fully satisfies her penchant for adventure. "Last year I decided to become an astronaut, so I called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Houston to find out qualification requirements." Gale spent enough time being briefed on the phone by NASA officials to acquire four pages of notes. "So far, things are turning out fine for me," she reports. "NASA prefers prospective female astronauts to have a strong background in mathematics, my strongest subject." Miss Olson, who's attended Orange Coast Junior College in Costa Mesa, plans to continue her studies this fall at the University of Colorado.
The brown-haired beauty is almost as fascinated by inner space as she is by the outer variety. "When I was in high school, I started to keep a daily 'ego book' -- I'd write down things that bothered me and why. It's a good way to get pettiness out of your system. Lately, I've been jotting down dreams I've had; someday I'm going to write a book based on those dreams."
A model (36-22-35) of American femininity, Gale (who delivered talks on girl scouting over German television) stays in shape by practicing ballet and exercising, and plans to study Tahitian dancing next year. At the moment, however, she feels that at least one of her dreams has come true. "I think every girl who has the figure for it wishes she could be a Playmate, and I'm no exception," she observes. "All I can say is that I was lucky!" Lucky Gale, lucky readers.
Photography by Ron Vogel