The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

01 May
Bob Hunt

Having a Nice Day in Canton

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 6 comments

 

The ubiquitous yellow smiley face of the 70′s has never faded away, especially at Wal-Mart, where its contemporary cousin accompanies every in-store “price rollback.” But for the people of Canton, Ohio, there were quite a few more smiles in the aisles than usual on a recent Sunday thanks to the arrival of another 70′s icon: Barry Williams. There he was, sitting at a table near the front registers, and woe to the casual shopper who merely wanted to take the shortest path from greeting cards to the pharmacy. That route was occupied by a steady presence of fans and admirers. They snapped up autographed merchandise, captured photos, and mostly, they smiled.

Local resident Marcia Miller provided the reason why. “I’ve just always been a Brady Bunch fan,” she enthused, “because it was just one of those shows that made you feel real good.” With a prized CD of Meet the Brady Bunch in hand, she had arrived two hours prior to the scheduled start of Barry’s autograph session. Marcia described herself as a fan “ever since the show came on, 1968 to 1974,” and like others in attendance, she singled out the King’s Island show, Hawaii episodes, and Marcia Brady’s disastrous encounter with a football as memorable highlights.

“It was exciting just to meet him,” related Monna Garver of New Philadelphia. She admitted to watching day-long Brady rerun marathons just to catch any episodes that she might have missed. “I mean, he looks good! For 53, he looks pretty good.” Monna had mistakenly showed up a day early for the signing event and returned on Sunday in time to be among the first in line.

Just one trip through the line wasn’t enough for some, however, including an area Brady enthusiast named Scott. As Barry added his name to a cast photo that had already been signed by Sherwood Schwartz, Ann B. Davis and Florence Henderson, Scott noticed among the available merchandise a certain memento from the Hawaii episodes that he had to have. “I was excited to see they have little tiki gods,” he explained, “so I’m gonna go to the ATM and get one now.”

Though many fans had arrived in anticipation of meeting Barry, some Brady watchers just happened to be doing an afternoon’s shopping and were taken by surprise. “I was back at the photo place picking up pictures,” said Jane Frankeberger, who once saw Barry in a touring production of Grease, “and I saw a lady with a picture [of Barry Williams], and I said, ‘Oh, did you see him some place? I saw him a long time ago!’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, he’s right in front of the store.’ So I immediately beelined up here!”

Through it all, Barry exuded the patience, charm and personal interest in his fans that have won over many an autograph seeker. When the proceedings were briefly interrupted by a phone call from his five-year-old son, Brandon, Barry took his time and gently explained why he would need to call back as soon as the autograph session was over. “I’m in a very big department store where I’m meeting a lot of new friends and signing pictures for them.” The unguarded moment simply endeared him all the more to those who waited in line. For all anyone could tell, there might have been scowls in the produce department or anxious frowns at the automotive center. Up near the register, though, it was sunny and in the 70′s, with smiles all around.

 

6 Comments

    Bradypalooza
    on May. 2nd, 2008

    I met Barry back in 1992 when he was promoting the original release of “Growing Up Brady.” He is very loyal to his fans and didn’t rush us, though the line was stretching out the door!

    Renee
    on May. 2nd, 2008

    Would that be a hawaiian type shirt on underneath the one that Barry is wearing?
    Other than meeting Barry, which was at a planned event, the closest I have ever come to meeting a “celebrity” in a public place was a couple of our local news anchors. One in a parking lot at a grocery store, and another respected anchor partying and dancing and drinking at a local bar.

    Renee
    on May. 2nd, 2008

    Okay, took me a moment, after looking at the pic again (too much time on my hands I guess, lol) but that is YOU Bob, in the pic with Barry and a fan. Also, I noticed a ring on Barry’s hand – did he get remarried? Yes, I AM nosey – but observant! :)

    Bob Hunt
    on May. 2nd, 2008

    You are indeed observant, Renee! That’s me in the picture, and the girl is my youngest daughter, Melinda. Barry won her over by attentively listening to a letter she wrote and signing a photo for her.

    I’ll leave it to Barry to help us solve the shirt and ring mysteries!

    Barry Williams
    on May. 2nd, 2008

    Thanks Bob for a nice write up of a fun day at the WalMart. Regarding the mysteries: the tee shirt is actually from Jagermeister (which goes fine in Hawaii I guess). I wore it ’cause it is black. The ring on my finger is not a wedding ring it reads: “DAD.” PLease say hi to Melinda for me.

    Renee
    on May. 3rd, 2008

    Barry, sorry, I did not mean to offend, just thought if the ring WAS what I thought it was, was going to offer my congrats.

    Jagermeister – never had it, heard it is good stuff though, lol. Some day I will have to try a “Jager-bomb”.

    Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!

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