Garrett Harris 12:36 a.m., June 19
Since being laid off from my full time job I hadn't had a reason to leave Imperial Beach for months but the chance to write a short piece about about celebrities in Hollywood had me hitting the road recently. The Hollywood I was headed to in this case was really beautiful downtown Burbank where Warner Bros Studios is located and I had been invited to work the ‘Black Carpet Event’ for Comedy Central's Roast of Larry the Cable Guy.
My spot on the carpet was located between entertainment reporter Jane Yamamoto from FOX LA News 11 and a video crew for Reel GAY.
As each group was allotted just over one foot of space it was going to be close quarters but when the Reel GAY personality said aloud “This is going to be tight!” I felt myself unconsciously clinch but we all had a job to do. I had applied for my media pass using my San Diego La Prensa connections. La Prensa is mostly geared for the Hispanic/Spanish speaking market of San Diego County and carries a column called “Ask A Mexican” written by Gustavo Arellano, so the plan I had was to ask celebrities if they had a question for the Mexican or in the case of Larry the Cable Guy or guest Jeff Foxworthy if they ever thought about doing a column about “Ask a Redneck”. In an email to Gustavo Arellano I filled him in on how that plan went: "I was only getting D list celebrities at my end of the carpet even though I was next to the one and only LA FOX News 11. I was down to my last chance to ask the question with actor Gary Busey. He seemed sober but talked mostly nonsense to the FOX interviewer. When I had my chance I went into my spiel about the paper and if he had a question for "Ask a Mexican"? He looked at me and said "WHAT?" I repeated myself and he said "What would I ask a Mexican? Am I supposed to ask him how to get to Tijuana?" So I asked if he would take a picture with a copy of the newspaper and he brushed it away and said "NO!" and walked away." Gustavo Arellano via his 'Ask A Mexivan' website replied: Now THAT'S comedy! Gracias!
What I didn’t mention was I had also asked Doug Benson a comedian from some comedy challenge show. He asked me if it was ask any Mexican or could he ask a particular Mexican. I told him anyway he wanted. So he said “LA Mayor what’s with the potholes I drove through today?” Now near the end of the evening Reel GAY and I were tag teaming celebrities. I’d ask my question and while I took notes the Reel GAY crew would ask a question of their own. I got detailed notes and Reel GAY which podcasts to 500 bars accross the nation got more celebrity face time. So I was really getting desperate for something I could use for my story having been brushed off by both Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy and wouldn’t ya know it, it was The Brady Bunch's Marcia Brady herself who came to my rescue the one and only Maureen McCormick. Maureen told the Reel GAYS the name of her book “It’s The Story” and I sang “of a lovely lady…” “Yes” said Maureen “it is aptly titled and it is #1 on the New York Best Seller List.”
What follows is Maureen’s story as told by me: Playing golden haired Marcia Brady on ABC’s 1969-74 television series "The Brady Bunch," Maureen McCormick’s real youth was far from the world of a situation comedy. All grown-up now she has released a very un-Brady family book “Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice” that depicts her real-life struggles with drugs, depression, sex and surprise pregnancies. “I always had to have a smile on my face but deep inside I was crying and very sad” she told me as we stood outside stage 15 at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank “I was hiding a lot of things about my family and my life," I became addicted to cocaine at 20. It became part of my everyday life helping me hide a lot of my problems and was my way of not dealing with things.” I must have looked a little ill from hearing the object of one of my teenage crushes confess to such an unhappy life as Maureen stopped talking and her beautiful blue eyes looked into mine and said “I’m so much better now I have a great husband and daughter.” “Are you sorry you played Marcia?” I asked. “I love it when I’m recognized as Marcia, it used to bother me a lot right after the show. I went through years of pain and suffering, but I finally got help. I feel so much better now, like a new person, so yes, I’m happy about it now. I thanked Maureen and we shook hands and I resisted the urge to kiss it. At 52 Maureen McCormick is still a lovely lady she’s had several trips to rehab, lost weight with the help of the experts on "Celebrity Fit Club,” and became a Country and Westen singer on cables CMT's "Gone Country". McCormick resides in the Brady-like suburbs of Westlake Village, CA. with her husband of 13 years actor Michael Cummings and a nineteen-year-old daughter. After all the excitement it was back to Imperial Beach for me where it's not sun and sea that I'm dreaming of but one middle aged former child star.