EndNotes

The amazing Miss Florence

Florence Petheram poses with her dog Samantha in a recent photo at home in Auburn, Wash. She’ll return to Spokane on Saturday for a book signing at Auntie’s.
Florence Petheram poses with her dog Samantha in a recent photo at home in Auburn, Wash. She’ll return to Spokane on Saturday for a book signing at Auntie’s.

When I was 4 and 5 years old, I was enthralled every weekday morning by Romper Room and the beautiful Miss Florence who would call out children's names through a magic mirror at the end of each show.

I begged my parents to let me go on, and somehow, I was accepted for the program. But the two-week gig would have required a parent to drive me every morning to KREM's studios on the South Hill in the winter in the days before snow tires were very good.

We were a one-car family in 1959-60 and my mom had six kids and my dad a busy law practice and so, the plan looked impossible.

I must have been inconsolable, because I remember that one morning, the phone rang, and it was Miss Florence on the line explaining that I couldn't be on the show this time, but maybe "when the snow melts all off of the ground."

I never did make it on the show and didn't pursue the "snow melt" promise. But I remained a forever fan of Miss Florence for making that phone call.

I recently interviewed Florence Petheram for a story that ran in the newspaper today. She is still beautiful. And at 81, still amazing, living in Auburn to be near her four grown children. She's written two children's books, skydived for her 80th birthday, has a special man friend and for Mother's Day, she requested a hula hoop! She'll be in Spokane Saturday, reading from her book Magic is for When You Need It.

Thanks for the phone call long ago, Miss Florence, and for the memories!

(Photo courtesy of Florence Petheram)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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