Despite its Children of the Corn ambiance, DeKalb, Illinois, is a warm, Midwestern community of 25,000 that boasts two of the most celebrated pieces of property in America. The first is the Elwood House, home of the wealthy manufacturer of the first barbed wire. The second is the lucrative entertainment commodity known as Cindy Crawford's booty. To be sure, every shit-shoveling Dekalbanite has a pet anecdote about how this Amazonish supermodel touched their lives. Knowing this, MELVIN Operatives could not be satisfied until every cob of behind-the-scenes insight was shucked clean and every kernel of truth devoured.

What they found is that before Cindy posed and strutted into the high-profile world of fashion runways and glossy magazine ads, she toiled in the trenches of DeKalb's vast and unglamorous cornfields. Like a thick-skinned huckster, she tread through grimy, sweltering rows of maize--detasseling stalks and speculating rainfall averages--before becoming the steamy sex-kitten we adore today. Though her earthy youth was spent slopping in pig muck and sneaking smokes in the grain elevator, puberty made Cindy shine like chrome on a combine. On top of getting her modeling start at the precocious age of 16, a move that surely mesmerized the pelvises of every aspiring lad in her class, Cindy graduated valedictorian in 1984 and headed for Northwestern University's pre-med program. She quit promptly--after a single semester, in fact--lured by life as a sex object and later as an MTV "House of Style" host. But those who knew her before her fame still remember her as she once was...

Behind-the-Scenes Interviews

Click on the highlighted names below to view their accounts of Cindy.

An anonymous source, once babysat by Cindy.

Nineteen year old Dave Toles, a Freshman in Engineering at the University of Illinois, also once babysat by Cindy.

Mr. Gaylen Kapperman, a professor who saw Cindy at a wedding.