Brady's Bunch

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I phoned Kevin Madden the other day to ask if I could buy some stock in Chris Madden Inc., the little design-for-living outfit he and his wife operate up in Westchester and about which everyone is sort of going crazy because they think she's the "next Martha," something Chris herself says she has no desire to be. "Don't laugh," said Kevin, "guys have called, asking about an IPO." The Maddens "met cute" as Hollywood says, at a softball game in Central Park in 1972, when Kevin was the ad director of New York and Chris Casson was a kid working at Random House (and I played third base). They married in `74 and she published a cookbook in `76 and Kevin went on to become publisher of Self and House & Garden. Since then she's expanded: 15 books, Bassett line of furniture, stories in the Times and Fortune Small Business, a cable show, a syndicated column, appearances on all the major talk shows. Plus two boys, one just out of college, the other heading for Skidmore. She's the president, Kevin's the CEO, and neither seems to carry baggage. Let Martha be "Martha." I like the Maddens as they are, and Time's line about Chris: "bringing design to the heartland."

Hillary's book party was in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons in Manhattan. Simon & Schuster must have gone for a bundle, 600 showed. The restaurant's dashing co-owner Julian Niccolini flew back from the 24 Hours at Le Mans to handle. And Bubba, he was there, too.

Wimbledon prediction: Kim Clijsters. The kid's Paris finals loss to Henin was a fluke. Serena leaves me puzzled. As to the men, I haven't a clue.

Is the pre-fab home coming back? Dwell will feature a winning design by Resolution:4 Architecture in NY for their modern modular home created for a North Carolina couple. Generations ago, you could buy a pre-fab house from Sears. One of my daughters owns one!

Fitness Publisher Julie Pinkwater tells me, "We are no longer experiencing audience declines as a result of the logo change." They were down 5.2% spring `02 to spring `03. Now, says Julie, rate base goes to 1.4 million in July.

Cooking Light's "The Wine Show" will air this summer over PBS. Wine maven Karen MacNeil will host. New River Media will produce. The idea, in an entertaining way to ease "wine anxiety" among Texans and others. Funny, I never suspected there was such a thing.

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