Mary Ann's Biography

When Mary Ann Summers "set ground on that uncharted desert isle," she was 19 years old. Of all the passengers on the S.S. Minnow, she had the most logical explanation as to why she took this three-hour tour and why she did not bring along a lot of "extras." This was mostly due to her practicality and hard work ethic. Back home, she was a Kansas farm girl who was raised near Winfield, Kansas in the county of Horners Corners. She lived with her parents as a young girl but as they grew old, she was sent to work on a relative's farm. She would often milk the cows, feed the chickens, pigs, horses, and do menial chores for her Uncle George and Aunt Martha. She was a hard working Pollyanna- type person who had an innocent charm and knowledge of the world; or at least her little corner of it! As she became a young teenager, she joined the 4-H Club and worked in the Winfield General Store, which was owned by her father and managed by her Uncle George. In between her chores on the farm, going to school, and working at the store, she would delight in her favorite hobby of reading romance novels and magazines. She would always imagine that "at any moment" she would be 'saved' from her life of quiet desperation by a "knight in shining armor!" One day, she was reading a magazine entitled "True Romance" when she found an application to enter a drawing to win a free Hawaiian cruise. She won the contest and her cruise ship would set sail from Los Angeles, to Mexico, with a final destination of Hawaii.

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!"