Foot Faddish

Remember reaching the tennis ball hanging on a string and you knew you were finally tall enough to go on that ride?  I never reached it.  Not ever.  Really.

But, I don’t want to talk about my short stature.  I do, however, want to talk about my extra-small feet.  They are not very attractive; the toes are all the same length, appearing as if I might have had a run in with a paper cutter in art class.  Turned on yet?  If you have a foot fetish and love that Chinese bound foot look, then I’m your gal.  Oh, and to make matters worse, for most of my life, into my 40’s, I bit my own toenails.  Like a circus contortionist, I could (and did) pull my whole foot up to my mouth to tear away at a nail.  Mmmm, delicious story so far?  You bet. I’m just setting the stage.

I was a drummer, not that great of a drummer, but nonetheless, I played the snare and bass and all.  Remember the song “Wipe Out?”

I can play that on the drums, but that’s not what I’m known for.  Oh, NO.  At parties, I was often asked to play it – but without using my hands.  I can still do it, it makes for a great show … if you’re into 59-year old women riffing classic drum solos with their feet.  I usually waited until about the third date with a man before revealing my Wipe Out stupid human trick.

Shoes were always a real problem.  It wasn’t funny.  When all my friends were all fitting into sexy heels, I was wearing shoes from the kids department.  Nothing stylish to be found.  Then, one day in high school, my dad announced he was taking me to a famous shoe and boot maker named Di Fabrizio.  It was all so exotic and specialized.  He had a heavy Italian accent and reminded me of Pinocchio’s dad Gepetto.  He took all my measurements.  I was thrilled.  Even more thrilled the day I put those soft, brown leather knee-high boots with a perfect small heel on that fit me so precisely.  I didn’t take them off for the next few years.  I’m not exaggerating.  Wherever they live today, those brown boots have plenty of secrets to tell.

When I was a high school senior and wanted to go to the prom, I designed my own outfit, but instead of my mother sewing it, which was our usual, my dad sent me to a high-class, cater-to-the-stars wardrobe designer to execute it.  I picked out my emerald green seersucker fabric with white Swiss dots.  The skirt had three tiers.  The top was a Renaissance-style puffed sleeve that had elastic at my wrist and then a very long bell that fell across my hands.  The front of the top had strings crisscrossing my whole chest down to my waist, opening seductively all the way to my nipples and down to my belly button.  Hot.  One of a kind.  Needed a nice shoe with a heel.  And not my over worn Di Fabrizio boots.  I went to the only place that carried my sorry size.  Cinderella shoe store on Wilshire, in very far east Beverly Hills.  I purchased a size 3-shoe that actually looked like a glass slipper.  It needed something more.  So, I painted small green daisies across the see-through vinyl toe area that matched my dress.  It was the piece de resistance.  Except, I then needed a tan.  So, off to Palm Springs with my friend Sherry to catch the better rays.  In her fast, blue, shiny Porche, to her grandparents house in the desert.  It rained that day and after four hours in a car, we were back in L.A.  Our goal was to get a tan and a tan we would still achieve.  I called my dad because I knew he was a friend of Jack LaLanne’s.  Random, I know.  But I knew his club had these ultra violet ray machines that could give us our color.  My dad made a call, and we went, pretending to try the club out.  We used those prehistoric (standing up, not lying down) tanning beds and then we made it to our prom. I wore a wreath I’d made of fresh flowers with Baby’s Breath.  I promptly took off those shoes to dance the night away and perform my “Wipe Out” trick for my fans, I mean friends.

In honor of Pasquale Di Fabrizio, here is a recipe you might like from the region of Italy he was from, the Campania Region.  Keep scrolling, sorry there is a tech problem.

When I was a drummer in the school orchestra at B.V.

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti with clams is a Neapolitan classic. It uses fresh clams and just a few other ingredients to flavor the dish. Forget the image you might have of overcooked noodles drenched in thick tomato sauce with a few clams swimming in it; this is a light and tasty dish bursting with fresh clams. There’s no cream or butter, either, so it’s a healthy plate of pasta, too! There is debate about whether or not to add a few fresh tomatoes; many Neapolitans swear it’s the “right” way, others insist that “in bianco” (white) sauce is the real deal. In short, it’s a matter of taste! In Campania, they use baby clams known as “veraci” which might be hard to find where you live. Just get the smallest ones you can find. Frozen clams are okay, too (but don’t tell that to a Neapolitan!)

Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)


1 kilo (about 2 pounds) of fresh baby clams
2 cloves garlic, minced
a dash or two of red chile flakes
1 cup white wine
a handful of parsley, minced
1 pound (about 400 grams) spaghetti or linguini


If the clams haven’t already been cleaned, you’ll need to soak them in heavily-salted water for a couple of hours to clean out the grit. Drain and rinse them well.

In a pan large enough to hold the clams heat the olive oil and lightly saute the garlic, red chile flakes and about half the parsley until garlic begins to color. (You can also add 6-8 quartered cherry tomatoes if you wish.) Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and cook until they open up, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguini or spaghetti until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add the clams and wine, drizzle on a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle in the parsley, tossing it all well. Serve.

What I looked like when I played wipe out at parties!!!

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14 Responses to “Foot Faddish”

  1. Julie Phalen says:

    Another great blog F! I was thinking you were holding the drum sticks between your toes and playing wipeout. I thought Sherry went to Marymount. You said you went to the same prom. Funny that you guys drove to PS and didn’t spend the night!

  2. Augie Duke says:

    Ahahhaha mom you are crazy and that’s just a little part of why i love you so much, well done…. Love this story reminds me of me in highschool, exept i did this new age thing called the mystic tan and looked a little wacky on me…..

  3. Adrienne. Radovich Becker says:

    Novembre.12.2012.Dearest. fredrica .just saw the vedio.amazing and awsome.u look beautiful as always.the vedio and music was purfect.and maybe u and some of your girl friends. start takeing a class.and u could be the amazing and beautiful teacher..showing all of us how to do this.have a beautiful day and evening .oxoxoxox.Love adrienne

  4. Hoov says:

    it must be Sherry H… She had a blue Porsche.. The last time I saw her was summer of 71 in Westwood with her b/f…. Funny he was driving it when they parked it right in front of me while i was down the street to get lunch… Cute story Wakko and never had to worry about prom since Military school did not have proms.. In the 60,s it was a complete turn off for girls to be caught with military school kids.. I know we only had two dance ( in four years of HS) and even the girls school ( Marymount, Westlake and others) would not come to a open invitation) .. Laughing while I sit here in Wailuku with the winds blowing finally and the sun is out… :::::) Aloha; Hoov out

  5. zach says:

    You’re not as funny as Eddie Murphy, but you make me smile.

  6. zach says:

    And the Cyrk Pear is great.

  7. Alan says:

    Yeah, but can you still do a paradiddle?

  8. Carol Ward Dudley says:

    Years ago there was a sample shoe store on Wilshire next door to the Fox Wilshire Theatre – I have small feet (especialy for my height) but could never figure out who could wear a 4 1/2 – which was the sample size. GK’s assistant was always waiting for EDK to grow out of his gucci’s so she could have them. You wear a 3 – ????? Wow –

  9. Pauli says:

    Cinderella shoes? Wish I would have known. So many hidden (not so much anymore) talents – you really should have been a comedienne! Who could top that drum solo? Great piece.

  10. Peter Belanger says:

    Fredde, you made such an impression on me at BV that I had to find a tiny wife; her ring size is a 3 and she also has trouble finding shoes. Your self-deprecation is unnecessary but so damn funny; I can hear your brain popping and fizzing between the lines.

  11. Mitch says:

    Fredde, those rhythmic hoofbeats…it’s a talent, a gift, what can I say? You’re one top-notch pedal percussionist! And don’t tell me you never took tap. Unless I’m wrong — and I might be — you slipped a few flap steps into that number. Pretty damned good. I can’t even do that standing up.

  12. cristi ulrich says:

    Great story – I can just see you!!! And your picture is the Fredde I remember so well. xxoo

  13. I so remember your wipe out talent and the many times you performed in many venues! I was always a fan as well as friend…So many trips to P.S. in the blue Porsche…The things we did that we thought made us look better!!!!!
    Oh Fredde…I love reading your memories as they are a part of all of our lives…

  14. Valentina says:

    Another great story, Fredde! You got me beat in the small shoe size dept… but my mother used to take me to some Sample Shop in LA (name escapes me) which had smaller-size shoes. And I still recall what a thrill this was: We went to Florence (Italy) when I was 13 to visit my expatriate aunt and her brood; my mother bought me this gorgeous pair of italian leather shoes with real heels in size 4.5/5 (equivalent European size)!!!

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