The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: So Long. Penny!

Every generation of teen aged and prepubescent boys have their iconic women. For some it was Bo Derek, Farrah Fawcett, or Cheryl Tiegs. Young preteen boys today may swoon for Miranda Cosgrove on “iCarly” or the vocal stylings and videos of Demi Lovato but for guys of a certain age our “it” girl will always be Gloria Winters.

You may remember her better as Sky King’s niece, Penny. A perky all-American blond who was immortalized in song by Jimmy Buffet  in his homage to all things fifties, “Pencil Thin Moustache” She was an the girl next door for millions of American boys. It looked like Penny had the perfect life for someone growing up in small town Kentucky; no parents, not a lot of school and a cool uncle with an airplane who lets her get involved in his adventures.  

Ms. Winters died last week at her home in Southern California. She will always be remembered as the wholesome Penny because Ms. Winters had the good sense to quit acting before she became a failure as an adult actress or fell into alcoholism or drug addiction. From accounts I have read she did exactly what her character Penny would have, got out while the getting was good and lived a normal life.  

Katy Perry may think she is Miss “It” today and she may be but I wonder if any future legend of rock will every write about his unmet desire for her. Besides, I don’t think Ms. Perry has a cool uncle with a plane and Ms. Winters never kissed a girl.


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