- Posted April 8, 2013 by
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An '80s Child Raised on Annette Funicello
- 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.