Back on the farm, Mary Ann was very excited for this much-needed vacation and for a
chance to "see the world," or at least something other than Kansas. Mary Ann felt
homebound as she often feared that she would just live and die in Winfield as her
grandparents and generations of 'Summers' had done. But, then, she finally had a chance
to leave her town, her country schoolhouse and her part-time boyfriend behind. In fact,
the very day she found out about winning the cruise contest, she had her bag packed with
the 'essentials' and was eagerly waiting to go. It was a 14-day cruise and was just the
event and vacation she was waiting for. Her parents and Aunt and Uncle did not really
want her to go but she was headstrong and very determined to take this cruise and have
some fun before she would return to Winfield, get married, have lots of children and settle
down for the rest of her life. She loved the local hoedown country dances but this was the
biggest event of her life. She had a good friend (who was a boy) Horace Higgenbotham;
and although he was 'awestruck' about her and tried 'courting' her, Mary Ann just
considered him a good friend. "Finally," on September 7, 1964, she took a Greyhound
bus from Winfield, Kansas to Los Angeles, California. Her journey had just begun. The
actual cruise began on September 10, 1964 and was adventurous for her and she delighted
in the activities at the different ports of call. She only purchased a few souvenirs as her
main intentions were to experience things like the 'nightlife,' etc.
On September 23, 1964, she won an on-board contest and a chance to have a three-hour
sightseeing trip (by boat) around the Hawaiian Islands. She just couldn't believe her
"luck" at winning two contests. The next day [from Honolulu Harbor), she boarded the
S.S. Minnow which advertised that the 'company' (she thought was a small corporation
of sorts) had an exotic three-hour tour with a lunch included! However, unknown to her
and her compatriots, her luck was about to change. She, along with four other passengers
and two crew members, left Honolulu and nobody knew that a storm of monumental
proportions was approaching. Later that day, a hurricane quickly approached and she,
along with Ginger, Mr. & Mrs. Howell and a professor, were below deck while the
Skipper and Gilligan (ED.- 'The Fearless Crew') kept the S.S. Minnow from capsizing.
After the storm eased, the boat drifted for three days until it ran aground - early one
morning - on that uncharted desert isle. During the storm, Mary Ann wasn't very scared.
That was, in fact, exciting to her as she would take a Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz)
approach to things as she knew that, in the end, "everything would be all right!"
On the island, Mary Ann takes life in stride. Remembering her life in Kansas was not
filled with conveniences. (In many ways), life on a tropical island was easier for her.
(Actually, she thought that island life was more pleasant than her years in Winfield.) In
By nature, Mary Ann Summers wasn't even worried about being marooned! Again, she knew
that everything would be all right.
(She also firmly believed that one day "soon" they would all be rescued!)
Mary Ann had a real fondness for Gilligan and thought he was cute, but clumsy and a little shy! She thought he often did some
silly things and (in the future) he would ruin their chances of rescue many times. But she would easily forgive him because she
knew he was trying hard to do his best. If there ever was a "true romance" to develop, it would probably occur between Gilligan
and Mary Ann - with Mary Ann initiating the right moves!"