I WAS SHELLEY FABARES
A NOT-SO GIRL HAPPY ADVENTURE IN HAWAII
Funny, how you can forget one of the craziest episodes of your life, only to have the most unlikely thing trigger a memory, unlocking piercing mental imagery, and even dredging up palpable emotions, long buried. Or perhaps repressed. In either case, for me that trigger was coming across a film poster featured in a book about 1960s pop culture. The film was 1965’s Girl Happy, a Ft. Lauderdale spring break romp starring Elvis Presley as swinging nightclub singer Rusty Wells, and actress Shelley Fabares as Valerie, his wholesome [read: virginal] love interest. “Elvis Makes The Beach A Ball!” ran the poster’s tag-line.
Trust me, this will all make sense.
The year was 1981 and Matt and me were trying to make names for ourselves as professional surfers. Not doing too badly, either, considering how inconsequential we were at the time. D. David Morin, the editor at a short-lived but culturally prescient publication called Action Now, even put us on the cover of the September issue—an arresting image which featured Matt, smug in a white tux and carnation, with me dripping wet and in orange surf trunks, pointing at the camera and challenging:
"Sure You Can Surf, But Can You Dance?"
The cover blurb pretty much summed us up: we were dancing as fast as we could. Dancing to surf. But did anybody care?
Wonder Woman did. Turns out actress Linda Carter, buxom star of the kitschy ‘70s fantasy series, was shopping in a convenience store in Palm Springs when she saw the issue of Action Now on the newsstand. Read the full story here