Make Room for Betty: Half Full

Transcript of Television Broadcast

Show: Make Room for Betty
Season 3: Episode 3, “Half Full”
Date: First aired November 1957

The cast:
Betty (age 5)….Angela Cartwright
Geneva Ojala (Betty’s mother)….Dinah Shore
Etta Crawford (Betty’s grandmother)….Frances Bavier
Elizabeth Groff (Betty’s great-grandmother)….Elizabeth Patterson
Laddie (Betty’s pet dog, a small mutt)….Laddie

About the cast:
Angela Cartwright was “Linda” in “The Danny Thomas Show,” and later was “Brigitta Von Trapp” in “The Sound of Music.”
Dinah Shore starred in “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.”
Frances Bavier was “Aunt Bee” in “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Elizabeth Patterson was the neighbor “Matilda Trumbull” in “I Love Lucy.”

Scene 1:

[Betty is asleep in bed at her home in Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother, Geneva, enters Betty’s bedroom and opens the Venetian blinds to let the morning sun in, as the orchestra plays “Mockingbird Hill.”]

Geneva [singing]:
Tra-la-la, tweedle dee dee, it gives me a thrill
To wake up in the morning to the mockingbird’s trill…

Betty [singing along, as she gets out of bed]:
Tra-la-la, tweedle dee dee, there’s peace and goodwill
You’re welcome as the flowers on Mockingbird Hill…

Betty and Geneva [singing as they waltz around the bedroom]:
When the sun in the morning peeps over the hill
And kisses the roses ’round my windowsill
Then my heart fills with gladness when I hear the trill
Of those birds in the treetops on Mockingbird Hill

Tra-la-la, tweedle dee dee, it gives me a thrill
To wake up in the morning to the mockingbird’s trill
Tra-la-la, tweedle dee dee, there’s peace and goodwill
You’re welcome as the flowers on Mockingbird Hill

Scene 2:

[Later that morning, Betty is next door at her grandmother’s house, sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. Her great-grandmother (Grandma Elizabeth) is sitting with her, watching her fondly. Her grandmother (Grandma Etta) enters the room, impatient and cross.]

Grandma Etta: There’s work to be done, Betty. Don’t piddle around.

Grandma Elizabeth: Upon my word, Etta! It is intemperate to eat one’s food too quickly. I assure you that the fallen leaves will still be in the garden whenever we arrive with our rakes.

Betty [preoccupied]: Why can’t I go to school with Kenny?

Grandma Etta: Never mind, finish your breakfast.

Grandma Elizabeth: You must have patience, Betty dear. Your brother is older; you will have to be a little older too, before you can go to school.

Betty: Mommy says I’m big enough to help her already. Why can’t I go to the office to help Mommy?

Grandma Etta: Your mother can’t be expected to do her work with a nuisance underfoot. Now finish your breakfast.

Grandma Elizabeth: First you must learn to read and write, my dear. Then you must grow up, and become a lady. And then you may wish to find an engagement as an executive secretary as your mother has done. Perhaps you may even…

Betty: Kenny says I’m bossy. I want to be the boss.

Grandma Etta: Ho-ho! Don’t be foolish, girl. Here now, give me your plate and go wash up.

Betty: Mommy showed me how to call her office on the telephone. I know how to read, too.

Grandma Elizabeth: You can read?

Betty: Sure, reading is easy! I just point my finger at the words in Kenny’s book, then I look at the pictures to see what Dick and Jane are doing.

Scene 3:

[Betty’s grandmother (Etta) and great-grandmother (Elizabeth) are in the back yard raking. Betty pretends to help them, while Laddie plays in the leaves.]

Grandma Etta: What a mess trees make. And that dog is making it worse. You must keep it out of our way, Betty.

Grandma Elizabeth: What a blessing trees are when one needs shade in summer, though. And such a nice home for birds and squirrels.

Betty: And besides, if there weren’t so many leaves, Laddie and I wouldn’t have nearly so much fun!

Scene 4:

[Grandma Etta and Great-Grandma Elizabeth are hot and tired, having raked most of the leaves into a big pile. Betty and Laddie jump on the pile of leaves.]

Grandma Etta: There, there, Betty! Stop that! And get that dog out of here. The two of you are undoing all of our work as fast as we can do it.

Betty: When are we going to burn the leaves? May I light the match?

Grandma Etta: Don’t be foolish. Now get out of the way.

Grandma Elizabeth: Come over here with me, Betty dear. And keep Laddie nearby. We must keep you both safe from the flames.

[Grandma Etta sets fire to the pile of leaves. She and Grandma Elizabeth look on with satisfaction as the flames rise. Then the wind picks up unexpectedly, and leaves start flying.]

Grandma Etta: Mother! Help me get these leaves back in the pile!

Betty: Do you want…

Grandma Etta: Hush! We’re busy now!

Betty: But Grandma, what about the rose bushes?

Grandma Etta [looking up, realizing the fire has spread]: Oh my stars! Oh! Oh!

Grandma Elizabeth [fanning her face with her lace handkerchief]: Upon my word! Oh my! Oh my!

Grandma Etta: Quick, Betty! Fill up a bucket of water in the kitchen and bring it here!

[Betty and Laddie run to the kitchen. Betty pulls a step-stool over to the sink, gets a bucket from the broom closet, puts it in the sink, and turns on the water. When the bucket is full, she tries to lift it. She cannot move it.]

Betty: Oh no, Laddie! It’s too heavy! I’d better take some water out.

[Betty gets down from the step-stool, moves it over to the dish cupboard, climbs back up, and gets a water glass. She moves the step-stool and glass back to the sink and begins to bail out the bucket.]

Betty: Uh-oh, Laddie, I just remembered. Grandma said she wants it full. She won’t like it one bit if I bring a bucket that’s only half full. A full glass of water will be better.

[Betty fills the water glass to the brim. Carefully, very slowly, so as not to lose a drop, she walks up the hill in the back yard to where the leaves are burning. When she arrives, Grandma Etta is furiously trying to beat out the flames. Grandma Elizabeth looks on, leaning on a tree, clearly feeling faint.]

Betty [proudly]: Here’s the water you asked for, Grandma!

[Grandma Etta sees that Betty has brought only a glassful of water.]

Grandma Etta: Oh for pity’s sake! That will do no good!

Grandma Elizabeth [swooning]: Oh my! Oh my!

Grandma Etta [shouting]: Help! Fire! Help! Call the fire department!

[Betty begins to cry, runs into the house, and dials her mother’s office number.]

Geneva [on the telephone, off-stage]: Good afternoon, Mr. Caldwell’s office.

Betty [hysterically]: Mommy, quick! How do I call the fire department?!

Scene 5:

[That evening, Geneva and Betty enter Betty’s bedroom hand in hand. Betty is wearing her pajamas and a toy fireman’s hat. Betty gets into bed, and Geneva hangs the hat on the bedpost. Geneva sits on the side of the bed, and gives Betty a hug.]

Geneva: I’m proud of you, Betty. You were a big help to Grandma Etta and Grandma Elizabeth today. Now go to sleep, doll-baby, and have sweet dreams.

Betty: Good night, Mommy.

Geneva [singing a lullaby softly, as the orchestra plays “Mockingbird Hill”]:
When it’s late in the evening I climb up the hill
And survey all my kingdom while everything’s still
Only me and the sky and an old whippoorwill
Singing songs in the twilight on Mockingbird Hill

Tra-la-la, tweedle dee dee, there’s peace and goodwill
You’re welcome as the flowers on Mockingbird Hill

(c) 1/05/2015, Bette Ojala

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