Introducing ourselves

by Jon Merrill (no login)


I am 62 and a retired finance manager at AT&T. At the beginning of my career I was an elementary music and chorus teacher in schools, and it was that experience that made me like Annie so much the first time I saw it in 1981.

I am still a stubborn, crusty old bachelor but am an uncle 4 times and a granduncle 7 times.

I was co-president of the international Annie Fan Club from 1983 to 1998 and co-published over 80 issues of our newsletter Annie People. Over those years I got to meet dozens of Annie stars and former Annie stars and do articles and photo shoots on them.

I spent 25 years collecting every Little Orphan Annie item I could find, and I was honored to be asked to show my collection museum in Life After Tomorrow. Since then, the harsh realities of retiring and moving down South to a much smaller place meant that I sold most of the collection and put the rest in storage for now. I still remain a big fan of everything Annie, including the old newspaper comic strip.

Compared to a lot of Forum posters, I got into Annie rather late in life and missed early Broadway and the Nationals, but became hooked with the release of the movie in 1982. I enjoy reading on the Forum about fans who were fortunate to have seen the 1970s-era Annies. Although I didn't see Louanne on stage, today she is one of my closest friends.

It is rewarding to see from Julie's Forum how much attention continues to be given to the history of this great musical, and I doubt if there has ever been a Broadway show with this big and this loyal a fan base remaining a quarter century after its closing!

Posted on Mar 27, 2008, 10:11 AM
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