"movin' on" is miss ferguson's theme song, but for her, it's a ballad, not a blues
Halfway through breakfast, you remember a quotation from an old Irish wit: The woman has at least a dozen pasts, and they all fit. Christina Ferguson understands the reference. She is an Air Force brat. She is fresh, remarkably wholesome yet worldly. She is 19 years old, but already she has lived in some 15 states. "I've lived in towns as small as Prattville, Alabama, and Lubbock, Texas. I've lived in large cities. Los Angeles. Las Vegas. Now I'm living in Dumfries, Virginia, while my father goes to War College. The town is so small it doesn't even have a video store. Can you believe that?" We discuss the effect of living in so many locations, on such short notice. Christina is remarkably poised. "Every time you move, it's a new lease on life. You can change what went wrong with the last set of goods. You can be mysterious. You know, I used to have a Southern accent. We moved from Las Vegas to Virginia and my sister decided to become a preppie." Christina gives a shrug, as though to say there's no accounting for taste. One has the sense that she has had a lot of fun living the life of a gypsy. "Let's see. What were my favorite places? I liked Alabama. I lived there in my pre-shampoo age, fifth to eighth grade. I had braces. No boyfriends. My mother ran a bar. We had a lot of river-rat friends. Have you ever cooked a pig in the dirt? I liked Las Vegas. It's a big little town. Where else can you see a show or a movie or go skiing? Where else does your high school class hold its graduation at the Aladdin Hotel or its prom at Caesars Palace? I loved dressing up in gowns, being chauffeured around in limousines." And then there were the jobs available in Las Vegas. "I used to lie on a raft in the middle of a swimming pool. It was supposed to encourage tourists to rent rafts. It was a very popular high school job." Suddenly changing the subject, Christina confesses, "I took my earnings and bet pro football. Boy, was I pissed at the N.F.L. strike! It really cut down my income." Did Las Vegas have any other effect on Christina? "Of course. You grow up quickly in this town. I recall a road trip. My girlfriend and I bought some dirty magazines at the bus terminal. We sat in the back of the bus . . . she read the stories and I did the sound effects. I guess you had to be there. Las Vegas is definitely ahead of its time. I visited my relatives in Denver and went to church. I heard some girls talking about Some Kind of Hero. There is this terrific hot scene where Margot Kidder makes love to Richard Pryor. She is on top, making these incredible moves. These girls in church said to each other, 'I didn't even know you could do it that way.' I had to leave the room." Of her own sex life, Christina is discreet. "It was great the first time and I couldn't wait for the second time. Beyond that, if you want to talk sexy, try the bathtub-and-candle scene in A Star Is Born. That is sexy. I've seen that movie six times. It's great foreplay." You want to know about sexy, just follow Christina around for a day. The waitress at breakfast complimented her on her beauty and asked her if she had made her dress. The doorman volunteered the comment that she was the best-looking young woman he had seen in weeks. We asked her if that were usual. "Do you really want me to be honest? Actually, it's a slow day. My girlfriend and I once walked down the Strip in Las Vegas and counted the number of times people honked at us -- 385 times. But you can't take this seriously. The only way to deal with it is not to deal with it. Nowadays, woman is a word that no one seems to be able to define. You can't think that being attractive makes you more or less of a woman. You have to define the word for yourself." Christina is already planning that stage in her life: She is taking investment classes in a program offered by the Small Business Administration. She wants to go into business, perhaps with her mother. The money from being a Playmate will help, but Christina says that she didn't do it for the money. "I did it for a lark. For the test shots, we took a couple of bottles of champagne out into the desert. It didn't matter if the pictures came out." But, as you can see here, they did.
Photography by Richard Fegley