May. 1, 2021


 I'm sharing a VERY-EMOTIONAL excerpt from My unresolved memory that will haunt me until I die. This incident took place shortly after I returned from The  1958 Miss America Pageant...........

"I picked up an already-opened envelope postmarked New York and removed a two-page telegram. One week before the Miss America Pageant, I had appeared on several television shows in New York City including the Ed Sullivan Show and the Today Show. 

Television and I were old friends. As a senior in high school I had been chosen by the local ABC affiliate, KATV, to host a weekly television show called Coca Cola’s Search for Talent. Not only did I host the show every Saturday night but served as the show’s featured performer.

Slowly I read the telegram aloud. The Director of the Today Show congratulated me on being a pageant finalist and praised my recent Today Show interview. Then came the surprise: “NBC invites you to audition for the Today Show’s First Female Hostess Position. NBC-New York will cover all your travel expenses including a round trip airline ticket and hotel accommodations.” When I finished reading the telegram my father hugged me. “Baby, I’m so happy for you; it’s the break of a lifetime! You can work in television while you study music.”

My mother interrupted. “She most certainly can’t! Only whores and prostitutes accept offers from strangers in a place like New York City. You both are stupid, there is no audition! It’s just some ‘big shot’ dangling a phony offer in front of a small-town ‘wannabe’ to get her in bed! I have the last word in this house and she’s not going anywhere!” I begged and pleaded, “Please, let me go; this is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity! Please, Mother, if I don’t try, I’ll never know if I could have made it.” I looked at my father. His eyes were focused on the floor; his strong shoulders drooped in defeat. As usual, our side lost.

One year or more after the telegram incident, The Today Show interrupted its regular programming to make a landmark announcement. I watched a smiling Dave Garroway, The Today's Show's Top Host-- accompanied by a drum-roll-- introduce the show’s First Female Television Hostess-- Barbara Walters.

Decades later, sifting through a very old box of personal papers and photos, I pulled out a tissue-thin telegram. Carefully unfolding the yellowed paper, I re- read the long-ago invitation from the Today Show. A few seconds later I heard the scream.  One scream followed another as the little girl in me cursed my mother. As the last scream faded, I placed the telegram in the waste basket.

Unfortunately,  I have more than enough reminders of what might have been...THANKS to my "Mother".



Latest comments

17.10 | 01:42

I miss being Facebook friends with you! Hope you are well and happy.

Tammy Brookover Jay

15.10 | 01:28

Love all of this. I'm so lucky to be your neighbor,

30.08 | 16:26

Sally, my friend, I love your writings and sometimes they make me cry and then smile. I love you as if I had known you all my life. God Bless you each and every day in all you do.

29.08 | 19:19

Lol, I loved reading this story! As a female that dated a couple men with Harleys, I totally understand and met Harley Guy myself, many times over!
I hope you get your 3wheels someday soon!

Share this page