When I was a kid, it was tough to learn that some kids only wanted to come to my house because of my mom. You see, my mom was a local television star. She hosted the noon news every day, so she was in their kitchens and family rooms as they ate lunch. They felt that they knew her- or wanted to know her. She interviewed every famous person who came through our area. She was THE person who interviewed all of the celebrities as Branson rose to become the Vegas of the Ozark Mountains. She was THE person who was invited to theme park openings and concerts. She wrote cookbooks. She was the Grand Marshall of parades.
She was also just my mom. I was always immensely proud to be her daughter. My brothers and I loved it whenever we’d be at the grocery store or shopping for shoes, and people would recognize her. She never seemed to notice the effect she has on everyone around her. People gravitated to her. They wanted to hug her and chat with her. They wanted to tell her about the time they were on her show or about something they learned from an episode. She’s 84 years old and it still happens everywhere she goes!
She hasn’t ever considered herself to be a star. Quite the contrary. She’s goofy. She laughs a lot. She’s always smiling. And- yes- she is as nice as everyone thinks she is from watching her on TV.
I grew to understand my role as Carol Parker’s daughter. It meant something. To some people, I was almost royalty. To others, it was a connection to a TV star. Some folks immediately treated me like family because that was how they viewed my mom. She was in their living rooms every day, after all.
It is an honor to be Carol Parker’s daughter, and it was an honor to celebrate her today. The episode of a local show called Living Well dedicated the entire hour to my mom’s 45-year career in broadcasting. Former co-anchors came to join her on the air one last time. She did one final Cooking with Carol segment. Friends and co-workers told stories and laughed and even became teary as they shared memories of time spent with her.
So, yes, I know exactly why all of the kids wanted to come to my house. I understand why they hoped my mom would answer the phone when they called. They wanted a little bit of what I had every day. They wanted that sunshine, that energy, that genuine kindness that is my mom, Carol Parker!
This clip tells the story of her TV career. Enjoy! Click to view!
Here’s the ending of today’s episode.