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My Meeting With Florence Henderson
by Laura Nachman

     August 22, 1998--I was checking out Florence Henderson's web site www.flohome.com and learned that Florence Henderson would be making an appearance at the new Target store near my home.  Florence was there to promote reading, and was scheduled to read two stories to children and give out autographs between 11-1.  I arrived at the Target store with my daughter Macy around 10:30.  There was a line of mostly mothers in their 30's and 40's with their children who were next generation "Brady Bunch" fans.  

     Promptly at 11, Florence appeared on the stage.  She looked just as great as ever.  She was dressed in a nice pants suit, and her hair and make-up were perfect.  About 75-100 children sat on the carpet in front of the stage and the parents stood behind.  Florence finished the stories pretty quickly, so they opened it up for a Question and Answer period.  Florence said she has four children (two boys and two girls), two grandchildren, and one step grandchild.  She lives on a boat in Marina Del Ray, California with her second husband, Dr. John Kappas.  When asked about "The Brady Bunch, she said she loved everybody on the show, and when she played Carol Brady she tried to play her as a mother who had time for her kids.  In real life, Florence was the youngest of ten children and her mother was too tired to devote much time to her.  When someone asked Florence how she looked so great, she remarked "genes."  Her mother lived until she was 88.  Florence said she watched what she ate and exercised and "she had great legs."

     Florence said her favorite Brady Bunch episodes were the ones when they went on location to Hawaii, King's Island, and the Grand Canyon.  She said she hasn't been on a roller coaster since King's Island.  She also told a story about how when they were taping the outrigger scene in Hawaii, the boat tipped over, and she had to hold on to Susan Olsen because Olsen couldn't swim.  

     Florence said she saw the first "Brady Bunch" movie and thought it was funny, but didn't see "A Very Brady Sequel," and said she heard it was bad.  As for her own movie career, Florence was proud of her starring role in "Song of Norway," and joked about her appearance in the dud "Shakes the Clown."  She also told a story about how more people know the "Brady Bunch" theme than the "National Anthem."

     After a short break to give out milk and cookies to the kids, Florence came back and read one more story.  She took more questions, and finally at 12:30 sat down to give out autographs.  Unfortunately, they had generic black and white autographed pictures (see below), and wouldn't let Florence sign anything because it would take too much time.  I had brought my Brady Bunch calendar for her to sign and was disappointed.  When it was our turn to meet Florence, she looked at Macy and said how pretty her glasses were, etc.  I told Florence about my web site and gave her a copy of the first page.  I hope she checks it out someday, but I won't hold my breath.  I took a snapshot of her at the autograph table, but they wouldn't let me take my picture with her (bummer.)  Click here for my pictures.

     All in all, it was a positive experience.  Florence seems genuinely nice and is proud to be part of "The Brady Bunch."  She said she never gets sick of talking about it.  And I'll never get sick of watching it!  

Taken from the "Philadelphia Inquirer" weekend section- August 21, 1998.

Ad from People magazine, August 24, 1998

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