Gravel Switch, Kentucky

A feature in the September 1996 issue of Playboy magazine was titled "Small-Town Girls" and, with 75 residents, Gravel Switch certainly qualifies. In fact, it was the smallest of the dozen towns in the article. The others ranged in size from a Nebraska town of 141 to a place in Colorado with a population of 8708. So, in addition to being the home of the country's oldest family store, Gravel Switch can almost certainly claim the highest percentage (1.3%) of residents pictured nude in Playboy. And that's not all that Gravel Switch is famous for. On August 8, 1933, the town bank was robbed by none other than John Dillinger.

That's local beauty Christy Owens posing on the porch of Penn's Store. I've found no pictures of the bank robbery.

When I initially posted this page, in October of 2004, the picture at the right was a clear scan of the Playboy photo. About nine months later, I received an email message from someone claiming to be Christy Owens. The message may or may not have been from Christy (It contains elements that can be used to support both sides of that argument.) but it made one undeniable claim: I did not have the model's permission to use the photo. I quickly replaced the picture with a blank panel and that's how the page remained for several months. I was never entirely satisfied with that hasty reaction and, while doing maintenance on other parts of this site, it occurred to me to restore the picture in distorted form. Yeah, kind of wimpy, I suppose, but it's not my intent to antagonize. Now I guess I really have something in common with the Penn's Store web site.

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