Late as usual, we rushed into the office of the University Travel Co., and asked the first person we saw, "Where's Miss Sweden?"
"Sweden?" he answered. "Don't know as I ever heard of anybody by that name around these parts." That's the kind of a day we had.
We finally found Miss Sweden in a back room, drinking coffee with the office help. Her real name, her agent said, was Gunilla Knutson; she was 20 years old, and "from the southern part of Sweden, where there is no snow."
After Miss Sweden had made it to the semi-final round of the Miss Universe contest last June in Miami Beach, she let G. David Schine know how much she liked her stay in his hotel, the Roney Plaza. Now she is touring the country, telling travel agents of the hotel's glories.
"What have you been saying to these people about the Roney Plaza?" we asked her. Miss Sweden looked imploringly at her agent, Robert R. Lamkie. "I don't say much. He is so mean, he tells them all there is to say. Then he turns to me, and says, "Tell them something about the Roney Plaza.'"
Later, Miss Sweden turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Besides being dazzlingly attractive, she was a wonderfully articulate specimen. She would have given the P.R. man a heart attack if he had managed to battle his way into hearing range.
Observations on America, Sex
Some of her choice observations: "Aren't you going to ask me how I like America?... It's nicer than I thought it would be. You get the wrong impression meeting Americans who go to Europe. They don't behave as nicely as they do here."
"Attitudes about sex in America and Sweden are different, but people act the same way. In Sweden, we are more frank... In New York, you see men 50 years old with girls of 20. Even if I think age is of no importance, that's unnatural."
"American parents are more strict. It makes Americans more immature... I'm more mature than an American girl college student my age."
When a beaming Air France official, calling her "Miss Canoe-tsen," posed for a picture with her and said, "I'm going to show you how to get home," she replied, "I know how to get home--by El Al."
In the end, the reporter and two photographers left thoroughly entranced, even though their best efforts had not succeeded in convincing Miss Sweden to remove her raincoat.