Thursday, February 5, 2015

Armed and Female

Looking south across Canal Street towards One World Trade. 10:20 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, February 5, 2015. It warmed up a bit yesterday in New York. Forty degrees, melting the snow and slush which is still covering the travel path on the roads. The curbsides still remain piled with the dirty, grimy white stuff. A little more snow supposedly coming our way. And then some more cold.

I went to Michael’s to lunch with Pax Quigley who is an old friend from Los Angeles and now lives here (and in Miami, still unable to withdraw from the Sun). Pax and I met over the phone, introduced by a mutual friend in 1980. We talked for the better part of an hour and that was it; we’re still talking. She was an executive with Playboy at the time. Playboy , namely the lifestyle of Hugh Hefner was always interesting conversation around Hollywood. For a lot of reasons having to do with (male) stars and the Bunnies.
DPC and Pax at Michael's.
The talk of course was mainly about what went on in the Mansion, and there were lots of those stories, wild and crazy and none of which can be repeated in print without the risk of lawsuits, as well as predictable. Mr. Hefner was a philosopher/hedonist, and lived his life thusly. Plus Hollywood has that allure. It’s in the air and it definitely was on South Mapleton Drive in Holmby Hills. He lived the Playboy  fantasy and for all I know, he still does – although he’s getting up there, so to speak. But he always had a lot of acolytes admiring his tastes and surely we haven’t seen the last of those yet.
Pax, instructor on the range.
Pax eventually left Playboy and subsequently wrote a book called “Armed and Female” a kind of how-to-and-why handgun manual written specifically for women. You never hear about it but the book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and continues to. She then wrote a second book, “Not an Easy Target; Paxton Quigley’s Self-Protection for Women.”

I interviewed her a few years ago (and wrote about it here) about this last book. She gives talks on the “How” part which are quite effective. For years she also conducted seminars and classes in shooting for women. I don’t doubt she’s saved a lot of lives with her teachings.
Carol Joynt, DPC and Paxton Quigley; I don't remember when or where this was taken.
This was back in the 1980s when she first pursued the idea. It came from an aha! moment she had in a sporting goods store in L.A. one day. I never liked the idea. I was never against it because it was none of my business, but guns mean something else to me for personal reasons.

Pax’s argument was sensible: women buy guns for self-protection. Therefore they need to know how to use them so they don’t put themselves and their family and friends at any kind of risk. Teaching that was her job. She was quite successful at it.

Pax at the practice range.
Pax has been out of the seminar business for quite some time. She’s now finishing her first novel. About a dominatrix. We’ve never talked about, and I don’t know if she’s ever thought about it, but there is a “thread” here, in case you haven’t noticed, interest-wise and professionally. It’s pretty obvious although I hadn’t thought of it until just this moment. First was Hefner, then came Women and guns, and then Women and self-protection and now a Dominatrix. She’s come full-circle. So to speak. In between times she became the proud mother of two sons, filmmaker Jon Carnoy, and best-selling novelist David Carnoy; and proud grandmother of four little Carnoys.

Meanwhile, back at the lunch table.  It was Wednesday and Michael’s was busy, not roaring (thanks to the winter weather). There was Barbara Cirkva, VP Chanel; Don Degoklyer, of Novaris; Tom Goodman of Goodman Media; Cynthia Lewis, VP DuJour, with Diane Clehane; Lesley Jane Seymour and Jeannine Shao Collins of More magazine. Also: Jim Smith of Niche Media; Anthony Cenname, publisher of the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) Magazine; Frank McCourt, former owner of the LA Dodgers at Table One with a group of business people. Right next door was David Zinczenko, author/publisher, restaurateur, TV commentator. In the corner: Jack Kliger and Dr. Mitch Rosenthal; Matt Blank of Showtime with Maurice DuBois; Gerry Byrne with Jane Hanson; Ron Dozoretz; Erik Gordon; Robin Lewis of The Robin Report; Shelly Palmer of Palmer Advance Media; Bonnie Stone of Women In Need, with Jacqui Lividini; Nick Verbitsky, United Stations; Mickey Ateyeh with Dana Bronfman in from San Francisco to show her line of jewelry; Eliza Holcomb, who is with Global Education Management Systems; Daniel Kramer; Judy Price of the National Jewelry Institute with Christiane Fischer of AXA Art Americas; Cornelia Guest with Jason Binn, publisher of DuJour; Jay Fielden, EIC of Town & Country, with Jay McInerney; Richard Fitzburgh, financial advisor; Peter Blum of the Peter Blum Gallery; Francine LeFrak (who also markets Same Sky, a jewelry line from Africa that provides employment to HIV-positive women in Africa struggling to lift themselves out of poverty). Francine was with Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh; Kristina O’Neill, E-I-C Wall Street Journal with PR exec Marcy Engelman; John Loring and Linda Buckley of Tiffany.
 

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