|Miss Betty Hoover our Police Lady|
I am rerunning Betty here for the Story tellers; If you have been to Southern Belle, you know there is a tale to tell and many of my previous posts onto Sepia Saturday are tales to share. So out of time to create something new today I offer you Betty and my frustrated attempts to be a resident Nancy Drew!
Sorting and sifting photos continues here where this week I found this old snapshot of Betty Hoover who was perhaps one of the first if not the first police woman in our town. We called her, " Miss Betty Our Police Lady" and she was employed as a crossing guard, today's term, at our elementary school, Third Ward. This photo is from about 1954, notice her spiffy uniform, high heels and white gloves. She would step out into the street to direct traffic and allow us to cross. Now that I think about it, I suppose this must have been invented employment, because we did not have that much traffic and when Miss Betty was not on her job, we walked and crossed streets quite nicely without any assistance.
My friends and I were fascinated with Miss Betty who lived with her friend, Wanda, in an apartment on the 3rd floor, the remodeled attic of our neighbor's the Ropers. They were the only single career women in our neighborhood. Since the yard of the Ropers' backed up to our back yard, I thought I could make myself quite available to her, by just yelling, "Miss Betty" from our back yard. My mother thought differently and the first time she heard me standing outside yelling, she scooted me onto the porch for a lecture. I was not to bother Miss Betty and just because she rented from our neighbors did not mean that I could bother her to satisfy my curiosity. She was employed as a Police woman and when she was not at work, she did not need the likes of me pestering her.
Not one to easily give up, I tried to engage Dayna, my neighbor friend who lived on the other side of the Ropers to help in my efforts at learning more about Miss Betty but she was not as curious as me and besides, her mother felt the same, "You girls do not need to bother her." I had a plan, Dayna's upstairs bedroom was closer to the Roper house, so if we could lean out Dayna's window and call, surely Miss Betty would hear us and if Dayna was calling and not me, my mother couldn't say anything. But Dayna was no where near as interested and so much more the good girl than myself that it didn't happen.
I spent some time mulling about this and trying to overcome my Mother's admonishments without being absolutely disobedient. I suddenly became very interested in Harry Roper, their son, who was several years older than me (I was 9 and he was likely 13) and tried all sorts of ways to entice him into inviting me into their home; once inside I figured it would be easy enough to scoot up the staircase and knock on Miss Betty's door. That did not work, because Harry as I said was older than me and besides that totally uninterested in my antics. I think he secretly knew I was the one who would pelt him with crab apples, but he never could prove that. I could get onto our porch roof near the crab apple tree outside my bedroom window, toss crab apples and whack him on the head, then duck back into my bedroom window, innocent as you please.
My curiosity was not waning, so one day after school, I hung around the corner and confessed to Miss Betty that I would like to see their apartment but my mother said I was not to bother her, but I had this big tale about needing to interview her for a Girl Scout project. She and I walked the few blocks back to our homes together and Miss Betty said that she would speak to my Mom and if it was alright with her she would invite me in for a soda. It never happened and I suspect that my mother nixed it or maybe Miss Betty was not that interested. I don't know what ever happened but Miss Betty and Wanda moved away after several months and I was out of luck. Maybe they really didn't want to live in a neighborhood of families either.
I had not thought of her for many years, but talking to some of my friends from those days, we all remember Miss Betty. I however have the only photo. I don't know why we had a police woman because it was a lovely 'hood and you can see from her uniform she was nicely dressed and not set to pursue or do much but direct traffic.
As always, click on the title to get to the Sepia home page and find others who share their photos and or collections in this international community. This now becomes a Story Tellers Tale for Week 5 as well. Click here to get to the Story tellers site.