Archive for September 9th, 2009

My Cousin, Annette Funicello (maybe)

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


Did you ever tell a little fib as a kid and it grew and grew until it became a large, haunting presence looming over your life? And then you embellished it more and more and people kept asking you about it so, of course, you had to answer their questions with made up stuff and it continued to grow bigger and bigger? And then you kind of forgot what was real and what wasn’t – and really, does it matter anyway?

Well of course it matters – truth must triumph. I can’t live with this any longer, so here’s the truth: I may NOT be Annette Funicello’s cousin.

Both Annette and I were born in Utica, New York at Faxton Hospital.  She was born in 1942 and I was born in 1950. When she was three, Annette and her family moved to California although she left behind many Italian relatives. My Utica relatives kind of mingled and married some of hers – maybe. I think that’s what Aunt Lil said. Something like that.

When the Mickey Mouse Club began in 1955, I was five. Annette proved to be very popular and received over 1500 fan letters a week. I think that’s when the little fib began to grow. By the time she started singing and dancing in a bikini, she and I were close “cousins” and 3rd and 4th graders all over my school were jealous. I hope their opinion of me doesn’t change too much because of this.

I truly am sorry for pretending to be someone I might not have ever been (probably). But I would like to reconfirm that I went out with Judy “Sock It To Me” Carne’s movie double when I lived in New York. Greatness has always shadowed me.

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