In Charlotte's Web
this kemp wouldn't tax anyone; she's a free and lively spirit
Charlotte Kemp is good company. Mature beyond her years, she can expound on almost any subject. And when she does, it's with a breathless enthusiasm that can run up to 1000 words per minute. At that speed, some mouths tend to emit pure babble, but not Char's. Even at maximum output, her thoughts are perceptive and pertinent. Born in Omaha 21 years ago, she leapfrogged around the Midwest with her family -- to Detroit, Keokuk and Toledo -- until she took off for Indiana University. After two years as a psychology major, Char dropped out to pursue a modeling career in Chicago. She found that the notoriously chilly city turned considerably warmer after she had made two early discoveries: her roommate and best friend, October 1975 Playmate Jill DeVries, and her boyfriend, Chicago Bears defensive back Gary Fencik. Now, after almost a year on the Big Shoulders, she's a diehard Chicagoan. "The pace is a lot faster than I'm used to," Char says, "and I just love it. In Chicago, there are a hundred things you can do at any time of day. After I'd been here a month or so, I got depressed thinking, Oh, this is going to take me over and I'll get lost in the shuffle. But I found you just have to keep up with the pace, and above all, you have to take care of yourself." Char takes care of herself by playing tennis, swimming and running along the picturesque Windy City lake front. When she has to get somewhere fast, she mounts her trusty moped -- weather permitting, of course. Currently, she's preparing for even faster transport with flying lessons, soon to be augmented with lessons in parachuting, just in case. Fortunately, her energy level is sustained by her love of food. One of her favorite pauses is in the kitchen, where she's been known to whip up gourmet-quality dishes for friends or, in their absence, for herself. Gregarious and extroverted, Char makes friends quickly. It's a trick she picked up from all those moves during her childhood. "I regret sometimes not having permanent roots, but in each place I've lived, I've made friends I still talk to and write to. I try to write to at least five of them a week." While her future plans include a return to school and possibly some acting, the present holds plenty of interest for her. After all, she's got her sports, cooking, modeling and Fencik. If that's not enough, Char says, "I haven't met half the people that I want to meet."
Photography by Ken Marcus