Calling it a Career: “Cooking with Carol” host celebrates retirement

News

“I was born here,” explained Joplin news personality Carol Parker.

A Joplin native who got a big break when she was 19.

“I went out to visit my cousin in California, got in central casting, and I ended up in the movie.”

There’s No Business Like Show Business with Marilyn Monroe and Ethel Merman. At first exciting and glamorous, she missed home and moved back.

She married Jack Parker and was a full time mom to Doug, Stephen, and Dianne when she got a call from the TV station.

“Virginia Hickey had Virginia’s News and Views and she’d been looking for about a year to find somebody she really wanted to take her place,” said Parker.

Carol was hired for what would eventually be called The Carol Parker Show. There would be countless co-workers — names like Ted Easley, Keith Mackie, Ken Ford, Jim Jackson, and Tiffany Alaniz.

And, the list of celebrity interviews may be even longer.

“Any star that came through, they’d come out here.”

Willie Nelson, the Lennon Sisters, Boxcar Willie, Al Roker, Buzz Aldrin, Andy Williams, and Bob Hope.

And then there’s the food – Tasty Tuesday and Cooking with Carol. She says it’s hard to pick her favorite guest — but it might be her husband, Jack.

“People loved it – but they didn’t know he did not cook,” Parker explained.

It’s been 45 years since she was first hired.

“You know, we just had reel-to-reel then — it was nothing like it is now,” Parker added.

Some call her a celebrity — something she’s quick to deny.

“No! I’ve never felt that way!” Parker laughed.

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