Posted on June 15th, 2008
One of the joys of growing up was staying home from school and watching afternoon TV with Mom. For me this was the case no matter the reason I was out of school or for how long. I must admit that sometimes I would just need a day off and would feign illness (like the “berri-berri disease” i.e., “I’m berri berri sick and I don’t want to go to school today” disease).
In the 1950s afternoon TV was made up of soap operas (some like “General Hospital” are still on the air), cheapy game shows like “Queen for a Day,” Liberace’s daily show, and lots of old black and white movies from the 1930s and 1940s.
One day a movie came on called “According to Mrs. Hoyle” starring Spring Byington (”December Bride”). I was overjoyed and so excited. I couldn’t wait until it came on. The actual movie was very short (one hour), wasn’t really that good, and I can’t remember anything about it except for Miss Byington wearing those dowdy clothes and hats that older women wore in those days. In spite of those facts, I still enjoyed watching it with my mother. I’ve not seen it again and do not know that it even exists any longer.
I often wondered if other kids that had relatively unusual names felt the same way.
I asked my mother if we might have been related to the person shown in the movie. No, she said, it was just a fictional character and a made up story that used a catchy title based on the famous saying, “According to Hoyle.”
Even though the movie was basically a time waster, I was still excited that our family name was in the title of a Hollywood movie. For years later, every time I saw Spring Byington in a TV show or movie, I would immediately be reminded of that wonderful afternoon watching TV with Mom.
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