her hands are lethal weapons. the rest of her isn't too bad, either
At one point during the process of interviewing Susan Smith, we found ourselves walking with her down a Los Angeles street of questionable safety, past a few less-than-reputable characters. We were at peace with the world. Miss September is a karate expert, just this side of a black belt. If someone gave us trouble, he would be in for a big surprise. But we hoped that wouldn't happen. We didn't want anything to interrupt the story Susan was telling about her first year in the Southwest, where she had moved from Beloit, Wisconsin. It was a colorful yarn involving squashed caterpillars that look like jalapeño peppers, grapefruits stolen from a local orchard, vicious guard horses, snake bites, scorpions, Mercurochrome on naked bodies . . . you had to be there. Susan attacked the story the way she does everything -- with enthusiasm and skill. The way she performs karate, plays Foosball or tackles her Playmate assignment. "The point is challenge," she explains. "You've always got to improve -- your mind, your body." We applaud the results.
Photography by Ken Marcus, Robert Scott Hooper