Our Miss Brooks
better bone up on your history if you want to make the grade with Cindy
Cindy Brooks makes you want to watch your language. She bombards you with her squeaky-clean vibes and, if you're not careful, you find yourself saying such things as "Golly, Cindy, that's keen!"
Consider her background:
"I grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. My father was one of the first people, along with Walt Disney, to build a storybook park. It was called Fantasyland, and I grew up with that as my back yard. I worked there even through college. I was Little Bopeep and Little Red Ridinghood, and I sold cotton candy and snow cones. I lived in this fantasy world. I don't think I've grown up yet."
You'd think growing up in Fantasyland would leave one lacking in sophistication. But Cindy knows her way around and has accomplished a lot in her 33 years. For instance, she put down her shepherdess' staff long enough to go to High Point College and earn a degree in history. "Living in Gettysburg, having so much history around me, probably influenced my decision to choose a history major. You could stand where Pickett's charge was and see the entrance to Fantasyland. But it wasn't until I got into college and had some good history teachers that it became interesting to me. They were smart enough to get away from wars and what years they happened and who was President at the time -- all the boring things. The result is that I am so much more interested in politics now. I'm interested in world history; I love watching the news and reading the newspaper. I try to keep up on what's going on in the world. I think it makes me an interesting person. I'm taking care of my own investments and trying to really understand IRAs and money markets. I don't go too much into the stock market, but I'll listen when someone has something to say about it. I just want to be aware, cognizant of what's going on around me that can help me."
While we can understand the practical applications, history still seems pretty dry fare, an idea that Cindy is quick to refute. "Oh, a lot goes on. That's why history is so interesting. You know, kings and queens fooling around on each other, and separate entrances so that when the king comes home, he won't know she's had someone up in the bedroom. Unbelievable! Juicy! Documented!"
Cindy would have a thoroughly modern outlook on history. She has come of age in a liberated era. And she's thankful for the changes -- but not particularly eager to take advantage of them.
"Women in the Eighties are able to go for what they want, have interests, get out of the home. Yet they can stay there if they want, and it's OK. In the Seventies, the women who wanted to stay home were ridiculed. People would say, 'What's the matter with you? Why don't you want to get out and have this wonderful career?' Well, maybe they don't want to, and I think that's terrific, too.
"I have definite feelings about women's lib. I think the main idea is terrific. I think they've gotten carried away with it. I don't want to say that women shouldn't be equal to men, but let's not lose our sensitivity and our femininity. One of our greatest joys is doing something for a man who appreciates it. I can't help thinking that all those women who don't want to do things for men have men around who don't appreciate them.
"If you cook for a man and when he's finished eating he says, 'Baby, come here, I want to tell you something. That was terrific!' -- well, you can't tell me any woman wouldn't want to cook or do something for him the next day.
"But I also think it's terrific when men cook, too, and give the woman a break. Boy, is that nice! Good for them, I say. And you know, it certainly doesn't take anything away from their masculinity."
There may, however, be a shortage of all-round men -- supportive but secure in their maleness -- out there. "As a model, I am very much aware of the competition, especially these days, when women will come on to men. I was having a drink at a bar with a polo player who was very good-looking, and other women were actually buying him drinks!"
Since leaving college, Cindy has called a lot of places home.
"I lived in Hawaii for two years, San Francisco for a year and a half, Atlanta for one year and Savannah for three; I went to school in North Carolina, and now I'm living in Los Angeles. Can you believe this? I'm not moving anymore for a long time!
"I guess I have an adventuresome heart or something, but I like to have the opportunities that a new city seems to bring me. Evidently, I am the type of person who enjoys innocence, not knowing exactly where I'm going. I'm excited by meeting new people, putting myself in different situations and having to cope with them."
Cindy obviously copes well. She worked as a model in Hawaii and San Francisco, and while she gets established in Los Angeles, she is working as a Bunny at The Playboy Club. None of which leaves her much time for her major passion, which is riding horses. A champion horsewoman for much of her life, she recently discovered polo.
"It's one of the fastest and most dangerous games there is. I'll describe it this way: You're on a horse and you have a golf club and you have to hit this little ball with the club, but you also have to be going full speed, say 40 miles an hour when you're flat-out. Plus, people are trying to ride you out or make you miss the shot; in addition, you have to steer the horse and work with your teammates. It's a difficult game. It's not dull. You don't get bored."
Ennui is not one of Cindy's problems, anyway. She seems to be constantly on her way to somewhere else. But she does keep thoughts of settling down.
"It's great to have a career. And if you can do something really important, say, find a cure for cancer, then you're helping generations after you. But how many people are fortunate enough to invent or discover something wonderful? So when you get down to basics, such as what we're all here for, for most of us, it's to find someone you love and have children and be happy while you're on this earth."
Sounds like a good plan.
Photography by Steve Wayda