The day I was Peggy Lipton for 10 seconds

March 30, 2011 | My Jottings

In late 1979 I was 22 years old, living in Germany, and my daughters were two years old and eight months old. As I’ve shared about before, things in our life changed rather suddenly that year, and we found ourselves flying home from Europe to California, sans a husband and daddy. We lived with my mom for six months before I climbed to my emotional feet, and got a good job and a place of our own.

Since my husband was in the Air Force, I was still legally entitled to military benefits until he secured the divorce he wanted, so when we returned stateside, I had to get a new Air Force ID card. My ID card allowed me to shop in any military commissary and Base Exchange, and it showed that we were eligible for military medical benefits as well.

When I walked into the licensing building at March AFB, I took a number and waited to be called to sign my name and have my picture taken. When I stepped forward, the airman who took and perused my paperwork greeted me without looking up. “Here for a new stateside ID card? Okay, step to the gray line, look right here at the camera…”

Then he looked up and did a double-take. I had no idea why he was peering at me so intently for a few seconds, and checking the paperwork I’d handed over. Then the young man said, “Wow, for a minute there I thought you were Peggy Lipton.”

Peggy Lipton of “The Mod Squad.” For younger readers you may not know who Peggy Lipton is, but when I was an eighth grader at Traweek Junior High School and a Freshman at Covina High, “The Mod Squad” TV show was all the rage. Almost every teen girl I knew had a crush on Michael Cole. As a matter of fact, the two girls I walked to school with each morning were so enamored with him, they insisted on carrying on a make-believe production every morning about how they were dating Michael Cole. They wanted me to play along as we walked and carried our books, and say things like “Oh, yes, Mike came over last night and we went to get an ice cream cone. He is crazy about me. We had so much fun.” Guess what? I refused. I was 14 years old and I was slightly grossed out by their play-acting and just wouldn’t do it. I tried not to make them feel bad since they were having such a good time — I think I told my friends I would just listen as they discussed their fun activities with Michael Cole the day before.

Anyway, almost a decade later (by then “The Mod Squad” had faded into television history) I was momentarily mistaken for Peggy Lipton, which I thought was perplexing and a little funny.

Fast forward 32 years. We are currently getting ready to list our house for sale, and I’ve been going through things. In an old box of photos I found the Air Force ID I’m talking about:

Peggy Lipton:


And I also found a picture of The Mod Squad, but not in my old box of photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Other than perhaps the hairstyle, I didn’t see the resemblance the young airman commented on. But on that day in 1979 with the future uncertain, I took it as a sort of compliment. Because he could have said I looked like Ethel Merman. Or Ruth Buzzi.

Of course I no longer have a military ID. In recent years when I’ve gotten my driver’s license renewed, no one has mistaken me for Peggy Lipton. Not one person.

What’s up with that?ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Who have you been told you resemble?


  1. Christy says:

    Being 10 years older than you, I definitely remember the Mod Squad and always watched it. Alas, the only person I have been told I resemble is my father…..when my mother said, “if you want to know exactly what you look like from the back, watch your father walk down the street”. Fortunately I was in my 40’s and not in high school when she said it (Translation….old enough and mature enough not to fall on the floor crying).

  2. Just Julie says:

    You always make me laugh. I hope we live closer someday. LY.

  3. Ganeida says:

    Nope. I’m definitely a one off. *Cackles hysterically to self.*

    I definitely remember the Mod Squad too. Did not party with Michael Cole. I believe we were too busy catching underworld crime figures. lol

  4. Just Julie says:

    At least you were being of service to the world in your imaginations, Ganeida! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Helen in Switzerland says:

    When I was younger it was Julie Andrews – and everybody said it, so I guess there must have been something. Now everyone tells my younger daughter that she looks totally like me – and she hates it. She definitely doesn’t take it as a compliment!!

  6. Just Julie says:

    How lovely to be likened to Julie Andrews, Helen – I have always loved her. Someday your daughter will appreciate looking like her mom-who-looked-like-Julie-Andrews, I’ll bet. It’s the age…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Savannah says:

    So my sophmore year… I knew this girl who came to Murray State (her name was Annie, she is the most ridiculous person I have ever met, and she was a freshman that year). First day I met her, she started calling me Drew… Didn’t ask her until a couple of days later, but when I did ask why she called me that she swore up and down that I look like Drew Berrymore.
    Like I said… she’s a ridiculous person.=)

  8. Just Julie says:

    You are prettier than Drew Barrymore.

  9. Carey says:

    Just last week, Isaac took a look at a framed photo of my Gramma Rose(taken when she was 18) and asked, “Mom, how old were you when you had that picture taken?” He was surprised to hear that it was a photo of his great grandmother, not me! One day soon, I’m going to post the photo on my blog. The resemblance is eerie.:-)

  10. Just Julie says:

    I’m anxious to see the photo, Carey. You have also inherited her creativity… ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Dorothy Sooter says:

    I worked at Dorn’s Restaurant for 18 years. So many people that I had never seen before were sure I was someones cousin, sister, mother, aunt – you name it. I finally would say after a couple of years ‘I just must have one of those face’s (not sure I put the apostrophe in the right place) (oh dear, am not sure if I spelled apostrophe right and am too lazy to go look it up). We had so many celebrities that came to Dorn’s through the years, it was really fun. Some days when I did not want to go to work I would realize you just never knew who was going to come through the door.

  12. Just Julie says:

    It seems to me that you actually saw John Travolta and Barbra Streisand while you were working there too, Dorothy. I won’t mention the other one who thought he was leading the world in exercise but needed to work on things right at home. ๐Ÿ™

  13. Tauni says:

    As far as celebrities, Ali McGraw, people said I looked a lot like Ali McGraw. Julie, I think you were prettier than Peggy Lipton!

  14. Just Julie says:

    Tauni โ€“ I can see now why someone would say that about you and Ali. I think you are prettier than she is. And thank you for what you said, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Ember says:

    I had a Mother’s Day card yesterday (which was UK Mother’s Day) from my darling daughter. She made the card herself, using a picture she had taken from the internet of somebody she recognised immediately as resembling me exactly. Thee can see my look-alike here:

  16. Just Julie says:

    Hahaha Ember – very cute. I see a slight resemblance but I think you are much more attractive than the “figure” in your daughter’s card. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Diane says:

    Julie, you do look a little like Peggy Lipton, but with far more grace and refinement.

    In my 20s, many people–even strangers–mistook me for Wonderwoman Linda Carter. Childen who must now be in their upper 30s would whisper and stare. At least, I think that is what they were thinking . . .

    But of course, now that she’s gotten so old, we no longer resemble each other . . . and the outfit doesn’t fit anymore.

    Peggy Lipton had a short-lived mystique. But you continue to be a genuine wonder!

    Love you!


  18. Just Julie says:

    Everything I love about you is represented in your comment, Diane. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you….God bless you two.

  19. Ginny the Yalker..."One Who Can Yarn Talk" says:

    Jewel you were a hot babe in that picture!!! My dad, Mr.Tactless, told me one time that I looked like Kate Smith as I modeled a very modest silk night shirt I had bought. To hide the hurt (as Kate was never on a sought after poster) I immediately BURST into a hearty imitation of “God Bless America” and blew his eardrum out! That’ll teach him to hurt my feelings!!!!

  20. Just Julie says:

    You look nothing like Kate Smith to me, Ginny. Your dad probably kneweth not what he doeth. You look like joy, warmth, safety, haven, fun, wisdom, tenderness, strength and treasure to me.

  21. Maria Jean says:

    You look like Patty Hearst, queen of the west side; consequently, folks who don’t study pop culture as a historical archive would confuse or mix this identity up with Patty Duke, as in the tv show. PS: Nice job showing what Air Force identification looked like baรงk then.?

  22. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Maria!

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