I was having dinner at the restaurant de Warsteiner in Amsterdam, with Jan Heemskerk and Dirk De Moei, the editor-in-chief and the art director designates of soon to be launched Dutch edition of Playboy.  Accompanying us were Gemmy, Jan’s wife and Ans, Dirk’s live-in lady. With us all settled, Dirk noticed Jan Cremer sitting at the bar with his girlfriend Babette.

‘Look who is here. Jan Cremer and Babette.’ I hear Dirk whispering to Jan.

I expressed the desire to go and say hello to the Dutch Legend.  Instead, Dirk invited him and Babette to join us. Jan pulled up a chair next to me and Babette sat at the other end of the table.  Cremer wore burgundy red short-sleeved shirt and a pair of blue jeans. At forty two, he didn’t look anything like my image of the young and rebellious biker, married to his fast and furious motorbike and the connoisseur of female of the species from all across the European continent. He looked and behaved no different from any other respectable Dutch man his age and like them spoke fluent but accented English.

Jan Cremer impressed me as being very down to earth, charismatic, self-confident and a friendly sort of guy. He seemed to feel very comfortable with his success, and very natural with the freedom it offered him with homes in New York, Switzerland and Amsterdam. Had replaced fast motorbikes with the fast cars. All this on just two major books and I would later find out, his art, which sold for large sums. Except for one of them, his 1960 painting of the Japanese War, on which he put the price tag of one million guilders – which at the time would have been quarter of a million dollars. Jan Heemskerk tells me that he is still holding out, for one of these days some sucker just might roll out the dough.

We talked about his books and how much of what is contained in them is true and how much is the product of his “depraved mind”.  At the time he was working on a travel book, his third major effort and supposedly the best he had written so far. But he seemed not in a hurry to finish it.

The conversation switched to Playboy and the kind of women it ran in its pages, especially the Playmates. To put it more or less in his own words: The girls you run in Playboy are too young, too beautiful, too glamorized and too perfect. I like women who have stretch marks on their stomachs, the breasts that sag and asses big and fat. I like to see wrinkles on their faces, feel roughness on their skins and be able to touch the flaws in their bodies.

I could tell that Jan was serious. At the same time, I couldn’t help glancing across the table at  gorgeous Babette, and appraise her in the light of what Jan was telling me about the kind of women he prefers. Babette looked anything but the description of his favored women full of flaws.  She looked to be in her mid-twenties, with beautiful blonde hair tied back neatly in a pony, with very proportionate pointed nose, softly darting eyes and from what I could tell, she possessed a delightful figure, a pretty face, she could have easily been a Playmate.  Ironically, he was working on a photographic collection of nudes and just a couple of months after our meeting, those of Babette’s appeared in the premier issues of Playboy’s Dutch edition. I certainly couldn’t find any flaws in her young and flawless beauty. Much as I would have liked to, I didn’t get to talk much to Babette. But from what I understood, she was an ex-model and was now living and traveling with Jan, they gave me a feeling of a very loving couple, with her assuming a lower profile, which perhaps was also a part of her natural personality.

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