Reporting Ian Schwartz
YUBA CITY (CBS13) – As the nation remembers Annette Funicello, so do many locals living in Yuba City.
Decades ago, the Mouseketeer made a stop in Yuba City after a massive flood hit the area.
With news of Funicello’s death, a rush of memories came back to Janet Siller.
“It was really, really nice. I remember everything about it,” she said.
Siller met the former Mouseketeer after Walt Disney sent his Hollywood troop to perform after learning what happened to Yuba City.
“My dad was where the levee broke and he was sent home to get us out of town,” said Siller.
The Christmas Eve flood of 1955 killed 38 people and forced thousands from their homes after a levee broke south of the city.
Siller was only 10 years old then and escaped with her family.
A month after the flood, residents returned and also got a surprise of a life time performance from the pop start pre-teens at Yuba City High.
“It was just great. It was really uplifting from what we had gone through,” said Siller.
Siller says the trip was very special because after the visit to the high school, she got to spend some up close and personal time with the superstar.
The Mouseketeers and Funicello dined at Siller’s parents’ restaurant after the show.
Siller says Funicello was a delight and she’s followed her career ever since. Hearing of her death reminded Siller about the bad and the good that came with the Christmas Eve flood.
“To have them come to our community was just incredible,” she said.
Funicello died Monday in Bakersfield at the age of 70 years old.