Recently, I was perusing my junior high yearbooks when I found the following inscription from 1983: “Gingeretta, you’d make a gorgeous model, ya know. I think Ricky Schroder doesn’t know what he’s been missing! Someday, when you’re a rich, famous model, and I’m a rich, famous writer, I’ll call you and say, ‘Come on up to my penthouse for some champagne!’ Have a smashing summer!!! Luv, Jo” Let’s just skip right over the fact that my clever parents saddled me with the moniker of Gingeretta, and move on to the first phrase. “You’d make a gorgeous model.”I was 14 that year, and I longed to enter Seventeen magazine’s “Model of the Year” contest. My dad tried to help out by taking me to interview at the Barbizon school of modeling. I am blessed with a daddy who always believes in me, even when the odds suggest otherwise.
In preparation, I spent hours choosing just the right blouse and skirt, and I packed on pounds of makeup. The Barbizon people said they could teach me how to put my best foot forward, but they were pretty blunt about the fact that models are tall and slender. I had already reached my full height of 5’4’’, and my figure could best be described somewhere between plump and portly. Plus, my face was still developing. While I appreciated Jo’s enthusiastic encouragement, a modeling career was never in my future.
Thirty years later, Ricky Schroder, teen star of the 80s show “Silver Spoons,” still doesn’t know what he’s missing. I don’t know exactly what I saw in the gangly kid, but I was smitten. You might recall a short-lived show called “Fantasy,” hosted by Glenn Scarpelli. The premise of the show was that people from across America would write and share their wishes. Each week, someone was chosen to have their dream come true.