Flip - September 1969 (typed by Carol R.)
"Our Son Bobby!"
Flip's Exclusive Interview With His Groovy Parents
Meeting Bobby Sherman's parents is as pleasant an experience as meeting Bobby, himself. Robert Senior and Juanita Sherman are wonderful, easy going, understanding people and it's easy to see how someone as groovy as Bobby came about.
Bobby now lives in a Hollywood apartment, but his folks still live in the comfortable San Fernando Valley home that Bobby grew up in. Bobby's mother says that they really don't need the house anymore since Bobby and his sister have grown up and moved, but Bobby doesn't want them to ever sell the house, so they don't.
The house contains a lot of memories for Bobby as well as his very own recording studio, though he and his manager are planning to build a bigger studio elsewhere soon. Scattered about are football trophies he won at Birmingham High School, awards and things he's won as an entertainer and numerous stuffed animals - gifts from fans.
Mr. Sherman is an older, dignified version of Bobby, while his wife is small, dainty, slender and very youthful. There's a comfortableness about them, and you realize that they're not stage-door parents who've pushed their son into a career that he didn't want, or reluctant parents who've tried to dissuade him from something he really did want. Instead, they are understanding parents who've guided him, yet let him do his own thing at the same time.
Looking back over his childhood, Mrs. Sherman recalls that Bobby was a beautiful baby with long eyelashes, those beautiful blue eyes and blond hair that didn't turn brown until he was nine years old.
"He was a beautiful baby. For the first nine months, he wasn't very healthy, because he was a premature baby, but after that he got fat and chubby."
He managed to get through his childhood without any of the usual childhood diseases; in fact, he didn't even have the measles until he was 17.
"His first pet was one he brought home - a dog that was the same age as he was. Her name was Suzy and she was a little fox terrier, black and white, and we had her until she as 16 years old, and then we had to have her put to sleep.
"We got her when he was four. He came home and she'd followed him - or that's what he told me anyway.
"We took Bobby on his first date when he was in third grade. He came home one day and wanted to know if he could take Sandy Williams, a girl at his school, to the show and out to dinner. We said yes, so we went over and picked her up, and they were so adorable in the back seat, her little white gloves and little coat and their feet barely coming to the edge of the seat. We took them to the show, and then to dinner. Then we came back and he helped her out of the car and took her to the door. Her father came to the door and they all stepped inside and we waited, concerned what was happening in there - he had sat down to talk with her mother and father. It was so cute, quite a romance for a while. He was seven at the time.
"After that, he was too busy building things and with music and his first real dating was in high school. And I met all of the girls he dated because if they didn't go out, they'd come here, and every Friday we held open house for all his friends. He was on the football team and there were five boys on the team that decided that I was their other mom, so they came here before football games and I'd feed 'em steaks and then after the game we had hamburgers and bacon and tomato sandwiches and what-have-you. It got to where we'd have a hundred kids in this place and would be moving furniture out of the way.
"What is now his recording studio was then his music room and they'd dance and he'd play drums and the trumpet, and this was how he decided that maybe he'd go into show business.
"He was seventeen when he first decided to go into show business. My first reaction? – I'd rather he dug ditches. He was studying electronics in college and doing so well. Show business is fine and I like it and all that, but at the time, the few that I knew that were in it were kind of mixed up and unhappy and insecure. And really, I don't think any parents, unless they're stage-door parents, really want their kids to go into it. It's not an easy life.
"But one thing about Bobby - being as old as he was and living at home, it hasn't affected him very much, I don't think. He still seems like he used to be. He hasn't changed. He's just Bobby.
"He's always been busy, always building things. He built a replica of Disneyland in the back yard and they heard about it at the Walt Disney studios. One of Disney's designers came out to see it and he informed me that I had a genius for a son, and I said, 'No, he's not a genius. All he does is mess up the back yard.' He came back again and brought the original plans for Disneyland. The only thing was that by the time Bobby was 15, Disneyland was getting so large that our back yard got too small.
"But for a while, every Saturday and every Sunday, we'd have like a hundred or two hundred Blue Birds, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts come to see it, and everything he built was to scale.
"Every place you took him, if he saw something interesting, he tried to build it in the back yard. We took him to an air show at Van Nuys Airport and they let him go through a helicopter, so he decided he was going to build one, and he did.
"It rocked and took up practically the whole back yard, but it didn't fly. He was so disappointed. I told him, 'You can't fly it anyway.' 'Why not?' 'Because it's against the law - you don't have a license.' His dad asked him how he was going to get it out of the back yard and he said he was going to fly it out, and then it didn't fly. His heart was broken.
"We waited until he grew up before we planted a lawn in the back yard because we didn't know what was going to be there at any time.
Another thing that's funny is that when he was playing football he had his hair completely shaved off because you couldn't have it long for football and I used to beg him, 'Oh, please let your hair grow.' Then he started letting it grow for the 'Brides' and at one point I really liked it, because I hate really short, short hair on men and that just-cut look, and now it sometimes gets too long and I'll tell him, 'You need a haircut' and he says, 'Don't bug me mom.' So now, I've gone just the opposite from before."