My father, a genuine Baby Boomer, back in the late 1950’s, attended school at Lemon Grove Jr. High in San Diego, California, and played trumpet in his school’s marching band. This band had the distinct honor of being invited to perform at Disneyland circa 1958ish.
On the day of the scheduled performance, the weather was clear, bright, and sunny. What a glorious time…adding an exuberance to the affair, which sadly, also had a tendency to bring out the hooligan in my dad. (Although honestly, that hooligan was always ready to come out and have his mischievous fun, regardless of the weather.)
While on their way to perform, Dad and a friend (whose name escapes me) were headed up the steps of the Pavilion… when upon their approach, they spied some other teenage kid, bent over tying his shoes. My father, the burgeoning delinquent, decided to, “Give that rascal a goose in the backside,” using the mouthpiece of his trumpet.
Walking closer to the unsuspecting victim, Dad elbowed his buddy, and whispered “watch this,” while he proceeded to firmly plant his horn into the hind-end of his unsuspecting shoe-tying sucker. Punctuating his actions with a loud raspberry sound, “Pffffftttt!” Dad made a swift upward motion using moderate force, thus propelling the kid briefly into the air and displacing him from his previous position.
As my father later remarked, “That kid went ass over tea kettle, and landed right side up on the steps a couple feet away. It was freakin’ hilarious!”
That’s when the horror of this prank became real. The dungaree wearing rascal was none other than America’s Sweetheart, Annette Funicello. Oh. My. God.
This is a moment in which time becomes suspended. Things move into slow motion, and voices get distorted… hair scarf, shoe laces, and trumpet brass were all a shiny blur…
Then, the rush of reality hit like a tsunami.
Before he could begin to process the depth of his transgression, two young men, known at the time as Spin & Marty, were standing nearby and jumped on my father. They held nothing back in an effort to clean his clock. His friend tried to help and shield him, while shouting, “We didn’t know…we didn’t know…”
…and Annette looked on… in open mouthed, stunned silence.
In what was both an eternity also instantaneous, two security guards appeared and peeled the Mousketeers off of my father. For the record, don’t let the apple pie image of the Mousketeers mislead you…they were expertly kicking his ass.
Once the skirmish had ended, Spin & Marty escorted Annette to an undisclosed location so that she could reclaim her composure and dignity. My father’s friend scrambled off into the Pavilion to forget what he’d been an unwitting accomplice to.
Left behind was the instigator in the whole fiasco…my father. In a well-choreographed motion, the guards scooped up that youthful offender, handed him his trumpet, escorted him with a firm but polite grip on his elbows and shirt collar, to the nearest gate; with instructions to wait for his band director at the school bus. My father was then cordially invited to, “Please feel free to never return to the Magic Kingdom again.”
Which he never would…because the guards did, after all, say ‘Please.’