Miss Betty at two or three...Better write about Miss Betty's birthday today, although the official day isn't until Sunday....
Starting tomorrow, we have five Christmas parties coming up, four of which we are hosting (but only two of those at the house). It is going to be crazy busy.....but I have some fun ideas for next week, so promise you will hear more from me then.
In 2003 I wanted to do something special for Miss Betty's 80th birthday. I knew it would be hard to get down to South Carolina on the actual day, so planned a special luncheon for her here in Virginia while she was visiting, just before. My brother and I took her to Palladio, which she RAVED about....and I showered her with gifts in addition to that. It was a grand time!
When Miss Betty got back to Greenville, I got a call from her one day. The conversation went something like this:
How do you go about getting concert tickets? Isn't that something you have to do "on the computer?"
Mom, I don't think any concert you would want to go to would be like that. Is this a local thing or a tour of a classical Christmas show or something?
No....Rod Stewart is coming to Greenville and I want to go see him.
What?????? .....Miss Betty and Rod Stewart? ..... Yes!!! And she was determined...... She was going to go and take her friend and companion, Brenda. Brenda and my friend, Judith Chapman (Gloria on The Young and the Restless), were Miss Betty's "other daughters," and to this day, I call both of them "Sis."
My sisters, Brenda and JudithBrenda was happy to go see Rod, too, so I went online and got them the tickets. Miss Betty wanted to be on the floor, but I convinced her that was too much for an 80 year old, so she settled for the first row of the elevated seats. I started to think about how wonderful all this was and I wondered how I could make it even more wonderful for her...... On the day of the concert I called the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, got their fax number and faxed Mr. Stewart a letter, introducing myself, and telling him that one of his biggest fans wanted nothing more for her 80th birthday than to see him in concert. Hoping it would help that Miss Betty had a house not too far from Mr. Stewart's and that I thought they knew a person or two in common, I added that she had long admired him and the work he had done restoring his house in Palm Beach and I signed it with my sincerest thanks.
That evening, about 11:45pm, my phone rang. It was Miss Betty. She wanted to tell me all about the concert, which she had thoroughly loved (this concert centered around Stewart's first CD that focused on the oldies/big band music, mind you).
You aren't going to believe this! I think Judy must have gotten in touch with him.....He called me out by name and dedicated a song to me!!!!!. All the people in our section of the audience thought I was a celebrity!
I explained to her what I had done and she thought it was great......She spent the next day calling all her friends, like an excited school girl to let them know how special and unique HER 80th had been.....topped off with the song dedication. The only problem was, she couldn't remember which song he sang to her.....she was too excited.
The year after Miss Betty went to heaven, a marvelous picture appeared of Rod Stewart and his wife, crossing the street in Palm Beach.
Photo courtesy NewYorkSocialDiary.com
Although Miss Betty wasn't there to see it, in the background of the picture, there stood her dear friend with her daughter and granddaughter. (I wrote about this wonderful family last summer.) Somehow it just seemed fitting....
In the coming days and weeks I will write more about Miss Betty's encounters with other celebrities not only in Palm Beach, but also when she lived in New York and when she was travelling in Europe. They range from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Cary Grant to Arnold Schwarzenneger, and all are interesting stories!