Make Room for Betty: Work

[In the Style of a] Transcript of Television Broadcast

Season 1: Episode 3, “Work”
Date: First aired September 1955


The cast:
Betty (age 3)….Angela Cartwright
Kenny (Betty’s brother, age 4 1/2)….Jay North
Geneva Ojala (Betty’s mother)….Dinah Shore
Etta Crawford (Betty’s grandmother)….Frances Bavier
Elizabeth Groff (Betty’s great-grandmother)….Elizabeth Patterson
Ralph Crawford (Betty’s grandfather)….Joseph Kearns

About the cast:
Angela Cartwright played “Linda” on “The Danny Thomas Show.”
Jay North played “Dennis” on “Dennis the Menace.”
Dinah Shore starred in “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.”
Frances Bavier played “Aunt Bee” on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Elizabeth Patterson played “Matilda Trumbull” on “I Love Lucy.”
Joseph Kearns played “Mr. Wilson” on “Dennis the Menace.”

Scene 1:

[Atlanta, Georgia. The home of the Ojala family. It’s morning on a work day. Betty and Kenny are still asleep in their bunkbeds. Their mother, Geneva, enters their room to wake them up. She is already dressed for work. As the children get ready for the day, they and their mother sing “Heigh-Ho.”]

Geneva (singing):
[from off-stage] Heigh-ho!
[entering stage, as Betty and Kenny wake up] Heigh-ho!
[as Betty and Kenny get out of bed] Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho!

Geneva, Betty, and Kenny (singing together):
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho
It’s off to work we go
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho
It’s off to work we go
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho

[Whistling continues as they leave the stage.]

Scene 2:

[Betty and Kenny are spending the day at their grandparents’ house while their parents are at work. Their grandfather is sitting at the desk in his home office, and Kenny is sitting on his knee. Betty, who is shorter than the desk and is not noticed by her grandfather, is listening from behind the desk.]

Grandpa (fondly):
Well, my boy, this is my office. This is where I do important work. Someday you’ll have an office like this.

Kenny (smiling happily):
That’s swell, Grandpa!

Yes, my boy. And this is my desk. Someday you’ll have a desk like this.

[Kenny admires the desk.]

Grandpa (proudly):
And these are my important papers, on the desk. Someday you’ll have important papers, too.

[Kenny leans over the desk, to see what “important papers” look like.]

And this is my typewriter, where I type some of my important papers.

[Grandpa puts a sheet of paper in the Royal typewriter and types a few strokes to illustrate.]

[Betty, fascinated by the typewriter, comes around the desk and is eager to watch. Her grandfather sees for the first time that she is in his office.]

Grandpa (crossly and impatiently, to Betty):
Go on, now, girl! Shoo! Go and help your grandmother with her work.

[Betty, sadly disappointed, leaves Grandpa’s office.]

Scene 3:

[Betty enters the living room and finds her grandmother and great-grandmother there.]

[Betty’s great-grandmother is sitting in a wing-back chair, crocheting a lacy doily, and seems satisfied with her work. She is absorbed in her task and does not notice that Betty has come in.]

[Betty’s grandmother is on her hands and knees in front of the fireplace, furiously cleaning the bricks with a scrub-brush, and does not seem happy with her work. Her back is to the room and she also does not notice that Betty has come in.]

[Betty quietly comes up beside her grandmother, falls to her knees, and puts both hands on the sooty bricks as she sees her grandmother is doing.]

Grandma (crossly slapping Betty’s hands):
No, no, Betty! You’re making a mess!

But, Grandma! Grandpa said …

[Betty’s great-grandmother drops her crocheting and rushes to help Betty get up.]

Upon my word, Etta! Can’t you see the child is trying to help? She’s trying to help you with your work!

[Betty’s grandmother says nothing, wipes the sweat from her brow with a sooty hand, and angrily continues her scrubbing.]

[Betty’s great-grandmother takes her by the hand and leads her from the room.]

Scene 4:

[Betty is sitting at the kitchen table. Her great-grandmother takes fresh-baked bread out of the oven.]

I’ve made some special bread for you, my dear. I’m very proud of you for being so thoughtful as to try to help your grandmother with her work. But, next time, you’ll ask what she would like you to do before you start helping, won’t you, dear?

Yes, I will.

[Betty’s great-grandmother butters a slice of bread and gives it to Betty.]

If you knew how to crochet, you could make lots of beautiful things. You could make rings for your fingers! Would you like me to teach you how to do it?

Yes, please!

Great-Grandma (fondly):
There’s a good girl!

Scene 5:

[Betty, Kenny, and their mother Geneva are back at their home that evening. While they get ready for bed, they sing “Anything You Can Do.”]

Geneva (singing):
Anything you can do, I can do better
I can do anything better than you
Kenny: No, you can’t!
Betty: Yes, I can!
Kenny: No, you can’t!
Betty: Yes, I can! Yes, I can!

Geneva (singing):
Anything you can be, I can be greater
Sooner or later, I’m greater than you
Betty: No, you’re not!
Kenny: Yes, I am!
Betty: No, you’re not!
Kenny: Yes, I am! Yes, I am!

Geneva (as she tucks them into bed):
Anything you can say, I can say softer
I can say anything softer than you
Kenny: (softly) No, you can’t!
Betty: (softly) Yes, I can!
Kenny: (softer) No, you can’t!
Betty: (softer, yawning) Yes, I can!
Geneva: (softly, slowly, as she tip-toes out of the room and the light dims)
Yes, you can … Yes, you can … Yes, you can

© January 29, 2015 Bette Ojala

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