I was deeply saddened on April 8 to learn of the death of Annette Funicello. I took it as a personal loss and it made me cry. My generation has lost a beautiful figure, someone who cannot be replaced.
Funicello was someone I identified with. She was born in the same time period I was -- a time when a global conflict engulfed the world. We were the children of the 1950s, a decade of Cold War but also a time when a rapidly growing American economy became the envy of the world. It was a mostly peaceful and prosperous interlude in American history.
During that time Funicello emerged as one of the original members of "The Mickey Mouse Club," a popular TV program. She was also a good singer and her recordings ascended in popularity in the latter 1950s and early '60s. She also starred in beach party movies in the early 1960s. Her pleasing personality and her happy-go-lucky lifestyle made her a credit to our generation and an inspiration to society as a whole.
As has been described of her, Funicello was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. I always admired her and I loved her. I wish I could have met her. May she rest in peace as she will always be lovingly remembered.
Frank B. Austin