When she’s not working as a restaurant hostess in Malibu, right along the Pacific Coast she surfed as a teenager, Kathy “Gidget” Zuckerman loves to tell stories about how she became a pop culture phenomenon.

This vibrant 5-foot, 1-inch blonde dynamo was the real-life inspiration for the fictional character –– “Gidget, The Little Girl With Big Ideas” –– which was actually a book written by her father, a well-known Hollywood screenwriter.

That book made Gidget a household name, spawned seven more books, a series of movies, TV shows, even the popularity of surfing.

The real “Gidget” visited GranVida in April 2017 to discuss her journey in a time when Moondoggie, Lover Boy, Durf the Drag, Pokey, the Big Kahuna, Treasure Chest and many others roamed the beaches of Southern California in search of the perfect wave. View our “Meet The Real Gidget” Gallery.

Kathy shared stories about her life as one of the first female surfers in Southern California in the 1950s and 1960s. She’s proud to have been inducted into the California Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach in 2011.

These kinds of vibrant speakers are all part of the “Small town, great life” here at GranVida Senior Living.