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The 1971 Beauties of Samohi

By Jeffrey BELL-Zekas, Class of 1972

Late last night, I pondered the many beautiful women whom I loved (from afar) while attending Samohi. By 1971 (my Junior year) I had compiled a list of “The Most Desirable Women of Samo”. So here they are:

First, there was Hannah Gayer, a striking redhead with a sharp wit to match. Hannah was a dancer and a scholar, svelte yet brainy. She was in the Future Doctors Club, she was editor of the school paper, an honors student, and she had an amazing charisma about her. Hannah was the 70’s version of Elizabeth Hurley, and men swooned in her presence. Where are you today, my raven-haired love?

Next on the list was Karen Apple, the epitomy of natural beauty. She was a “hippy goddess”, a girl who looked like a cross between Kate Moss and Winona Ryder. Karen could melt steel with her enchanting gaze, and she was popular as well as beautiful. She didn’t wear her clothes: her skirts wrapped her like ethereal gauze, and a celestial light followed her, wherever she walked. Karen’s soft, perfect features would have put Aphrodite to shame. If there were a real-life “Dharma and Greg”, it would have been her. Perhaps she ascended to Mount Olympus after graduation?

Last in the pantheon of striking women was Noel Datin, my personal favorite. Noel was a cute little “blonde-bombshell” , a Malibu dream girl who would have fueled the Beach Boys’ fantasies. The song “California Girl” must have been written about her. Graceful yet unpretentious, Noel lit up the room with her smile. In fact, I was so smitten by her, that I named my only daughter after her--I hope you don’t mind, Noel!

Of course, there were many other attractive young women at Samohi in 1971. Among them, Nancy Stolee ( a dreamlike vision of supernatural sensuality), Jennifer Larson (whom I had been in love with since 7th grade), Maria Nation (a brown-eyed beauty with adorable freckles) and those two cute Catholic girls whom I sat between in Driver’s Training class! Even now, I can envision each of these women, in my mind they are still 16, still vibrant and shining in the morning sun.

Although the years have passed, these goddesses have remained the standard, by which I’ve measured my flings, my girlfriends and my wives. And though these young women have since changed and gotten older, the memory of their beauty will always burn brightly in my heart.