About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view jeffreyroot's profile
    Posted April 8, 2013 by
    Provo, Utah
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    All ears: Your Disney memories

    More from jeffreyroot

    An '80s Child Raised on Annette Funicello


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     jeffreyroot told me he just saw Funicello's 1987 movie 'Back to the Beach' the night before she died: 'Her and Frankie Avalon kind of bridged a generation gap from my parents, to me and my brothers and sisters. I couldn't believe the news this morning about Annette's death because last night we looked up to see if she was still living after the movie was over. I knew she was suffering from multiple sclerosis and I check up on her status every time I watch one of her movies. I couldn't imagine myself waking up the next day to find out she passed away. Annette helps me to remember to be nice to people. She also makes me realize that when we grow up we should embrace our past because it is what makes us into the people we are today. It was okay for her to make a beach movie in the '80s that made fun of the beach movies she made in the '60s. She didn't shy away from her past, no matter how the trends changed over the years.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Last night I told my friend that he had to see the movie Back to the Beach. It’s a corny 80’s comedy that brings Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon together for one last beach fling. As a surfer, I was never too fond of the beach movies of the sixties, but hearing about her death this morning hit me very hard.


    I am a child of the 80’s and my parents were of the Baby Boomer generation. My father is only one year younger than Annette Funicello and he grew up in Southern California in the 50’s and 60’s, surfing and playing on the beach. Today my Dad jokingly, but respectfully writes, “Should have won an Oscar for Beach Blanket Bingo,” while my sister writes, “I’m seriously about to cry.” We were raised on old school Disney programs via a giant satellite dish we had installed out in the horse corral. I remember watching her sing as a musketeer. We rented Babes in Toyland from our local video store countless times. She was the girl that any boy could fall in love with. Her smile alone made me feel special, as if she was singing for only me. She was the first pinup for boys under thirteen.


    I often followed her life over the years and watched her health deteriorate from Multiple Sclerosis, but her attitude toward living was so optimistic. She did so much for her fans; always keeping that image they knew her by. I will never know very much about her personal life, but I would like to thank her for being so kind. The beach without Annette will be a little less corny, but also lonely. Keep on smiling.

    Add your Story Add your Story