Whether it’s for a neighbor, a teacher, a kid in your class, or someone in TV or the movies or in music, we all have these “puppy” crushes that usually don’t last very long, and are bypassed when we learn more about what love is as we get older.
One of my crushes during my childhood was Angela Cartwright, who just happened to turn 60 years old a month ago today.
Cartwright was a cute, talented kid, and her sister, Veronica was also cute, but in an episode of “Leave It To Beaver,” she gave the Beav his first kiss, so she was taken already.
Angela was not.
She came to national prominence as one of Danny Thomas’ children on “Make Room For Daddy,” the first show in my memory where the kids weren’t just precocious, they also had big mouths.
Later, she was the younger daughter on “Lost in Space,” one of my favorite TV shows as a kid.
She started to fill out a little then, and, as I was also getting older, I kind of look at it as if we were growing up together.
In between, she was one of the Trapp children in “The Sound of Music,” and along with Julie Andrews, she was the only actor I knew about at the time from that film, so I, again, became enamored of her.
And later, on shows like “Room 222,” she was one of the high school students, and by this time, I was older, and I still thought she was cute.
I guess I was drawn to her because she was on TV, on her shows, just about every day of the week as I was growing up.
She was around my age—or so I thought, now that I know that she is actually five years older than me—and she had those expressive eyes, which even captured me when I was a little kid.
As I said earlier, puppy love usually doesn’t last that long, and once I didn’t see her on TV much anymore, I found others to pin my hopes on.
But Angela Cartwright might have been the first for me—and probably millions of other guys around my age.
So happy belated birthday, Angela. You are a part of my childhood that I won’t soon forget.