13 at 65: Betty Lou Pardue feels love for TV family

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Betty Lou Pardue spent nearly 20 years working for WIBW-TV, starting in the 1980s, launching the talk show "Take Five."

"It was an idea of mine along with Eileen Houston - and Andy Weingarten was our meteorologist - and we had such a great time," Betty Lou recalled. "Later of course Sally Baltes came on board and it was just a great opportunity to meet a lot of people from the community and help them with their ideas and give them some publicity about an upcoming event."

Betty Lou says the experience laid the foundation for her current position at KTWU, Topeka's public television station.

"I get to go to a lot of those places and take groups of Producer’s Club members out to visit those places and it has helped me with abroad travel. We’ve been doing things like going to London," she said.

Betty Lou says some of her fondest memories from her time at WIBW include emceeing the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. and traveling to Nashville to cover the Country Music Assoc. awards.

"What a blast!" she said. "They’d invite us out to their house - like Mark Miller from Sawyer Brown let us come out to his farm and look at his polled Herford’s while he was doing some work out there and we got to go night fishing with people. We got to meet Garth Brooks backstage at the Grand Ole Opry."

Beyond the experiences, Betty Lou says, were the people.

"Talk about a family - and that’s what it is over at WIBW - and I’m very happy to still be considered part of the family," she said.