Will the Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up

When I was a kid, there were three things that I wanted to do. Be one of the kids on The Partridge Family, be one of the Brady kids, or live on Gilligan’s Island.
I started playing the drums the year that the Partridge Family premiered and would practice by playing along with their records (records were round vinyl things that you put a needle on and sound would come out. Thanks, Edison!).
My family didn’t always like me banging on my drums like a lunatic. I got complaints. Mainly from my sister.


After a while I was like, “Hmmmm, maybe I don’t want to be a Partridge after all”.

Then I went through my Brady phase. I wanted to live at 4222 Clinton Way in Woodland Hills. I wanted to be Bobby. He was the most logical choice. We had the same name, and he played the drums in that episode where he didn’t get into the glee club, and football great, Deacon Jones, showed up to Peter’s football practice in those hideous multi-colored bell bottom pants.

I even had a Brady Bunch lunch box. Not cool for someone in the 7th grade. Especially a guy. But… I didn’t care. One day, during lunch, two girls in my class – Cozette Pumpford (I’ll never forget that name as long as I live), and some other girl whose name I can’t recall – started following me around on the playground and saying, “Hi Marcia”, “Whatcha doin’ Marcia”?, “Nice lunch box, Marcia”, etc…etc…etc.
 Others started joining in. I was traumatized. After that, I never took my BB lunchbox to school again. I started using paper bags.
The calling me “Marcia” taunting lasted for about a week, and then they all just forgot about it. Thank goodness.

All of the Brady trauma wasn’t in vain, though. Years later I would go on to win a Brady Bunch trivia contest, where the prize was lunch with Barry Williams, who played Greg. He was Super Cool and even signed his book for me. I had a hamburger and he had a salad.

Currently, I live in a subdivision called Woodland Hills. My backyard, however, doesn’t look anything like the Brady’s backyard. It looks more like the infamous grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza – the one notoriously associated with the JFK assassination.

Of the 3 childhood wishes, living on Gilligan’s Island is the only one that I still kind of wish I could do. The only drawback would be having to deal with headhunters. You only have to be around 6 other people. Well, actually 7 if you are an addition to those that are already there.  If I had to replace one of them, it would be Mr. Howell. The only reason I say that is because it seems like everytime that I have my picture taken, I subconsciously strike a Mr. Howell pose.