+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Abbott Family Articles/Information

  1. #1
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    7,830

    Abbott Family Articles/Information

    gdtimes.com

    Re-inventing the Abbotts
    Santa Cruz´s own star in TV´s ‘Trading Spouses´
    By Christa Martin


    Some might say the Abbotts are peculiar. They live in a spacious house, but sleep in the same bedroom: mom, dad and two teenage sons bundled up behind one door. They take their shoes off inside—and outside. They sit upright—but not in chairs. Not a single four-legged bum rest in their downtown Santa Cruz home. They´re a throwback to hippies but without the angst; hillbillies without the goats; Amish without the hang-ups. So it´s no wonder a casting director for the hit TV show Trading Spouses hunted the foursome down to star in a program where moms get swapped for a week. Here exists a family that´s sure to increase ratings when the hour-long “reality” segment airs at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29 on FOX.

    “I thought they wouldn´t choose us,” says the 61-year-old dad, Carl Abbott. “We´re too outside the bell curve.”

    But that´s the reality TV formula. Doesn´t he know? (Well, maybe not. The Abbotts don´t spend too much time in front of the boob tube.)

    It works like this: Cameramen film “quirky” characters and viewers always tune in. Reality programming has taken over television, but Trading Spouses, unlike its reality-TV siblings, doesn´t have the sleaze appeal. It´s more family-friendly.

    Unlike the thousands of media-hungry families that the Abbotts suspect were vying to get a slot on the season´s lineup, this Santa Cruz family came on board through—not surprisingly—unconventional means.

    In early August, 18-year-old Luke, while sitting on the floor, was scrolling through the family e-mail. “Our species wasn´t born with chairs,” father Carl explains. “It´s not healthy for the body.” Maybe for his body. The day after we meet, this reporter has a sore back from sitting on the floor, interviewing the Abbotts. However, they did let me keep my shoes on.

    One of the e-mails Luke found was from a casting director for the show Trading Spouses. He happened upon the family´s Web site, www.playingbyear.com, and asked if they´d be interested in being on TV, trading their mom for another—for a week. Luke thought it was ridiculous and didn´t mention it to anyone else in the clan.

    “Initially I thought we´d never want to be on reality TV,” says Luke.

    Leslie, 51, ironically had been skimming People magazine. She read a review of Trading Spouses and then moved on to check her e-mail. That´s when she read “the” e-mail. The show was on that night and Carl and Leslie watched it before they wrote back.

    “When I heard about [the chance to be on the show], I said of course we´re going to do it,” Carl says. “For me it´s an opportunity. I´m always up for anything if it´s not dangerous. Most people apply. They found us out of the blue. There´s a possibility this will aid our family´s goal of returning music to other families.”

    He sounds more like a venture capitalist than a bushy-bearded man who cruises around barefoot, tends to an enormous garden and muses about the oddities of American culture. The rest of the family followed suit, went down to L.A. and endured an almost interrogation-like process to get on Trading Spouses. It included things like background tests and blood tests. No freaks on this show, just normal people, who maybe aren´t so “normal.”

    After they were chosen to appear on the show, The Abbotts were paired up with an African-American family from Nashville. Vivacious Vicky Lowe, whose daughter has a shoe fetish, swapped mom roles with the calm, shoeless Leslie Abbott. (Well, Leslie does have a few pairs of footwear for things like restaurants and such.)

    The two families soon began a crash course in opposing cultures. For one week, each mom moved into the other family´s home. Leslie went to live in the palatial Lowe abode—a place she says could easily sell for $1.5 million in Santa Cruz. Leslie introduced the Lowe family to playing music, being that it´s a family-bonding tool used by the Abbotts. Although a little bumpy, the musical experiment proved somewhat successful and the entire jaunt to country music´s capital was more than just a guitar pickin´ good time.

    “I had such a wonderful time with that family,” Leslie says. “They made me feel very welcome and I laughed so much. I felt rejuvenated. … We had a real respect for each other.”

    And the Abbott men? While Leslie was whisked away to another state, into her 800-square-foot home entered a woman with a big personality: Lowe. She pleasantly stirred up the simple Abbott existence. Fried foods and lots of noise were two of her trademarks.

    Although the families went through a lifestyle shift, no one´s complaining. They´re all buzzing with that feel-good happiness, characteristic of not taking American culture too seriously.

    “It was a terribly enjoyable [experience],” Carl says. “Like taking a vacation in your home.”

    Ever ones to view life through a kaleidoscope, the Abbotts walked away from the bizarre week, where film crews recorded all aspects of their lives, each feeling a little bit richer—psychologically and monetarily. Although they have to remain hush-hush about any winnings from participating in the show, just watch an episode and you´ll see that each family receives $50,000.

    “When Vicki left, she was seeing the family and kids from her paradigm, the American value point of view,” Carl says. “She said, ‘you kids really have to get out and get away from this family, leave and go off to college, be an astronaut and go to the moon.´ [She was saying] that their life here, what they have is not enough and that´s something we found odd. … The kids have no foul mouths, are well-behaved and enjoy working.”

    But that´s what happens when you trade spouses: it makes for good television.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  2. #2
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    7,830
    THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS SOCIETY

    Here is the Bluegrass Society where Luke (son) posts...
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  3. #3
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    7,830
    Santa Cruz wife traded on Fox’s ‘Spouses’
    By PEGGY TOWNSEND
    Sentinel staff writer


    Santa Cruz Sentinel.com



    SANTA CRUZ — What would happen if you moved a shoe-loving, black woman who grew up in the projects into a family of barefoot, white Taoists who grow most of their own food?

    That question will be at the heart of the 8 p.m. Nov. 29 episode of Fox’s new reality show, "Trading Spouses," which features a Santa Cruz family as — you guessed it — the white, barefoot, Taoist part of the equation.

    With satellite trucks, monster lights and cameramen turning their quiet, downtown neighborhood into a mini-Hollywood last month, the Abbott family of Santa Cruz — Leslie, 51; Carl, 61; Luke, 18; and Kyle, 15 — spent a week finding out what happens when moms from two very different families swap lives for a week.

    And it doesn’t take too much imagination to figure out who might have had the harder time: the beautician from Nashville whose early introduction to Carl was an upside-down one (he was doing his morning yoga headstand at the time) or the vegetarian musician Leslie whose welcome-to-Nashville meal was a plate of short ribs.

    Still, this being Santa Cruz and all, everything turned out pretty mellow.

    "We had fun," says Carl, sitting cross-legged on the family’s sunny porch eating a plate of stir-fried vegetables. "The production people didn’t know ahead of time if we would react negatively, but we had a fun time."

    The whole adventure began, says Leslie, when someone from the Fox network spotted the family of musicians’ Web site (www.playingbyear.com) and sent them an e-mail.

    Place your Sentinel Classified ad online with Classified Ad Builder — anytime. Convenient. No phones. No waiting in line. Find out instantly how much your ad will cost.

    Leslie and Luke were reluctant at first. It was the whole Fox-Network-national-TV-thing, they say.

    But Carl, a philosophical man, thought it was an opportunity.

    "Usually," he says, "when opportunity comes out of the blue, it’s a tragedy — somebody died or got cancer or there was an earthquake.

    "But this wasn’t a tragedy," he says. "And you can’t pass that up."

    It wasn’t long before the family was interviewed, photographed and accepted as participants on the show.

    Leslie, a thoughtful, slender woman with short dark hair, was soon on a plane to Nashville. (She didn’t know where she was going ahead of time.)

    And Vickie Lowe, a fun-loving, boisterous woman, was headed to Santa Cruz.

    Leslie says she was charmed by her new family of four — dad Ricky Sr., daughter Hope, 19, and son Ricky Jr., 15 — who greeted her with a sign that read "Welcome New Mama," and the aforementioned ribs.

    It wasn’t too long before Leslie was touring her new family’s brick, Plantation-style house with the expanse of lawn and big-screen TV and introducing them to music, which is her family’s passion — the Abbotts have their own band and have developed a unique style of teaching music.

    "It was a little chaotic at first," Leslie said of the music lessons, "but by the third time it went a lot better."

    She even got the family, whose daughter reportedly had 100 pairs of shoes, to try yoga, she said.

    Over at the Abbotts’ house, Vickie settled into the 800-square-foot house and its first-floor Taoist chapel with a joyful kind of noise, say the Abbotts who were left behind.

    "I love storms, the thunder, the lightning and Vickie was like thunder and lightning," Carl says. "I said, ‘hot dog, a storm is coming.’"

    Kyle, a teen who admittedly likes quiet, wasn’t quite as excited.

    "I enjoy thunder and lightning, but not communicating with it," he says.

    But Vickie, say the Abbotts, was open to just about everything.

    "She just jumped right in," Carl says.

    Vickie tried yoga and played music with them.

    She sat with them during their family’s regular Taoist service, which includes a reading of a chapter from the Tao De Jing, followed by personal comments.

    "After it was finished, she said, ‘that’s entertaining,’" Carl remembers. "We all cracked up. We never thought of it as entertaining."

    While Leslie was adapting her cooking to the Lowe family’s style and giving them a stir-fry experience, the Abbotts, who have a sprawling backyard garden, were getting a taste of meat and Southern cooking.

    Bacon, pork chops and something called hot-water corn bread, which is cornmeal and water made into a patty and deep-fried, went on the table in the Abbott family’s windowed, second-floor kitchen.

    "We still have meat left over," Carl says.

    Like the rest of the Abbotts, Vickie soon kicked off her shoes in the house, but refused to remove them outside, they said. She played music with them, but drew the line at going out on Pacific Avenue to perform.

    Then, Carl and the boys took Vickie to the redwoods — which apparently made her a little afraid. Vickie grew up in the city and was intimidated by nature, Carl says. The waves at the beach, where they went for an outdoor yoga session, frightened her even more.

    But by the end of her visit, Carl took Vickie out to Lighthouse Point where his brother’s ashes lie in the little brick lighthouse there.

    After, Vickie walked over to the cliffside fence and watched the surfers riding waves at Steamer Lane.

    "And," Carl says, "she wasn’t afraid."
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  4. #4
    FORT Fogey Frostelized's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Georgia
    Age
    27
    Posts
    4,122
    ..... they have websites?

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey did_it_again's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,079
    They don't have furniture ,but they have a website?
    I'm not big on blue grass,but if it's what they like and people like it and it keeps them connected as a family cool.

  6. #6
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    7,830
    They can also wear shoes, AT LEAST. Honestly.. yes, yes..be 'one with the earth'..yadda yadda.. but if you're OKing a computer but not shoes!?

    Also, the mother (when she got out of the car in TN) had on sandals.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  7. #7
    . karen14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas. Where else?
    Age
    45
    Posts
    3,524
    I'm guessing they mostly don't wear shoes around the house and walking thru the woods and on the beach since this episode did show them wearing flip flops/sandals when traveling and at the Chinese resturant. Mom even had her sandals on when they were singing during that street corner/panhandling scene.

  8. #8
    FORT Fogey did_it_again's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,079
    Most restaurants won't serve you if you do not have shoes on and I would imagine airlines have some sort of policy about that too. It's one thing to walk around your house with no shoes,but not the city .I've seen peoples feet who walk around the city bare foot and it's enough to make you want to hurl. Buy those kids some Air Jordan's daddy!

  9. #9
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    7,830
    Trust me...walking in the Redwoods barefoot is a very dangerous adventure to partake in. No, it's not all simple lil mud puddles like the dad would like us all to think.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  10. #10
    Organizing my sock drawer RBmumsie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Just south of Hollywood
    Posts
    1,616

    "Dear Woman" Letter?

    I must have missed something last night. What is this "Dear Woman" letter that everyone keeps talking about with the Abbott's? Can some one PLEASE fill me in? Thanks!!!
    Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History...Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.