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Frankie & Annette Catch A Wi-Fi Wave

May 27, 2015

Someone fell off the blog wagon, and hasn’t posted much lately. Blush! That would be me.

My apologies to all my fans and followers. I’ve been busy with assignments. Yes, I know: a poor excuse.

I’ve been posting single images on my Facebook page. Kind of a quick and easy alternative to blog posts when I’m busy. If you’re on Facebook and would like to see more of my work, you can Like my Facebook page. Just a thought.

As noted in an earlier post, I have friends in local community theater. I help them out, and they give me free ads in their theater programs. Branch River Theatre‘s latest production is Neil Simon‘s Brighton Beach Memoirs. I came up with the following for my ad:blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

program ad for Brighton Beach Memoirs Frankie Avalon Annette Funicello on Brighton Beach parody of 1960s beach movies surfboard on computer with Google landing page joke surfing internet with shark seagull

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI suspect my younger readers are scratchin’ their heads and thinking: “Yeah, yeah, ha-ha, surfin’ the internet, I get that, but what’s this Brighton Beach Blanket Bingo business?? Is that supposed to be a joke??”

Well, um, yes, it is. It’s a reference to the teen-oriented beach party films that came out in the early to mid-60’s. Most of them starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as the romantic leads, and featured the same “teenage” actors (most of whom were in their 20’s). They had names like Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, and Beach Blanket Bingo.BlankVertSpace.4pixels

I decided to do a color version of the drawing.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Frankie Avalon Annette Funicello on Brighton Beach parody of 1960s beach movies surfboard on computer with Google landing page joke surfing internet with shark seagull

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHere’s a detail image. When the folks at Google see that incredibly clever “snorkel mask” standing in for the double-o, I know they’ll want to hire me and pay me big bucks to do Google doodles. It would spoil me, of course…blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

detail image Frankie Avalon Annette Funicello on Brighton Beach parody of 1960s beach movies surfboard on computer with Google landing page joke surfing internet with shark seagull

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHow good are the Annette and Frankie caricatures? Here are a couple of publicity shots for their beach movies.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Frankie Avalon Annette Funicello beach movie publicity photos with surfboard sand big bicep muscles pose gets admiring look

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highAlas, I wasn’t a glamorous teen. Glamor came to me later in life– after I became an illustrator.

Frankie and Annette, however, were glamorous “teens,” even if most of it was Hollywood fakery. But unlike many of today’s pop stars, they never took themselves very seriously. That gives them an enduring charm. They left a lot of us with some very happy memories.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Frankie Avalon holding Annette Funicello on beach next to dune buggy with surfboards, sand ocean in background

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Are you a Neil Simon fan? Do you have a favorite Neil Simon play?

Have you ever done any surfing?

Have you ever left a movie theater with sand between your toes??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:BlankVertSpace.8pixels

Another Memorial Day, Up In Smoke

Keeping A Promise To Love In Sickness And In Health

If There’s A Buzzard Watching You, You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
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footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2015 10:48 AM

    Hey Mark, you don’t disappoint! Love your illustrations! I’ve been offline too, been busy, was ill for a while but I’m back now! I haven’t surfed, neither have I watched a Neil Simon play, always wear shoes to movie theatres. 🙂 🙂 Glad I stopped by!!


    • May 29, 2015 7:53 AM

      How exciting to see a comment from my friend Seyi Sandra! Nice to see you, thanks for your lovely comment! Sorry to hear you were sick, glad you’re feeling better and wearing your shoes to movie theaters– you can’t be too careful!! Of course one can make money by selling the sand between one’s toes to golf courses. They need it for those nasty sand traps, and I’ve supplied them with several… : )

      Thanks for your visit, and for always being a cheerful presence! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin King permalink
    May 27, 2015 11:43 AM

    Do I like this? I LOVE this! Took me right back to…ummmm…the days when people surfed in water, not pixels. Not that I ever tried it.

    Google will scoop you up soooooooo fast! That’s the best GoogleGoggle thing ever. BEST! If I were chewing bubblegum right now I’d give you 5 pops!! And oh, my gosh. Your Annette and Frankie are wonderful. I also like how the gull seems to be getting into the spirit, too. FAB, Mark. FAB!!! Groovy, far out, and waaaaaay cool. ::finger-snaps::

    “Glamor came to me later in life– after I became an illustrator.” Hard to believe you weren’t born to it, given how glamorous you are now.


    • June 1, 2015 8:31 PM

      My dear Robin!! Ya gots me a-blushin’ so furiously, people think I’m an ambulance when I come hang-tennin’ up behind ’em on my motorized surfboard!! Any more praise like thet thar, and I’ll be needin’ an ambulance!! Be still my racin’ aorta!!! : )

      Gum pops and finger snaps?? Zowie!! Sounds like a great vaudeville act. Was a time I used to chew a lotta bubble gum. Had to quit ’cause I got so self-conscious ’bout my pink teeth… : )

      Glamor… dat’s me, pard! Yep, on the Glamor Scale I’m right up there with cardboard and soap dishes and flea collars. ‘Course, nowadays, it wouldn’t be hard to find a pampered poodle sportin’ a rhinestone flea collar, so maybe I’m not doin’ all that bad… : P

      Thanks for your absolutely stupendous comment what’ll keep me goin’ for at least another millennium or three!! : )


  3. May 27, 2015 8:31 PM

    I think Google should hire your goggles, Mark!
    Yet again, another entertaining trip forward before letting us (the elderly) fall gently back into a fond time warp.
    One thing that continues to baffle me all these years, how the heck did Annette walk on the beach in heels? 😉
    Glad to see you ’round these parts. You have some nerve taking off to do work for $$$ 😉


    • May 30, 2015 2:29 PM

      Ha-ha!! I always goggle at your comments, my dear AnnMarie, and this one was no exception. Sometimes I goggle so much, I find goldfish floppin’ on my keyboard… : )

      Elderly?? Us?? Nonsense! It may be true that I had my surfboard converted into a chair lift for stairs, but I still yell “Surf’s up!!” as I make the ascent… : )

      Yes, that Annette was pretty gifted. Not only could she walk on sand with heels, she always managed to keep her mouse ears on when she shot the curl… : )

      I’m sorry I sold out and did some work for money– but I needed to buy a bowl for my goldfish… : )


  4. May 28, 2015 4:45 AM

    Mark, it’s my experience that *anyone* studying theater arts will come to know Neil Simon, to some degree. But I’m not sure if I could confidently say I’m a “fan” because I just don’t know the breadth of his work. In high school, the drama department did a Neil Simon play that I just couldn’t seem to find humorous.

    That said, I am partial to “The Odd Couple”; maybe because I very much used to be a Felix (and still am to a certain extent), while my wife is more of an Oscar. Of course, I remember the TV adaptation with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman very fondly (and now the theme song is stuck in my brain).


    • June 2, 2015 9:58 AM

      Hi, Jak. As always, good to hear from you, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. I share your ambivalence about Mr. Simon. I’ve seen quite a few of his plays, including the famous Odd Couple. I know I’ve enjoyed them and laughed a lot, but they tend to run together in my mind, and I don’t have a clear memory of any particular scene or moment. And the name “Neil Simon” doesn’t conjure up the same warm feeling for me that I get when I hear “Oscar Wilde” or “P.G. Wodehouse” or “Noel Coward” or “George Bernard Shaw.” I tend to laugh hardest at classic drawing room comedies. I can relate to them better. Perhaps that makes me a shallow person or a hopeless anachronism. Oh, dear… : )

      Your line about you tilting Felix, and your wife tilting Oscar made me laugh. I suspect there are many couples that share similar disposition conflicts! Thanks for checking in, sir, wishing you the best! : )


  5. Steven L Campbell permalink
    May 30, 2015 4:24 PM

    I also neglected my blog during May. Must have been preoccupied with a newer shiny object.

    Thanks for the fun trip down Memory Lane. I liked Annette and knew the Mickey Mouse Club song by heart, but I was a HUGE Sally Field fan during her short run as Gidget. I had the biggest crush on her when I was a kid.

    PS – If you ever do a Star Trek poster, let me know. I would love to have a poster like that drawn by you and hanging on my wall.


    • June 3, 2015 3:21 PM

      Hi Steven, always great to see you, thanks for your wonderful comment, and do excuse my tardiness in responding. I’m also overdue at your blog, whether you’ve been neglecting it or not (!), which is inexcusable in the case of someone as kind and supportive as yourself. Reparations shall be made!! : )

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and I laughed with delight at your references to the Mickey Mouse Club, and TV crushes. I liked Annette, too, but I totally flipped for Hayley Mills when I saw her in Disney’s The Parent Trap. And to really date myself, I had a hopeless crush on Gloria Winters, who played Sky King’s niece Penny. Is there anything moonier or more demented than a love-struck 10-year-old boy?? I’d say no. : (

      Thanks for your very kind words. I’ve always been a Star Trek fan, and can’t think why I haven’t done a homage. I shall make a note on my Star Date calendar. Cheers and thanks again!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  6. June 11, 2015 7:50 AM

    Well, I don’t have any particular favourite music singers that I absolutely enjoy.. I don’t /didn’t listen to radio/records often enough.

    I remember Frankie and Annie dimly as a child. True those days, keep in mind, tv was in its infancy. And publicity shots were less bombastically sexy.


    • June 13, 2015 12:32 PM

      Hi, Jean! You didn’t listen to the radio when you were a kid? I guess it makes sense– you were always out on your bike, and they didn’t have iPods back then… : )

      “Bombastically sexy”… that’s what they say about my publicity shots. Not. Ever. : (

      Good to see you, hope you’re enjoying some great summer rides!


  7. June 21, 2015 1:04 PM

    Mark … I’d been off the grid myself. Just wiped out, drained, shortly before the end of school. It’s great seeing your illustrations again and reading your quick wit.

    Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello … ahhhh! I remember them well. I think every girl wanted to look like Annette. I did like Frankie. But, in my teens, my favorite actor was probably Tim Considine (Spin of “Spin and Marty,” “The Hardy Boys” and “My Three Sons.”)

    Thanks for the memories, and I love that snorkel mask that’s part of the Google illustration. 😉


    • June 27, 2015 8:31 AM

      Off the grid– I like it! We should all spend more time there. I have a feeling it would be good for our mental health. Funny you should mention Tim Considine. He was a great favorite of mine, too. Handsome, cool, relaxed, hip– no wonder I was jealous! I just googled him. He became a writer and photographer, and stayed sane– good to know! Spin and Marty? Yes, indeed– I was there for every episode. And now I must saddle up my mule, ride to the Triple R Ranch, and fall in a water trough… : )

      Liked by 1 person

  8. June 22, 2015 6:08 AM

    Well I remember these movies! 😄. Your illustrations are excellent. Love the 60’s hair-styles. They were fun days with light hearted movies. I go in the surf every summer as I live near some great beaches. This post brings back some good memories.


    • June 27, 2015 8:52 AM

      Ha! Thanks, Maria. Yes, I think that’s the secret: if you want to have fun in life, all you need is a beehive hairdo, and sand between your toes! OK, and maybe a few good dance moves… : )

      That’s cool that you get to experience real surf. I’ve only seen the kind that comes from passing motorboats and Dick Dale records… : )

      Liked by 1 person

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