Photo by George Lauby
Four Beauties at A-Z Books, from left: Bonnie Auboshon, Ruth Rayburn, Stephanie Axthelm and Carolyn Seaton.
The Brady Beauties, a dozen spicy women from the mid-Nebraska community of 400, unveiled a sizzling new pinup calendar Saturday. The women, age 60-94, autographed the calendar at A to Z Books downtown in North Platte, raising money for charity.
The calendar flashes 12 spicy photos of the Beauties, one for each month, set in the Old West. The ladies bounce on horses, wave invitingly from a hay mow, attend a shotgun wedding and “cat” around the barn.
Inspirational sayings enrich each photo, such as “One person with courage is a majority,” by Thomas Jefferson.
Proceeds will benefit the school foundations in Brady, Maxwell and Gothenburg.
This is the third provocative calendar issued by the babes.
“We’re beautiful women, we should be out there fluffing it,” organizer Bonnie Glo Aubushon told her friends when she conceived of the idea. She found immediate support.
The first calendar came out for 2006, featuring a winking bride, saucy cheerleaders, Gothic farmers and rough-tough biker chicks.
Putting the collection together was a hoot, Aubushon said. One gal in a teddy had trouble with the snaps, which earned her the nickname “Snapper.” Another gal put on 4-inch high heels for the first time in 30 years and had to call for assistance to stand up.
The photos grabbed the attention of the national media and orders arrived from all over the U.S. Then-President George W. Bush sent congratulations as well as an autographed photo, which now hangs in the Brady Community Center. The Beauties raised $9,000, most of which was donated to start a library in Brady, with a little left over for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
In 2008, the group expanded the biker theme, posing on motorcycles within a 30-mile radius of Brady. Proceeds from the second calendar went to the Brady volunteer fire department.
This year, the group posed at the Hitchin’ Post bar and grill in Brady and at the Triangle L Ranch north of Maxwell, owned by Lynn and his son Casey Meyer. Most of the photos were taken at the ranch.
“They had everything we needed --” organizer Bonnie Glo Auboshon said, “Belgian horses, a working chuckwagon they take to brandings, a barn and a shed with stars cut out of the walls.”
The Beauties brainstormed as they went along, changed costumes in the open if they had to and had their share of mishaps. In one scene, Auboshon sat atop a hay feeder until the hay gave way, swallowing her before the shutter clicked.
Their husbands don't seem to mind their escapades.
“I guess we've been married long enough – 62 years,” said Carolyn Seaton. “My husband wouldn’t dare tell me no, because then I’d be sure to do it.”
In more normal times, the Beauties play bingo once a month and joke around.
"We have a ball," they said.
Older women just want to be friends, have fun and get things done, Auboshon said.
“When you get to be our age, you want to do something worthwhile. We don’t want to sit at home and rock the rockers off the chair, we want to get going,” she said.
The photos for the calendar were taken by retired professional photographer Steve Anderson of Cozad.
“He was no shrinking violet,” Auboshon said. “If we’d say or suggest something, he’d just smile and help us work it out.”
The calendars cost $25 and are available at the North Platte Bulletin, 1300 East Fourth, North Platte, NE 69101, as well as stores in Maxwell, Brady and Gothenburg.
This could be the last of the series, Auboshon said.
"We're not getting any younger," she said. "Our oldest member (Evelyn Elsasser) is 94, and she has the best legs."