Betty White and I had the same editor at Doubleday & Company, Loretta Barrett, and we became her first two clients when Loretta started her literary agency. Wednesday night I was thrilled to see Betty’s talk at the New York Times in connection with her new book, If You Ask Me, and visit with her in the green room afterwards. Now that I’ve had a chance to read the book I rush out this recommendation as it being the ultimate Mother’s Day gift.
If you give your mom this book I guarantee she will laugh, and smile, and grow quiet once in a while, nodding, and she will say things like:
“Yes, that’s so true.”
“I agree; that really is what’s most important.”
“Oh, I remember that so well! And I loved her then and I love her now!”
“I never thought of it that way; that’s very comforting, I’m going to try that.”
“Oh, wait-wait-wait, let me read you this part!”
Like her other books, Betty wrote this by herself in long hand that is so beautiful the editor used parts of her manuscript as artwork. The photographs are way cool, and believe it or not, she only finished writing this book about nine weeks ago so. It is a happy and very well designed book, too, the kind you leave on the coffee table and everyone who comes into the house picks up and starts reading.
I didn’t know until Wednesday night that like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Boston Legal, Betty was to appear only in one episode of TV Land’s Hot in Baltimore, but the producers begged her to stay on. (The part of Blanche on The Golden Girls had been written for her, but a last minute experiment of trying Betty as Rose…)
Her talk, by the way, was PACKED with young people, one of whom asked her how, at 89, she could be keeping the work schedule she does. She confessed she was a health nut. After a pause, she then said, “My favorite food is a hot dog with French fries. And I get a lot of exercise, because I have a two-story house and a very bad memory.”