How I met Heloise 4-28-2011
By Bill Foster, Editor & Publisher
Editors note. Heloise, who writes a column for us, is coming to Waco May 10th to meet everyone. See story page one.
I met Heloise’s mother when she came to Waco for a charity, just as Heloise II is doing May 10. I’d visit her at the old Alico hotel. She gave me an autograph and some playing cards with her picture on them. She was born in Fort Worth as Eloise K. Bowles,
The Texas Press Association (TPA) was having a get together at the Lyndon Johnson ranch when he was president. The head of Germany was there that day, in 1967
As the band began playing her mother and I started dancing. Someone took our picture. Heloise II has kept this picture. On a recent trip to another TPA function in San Marcos in January I invited Heloise to attend. Turns out she attended school there so she was happy to meet me and make plans for her to visit us in Waco. She wanted to re-enact that picture — so we did. She was so popular at that meeting it was hard for us to talk.
After the visit at the Johnson Ranch ranch with mother we begin to keep in touch with her at their apartment at 8038 Broadway in San Antonio. After another TPA meeting we stopped by their apartment. Mother was garcious to show us through their apartment. Their offices were there too. It was filled with Chinese furniture. During military days they lived in Peking, China.
It was in Hawaii in 1959 when she went to the Honolula Advertiser on a challenge about writing a hints column. One Air Force officer bet her $100 she couldn’t land a job there. She had a set of engraved calling cards, dressed in her best outfit and visited the newspaper. She went at lunch while the editor was out. She created a stir and left her card. It worked. It was called the “Readers Exchange.”
She was motivated to help other officer wives who were always moving. After Hawaii they moved to Arlington, VA, then to San Antonio in 1966. One of the first newspapers to use her column outside of Hawaii was the Dallas News. She told King Features, who distributes her column, not to charge the Dallas News for her column because they helped her get started.
After Japan they moved to Waco, while her husband was at Connally AFB.
In Waco Heloise II was born April 15, 1951, at Hillcrest Hospital. Dr. Brown we believe was the doctor with an office on Austin Avenue.
After her mother died King Feature asked her to continue the column. She wasn’t sure she could do the job, remembering all the phone calls and important people she would have to answer to. But she gave in and said she would try it for a year, The rest is history as they say. Over the years we kept up with both of them. Heloise ll says we are her home town paper since she was born here. After a while she dropped the II after her name. Her column is the only one we buy for our newspapers,
If I remember their place on Broadway it was a large rambling apartment where mother lived, It had a big kitchen where she did a lot of experiments for her column. Heloise II and her husband David Evans now have a nice place on the coast. She has a motocycle with a side car she calls Svetyanta. They celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary Feb 13. Welcome home Heloise.
- “Heloise is coming to Waco!”
- James (Rush) Martin
- Margaret Johnson
- Book uncovering widespread child abuse in Waco State Home for children,”We Were Not Orphans: Stories from the Waco State Home”.
- What is real costs of a trip?