On the Good Ship…

I didn’t know who Shirley Temple was when I drank my first beverage by that name, a concoction of Coke and cherry juice. I was only ten at the time and didn’t particularly care for the drink. I preferred straight Coke.

I found out who Shirley Temple was when I was in college. I watched The Little Princess on television. I’d started reading the book as a kid but didn’t finish it because it was too depressing.

A little girl living in India is sent to a boarding school in London during the 19th century. Years later, her father dies, leaving her alone and penniless, reduced to a servant at the school.

After seeing the movie, I decided to finish the book and discovered that it and the movie have different endings. I’ll say no more in case you want to read the book or see the movie. They’re both good.

Shirley Temple was born on April 23rd, 1928 in Santa Monica, California. As you know, she died last week on February 10th in Woodside, California. She was educated by private tutors and attended high school at the Westlake School for Girls from 1940 to 1945.

 She was a film actress from 1932 to 1950. She entertained television audiences from 1958 to 1965. She was a public servant from 1969 to 1992.

She is known for her roles in such films as Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, and Curly Top. Her television programs included Shirley Temple Storybook and The Shirley Temple Show. She had two husbands: John Agar, whom she married in 1945 and divorced in 1950 with one child, and Charles Alden Black, whom she married in 1950. He died in 2005, and this marriage produced two more children. In her lifetime, she received Juvenile Academy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, and a Screen actors Guild Life Achievement Award. You can learn more about her and purchase memorabilia here.

One of Shirley Temple’s popular songs was “On the Good Ship Lollypop.” I’ve never been crazy about candy, not even as a kid, but if there was a Good Ship Hot Fudge Sundae in the harbor, I’d get on board and travel to an island where I could consume all the ice cream, cake, French silk pie, and Dr. Pepper I wanted without getting a tummy ache or gaining weight. Maybe that will happen when I die. What would your good ship be?


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver