“Is he his Brother?” screamed the April 21, 1966 headline of the Greendale Village Life, a poorly written news rag in Michael Frohna’s hometown. Frohna was only a few weeks old and couldn’t read, but lore has it he may actually be his brother, Gregory. As an identical twin, Frohna’s mother, Rita, depended upon the color of the pins used to fasten their cloth diapers to tell them apart: Green for Greg, Blue for Michael. The ritual was automatic: 4 or more times a day, every day for weeks.
Frohna’s mother needed a break from the frantic pace of raising twins (plus their 19 month old brother). Their father, Tom, who was more compassionate than smart, was eager to give his wife a little time away.
Tom, who was also the lead dancer in the Milwaukee Chapter of the Polish-American troupe, Czernina Polkasters, was better on his feet than with his mind. Tom twirled around the twins to keep them entertained. Tom recalls, “Gregory seemed to rock to the beat, as though he wanted to join me in the dance, while Michael took it all in, listening to the cadence and tones of good polka music.” The dancing and listening continued until a change needed to be made—a change of diapers, that is. Allegedly Tom was unaware of the significance of the pins, and as he continued to polka around the living room and change his sons’ diapers, he may have fastened one twin’s diaper with the other twin’s pins. He panicked, “Did I just change more than diapers…did I change the future of my boys’ lives?” he muttered.
Tom reset the needle on the record player to see which twin would move, but neither did; rather, each twin drifted off to sleep. With rapid repetition, Tom strained to see any sign that Michael was not Gregory and vice-versa. It was not to be so. With Rita at the door, Tom could not muster the courage to tell his wife of his possible error.
To this day, nobody really knows if Michael is really his twin brother. To weigh in on the mystery of the “Twins’ Pins”, attend Dancing With Our Stars and, based on the performance, decide for yourself if Michael is Michael or was he the twin “rocking to the beat” as an infant.