If you were a girl and grew up where I did, chances are you played Charlie's Angels at recess. We would gather in the outside stairwell in front of the Boys' Entrance (a relic from when the girls and boys entered through different doors, I suppose) and cast the roles.
Almost everyone wanted to be beautiful Jill, played by Farrah Fawcett on the t.v. show. There would be long queen-bee-ish negotiations resulting in one happy girl and several stomping away in a snit. For some reason (conflict avoidance?), I consistently opted for Kelly, who seemed pretty enough and smart enough but not extraordinarily so on either count. Somehow Sabrina was always the booby (ha!) prize role--was she too brainy or was it the page-boy haircut? Her sharper-edged voice? We would conscript a nearby boy into playing Bosley and we were set to fight crime and, more importantly, to run with our hair flowing behind us, catch boys, and wrap them up with our jump ropes.
But first! I almost forgot the most important part. Someone would recite the opening lines:
Once upon a time there were three little girls
who went to the police academy
and they were assigned very hazardous duties
but I took them away from all that
and now they work for me
And make the all-important, gun-toting pose:
Please tell me I'm not the only one. I think in our young girl minds, we were all three women: the beautiful one, the smart one, the classy one. At least we believed it was in our future, when we reached the magical grown-up years. Probably whole feminist studies dissertations could be written on the messages we received and internalized.
I outgrew Farrah Fawcett as a role model before I left Wilson School (but in jr. high I totally had those sneakers she's wearing in the photo below). Since then I've rarely given her another thought. This isn't an "O Captain, My Captain" moment, really. But her death still makes me kind of sad, albeit in a selfish oh-no-not-my-childhood-icons/I-must-be-getting-old way. She was someone's mom, someone's sweetheart, and she seemed to handle her health ordeal with a great amount of courage.
And I kind of feel bad that she had to go on the same day as MJ. Talk about being upstaged.
That's all I wanted to say.