Okay. I'm back. I was doing something a while ago when I was tickled to death to find a little video about Betty Feezor! It was a clip from "The Betty Feezor Show" which was on this thing called the YouTube. What I found was a little clip from one of her TV shows--a little movie that I can watch right here on the computer screen, if that don't beat all!
I'm trying to recall what it was I was doing! It bothers me I can't remember. Looking up something or other, using the Google, I guess. I don't know. Lordy, I must have left my head in the pantry. Well, anyway, if you don't know who Betty Feezor was, then you are either (1) not old enough, (2) not from within a hundred miles of Charlotte, NC or (3) you don't have much sense.
Betty Feezor has been gone from us for over thirty years now and though her memory still burned in the back of my mind like a low-lit Christmas bulb, her light, due to my age and decreased brain capacity, had begun to flicker. And then I stumbled across a little piece of "The Betty Feezor Show" on the YouTube and there she was--right back in my living room! It was as if she had never gone! As if she had stepped right back into my little world, as she used to do so many years ago to help me find a way to sew a better seam or roast a better chicken or bake a better pie.
If you don't know, Betty Feezor had a home-maker show back in the 50s to the late 70s. She was on, I guess, about 25 years. I used to watch her all the time on WBTV out of Charlotte. She cooked and she sewed and made little crafts. She told you how to save money by making some peanut butter pudding for dessert when you might not have money in your weekly budget to make your family's favorite German Chocolate cake. She'd make a mess of a dress she was sewing and then go right on the air and admit it and rip out the seams to tell you what she had in mind to do to fix it.
She was, I guess, what you'd call elegant, but she had the common touch. I always felt like if I ran into her in the parking lot of Harris Teeter, putting her groceries in the car, she'd smile as if she knew me, start chatting away, and make sure I'd seen all the store specials. You know, time is a funny thing. Now that I've seen this YouTube of her show, I feel like she's not gone at all. I feel like I might turn the aisle at the Harris Teeter and catch her browsing the case of Holly Farm chickens.
An army of Martha Stewarts marched across the back of Betty Feezor to get where they are today. She died on the young side, 53, the same age as my daughter Lou Ann, and before she left, she told all of us out in TV Land to live our lives so that when we have gone, it will have mattered. In those days, Home Economics was considered a profession, and I found out by doing the Google that to this day, there's a scholarship in the name of Betty Feezor offered to a young person who wants a career in what they are now calling "family and consumer sciences." You can find out all about it by clicking right here: http://www.bettyfeezorscholarship.com/index.htm.
It makes me misty-eyed to think of Betty Feezor and that time right about the middle of the last century. I could say it was a simpler time, but I won't because it wasn't. It's true that everybody didn't have cell phones growing out of their ears like fungus the way they do now, but in some ways, it was more complicated. We didn't have the Google back then. You wanted to know anything, you had to look it up in the World Book Encyclopedia or just stay ignorant. I doubt many people back then had double ovens, even microwaves. A lot of people in Betty Feezor's viewing area didn't even have clothes dryers! I didn't. If clothes got dry, I had to hang them out on the line or they'd stay wet, but that wasn't the end of the world. The clothes, when you brought them in from the line, smelled like another world--anybody will tell you that--and there's a whole host of memories tied up with those days gone by.
I don't mean to get all mushy and misty on you.
Before you watch the show, let me point out some things: First, notice how Betty talks a double blue streak without a script. I bet you she didn't know what a cue card was. See how in that first part, where she's taking the turkey out of the oven and chirping about how lovely it is and how suitable for the holiday season, see how beat up and dark that pan is that she roasted her turkey in? Looks like it's been beat with a hammer and put through the fire. A pan like that would go for a quarter at the Goodwill. Can you see Martha Stewart using a pan like that? I can't. Or Rachel Ray, who markets her own fancy garbage bowl, for Pete's sake. Paula Deen might. I wouldn't put anything past her. But that was Betty Feezor. She knew who she was talking to out in TV Land, out there in that place they call Metrolina: ordinary women trying to make every day a little holiday for their families, knowing that you better enjoy every moment because it's later than you think.
And notice those curtains with the orange fringe in the window? Those are identical to my kitchen curtains in my little house here in Spindale!
And notice Betty Feezor says she bought that turkey for 39 cents a pound? At Harris Teeter, too. We've got Ingles all over the place here, but in Charlotte everybody knows "the store" means Harris Teeter. Here's how Betty says to make the turkey: Smear some butter on it, salt and pepper, put a tent of foil over it. Couldn't be easier. Back then you didn't hear much talk about smoking turkeys, brining turkeys, or deep frying turkeys. Betty kept it simple, and to borrow words from Martha Stewart, I say, "It's a good thing."
Be sure to look at the part where she rolls up comic papers and puts them in a potato chip can wrapped in Christmas paper to give as a gift. The best part of the whole show is the end where she's talking up this automatic bowl cleaner and says that at this time of the year, you don't have time to be thinking about cleaning out the commode. That by itself is worth the price of admission.