That time my mom tried to make me a Gerber baby

I don’t often write about my parents, who died many years ago (my mom in 1994, my dad in 2007), but given that I just turned 45, I find myself thinking of them more than usual. I got rid of A LOT of old stuff after my dad died (my sister, thankfully, saved a bit more), but one item I held onto  was the following correspondence. I guess the complete novelty and weirdness of it all was too much for me to just toss in the garbage with the rest of my old report cards, yearbooks and photos (I’m pretty sure my sister made me save the one I posted at the top of this post). Anyway, after filing these letters away in my desk for the last decade, I have decided to now make it all public.

My mom once tried to make me a Gerber baby.

This was certainly news to me in 2008 or so, when I located it among the many, many things my parents had saved. If my mom had told me about when I was a kid, I’d long ago forgotten it. Anyway, my mom had saved a hand-written copy of the letter she sent to the Gerber Products Company, apparently on June 15, 1972 (according to a note she stapled to the correspondence). Here’s what she wrote (the JP at the end stands for JoAnn Pignataro):

I have no clue why she made this copy (much less why she saved the whole correspondence). But a week later (!), a representative of Gerber responded to my mom:

While this is likely a form letter (I can’t imagine my mom was the only woman in America who thought her baby was worthy of a career slopping up mashed peas on television), I am impressed that they responded so quickly.

So there it is: I was a failed television star before I was even six months old.  Well, I guess that’s showbiz.

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