When a young, sexy woman in skimpy clothing picks up a machine gun, one of two things are bound to happen: either some poor schmuck's gonna meet a bullet-riddled end with an eyeful, or more likely, the woman will end up on the cover of a popular gun trade magazine.
The latter happened to local model and actress Cathy Rankin, whose covers for trade magazine Blue Press (published by Dillon Precision/Dillon Aero) were so popular they spawned a sold-out poster and made her an object of
desire inspiration for U.S. troops currently stationed overseas.
Rankin, who starred in both the Lifetime Miniseries Maneater and the locally-produced movie Netherbeast, Inc. (starring Judd Nelson and Robert Wagner), decided to parlay her popularity and patriotism into a 2011 calendar called "An American Pin-Up Tribute." Sale proceeds will go toward military charities.
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For the calendar, Rankin and photographers Richard Petrillo and Barry Gossage recreated pinup photos from the '30s, '40s, and '50s, including famous shots of Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, and Marilyn Monroe. The calendar measures 13.5 by 23 inches, and runs through December, 2011.
Rankin's selling the calendars for $19.95 signed, and $14.95 unsigned. Profits are being donated to the New England Warrior, a 501(c) (3) charity founded by a retired Marine and operating in partnership with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
"The purpose of this calendar is to pay tribute to all the branches of our Armed Forces. I wanted it to be a symbol of gratitude, pride, courage and honor for our military, and all patriotic Americans," Rankin writes on her blog. "When the concept of war-time pin-ups was at its height of popularity during World War II, Americans had such a great sense of togetherness and pride in their country above anything else. It was a simpler time. We now live in a different world, and some of those ideals seem to have suffered. My ultimate goal with this calendar is to recapture that feeling, to remind people of that tradition, and to just brighten the battlefield a little for those who long for home."