Despite not having any formal broadcast or journalism training, Carol Parker went on the air of then KTVJ back in 1973 as co-anchor of the noon news with Ted Easley. And right from the start, he says she was a natural at putting other people at ease on the air.
“We had the Blue Angels. Carol had them on her set and she had them in stitches that day as these are people that are accustomed to long interviews and doing that all the time, and you could tell that they thoroughly enjoyed that,” Easley explained.
She’s had hundreds of guests over the years on her Tasty Tuesday cooking show at noon, and Cooking with Carol during the Living Well show at 4 pm.
“I was ten years old when I first met Carol Parker,” explained Big R’s owner Twyla Housh. “My dad was on her cooking show and he brought me along.”
Housh has ben appearing on Parker’s show for over thirty years and remembers an incident with a strawberry pie that wouldn’t cooperate.
“We actually made the strawberry pie on the air and the berries kept rolling off and onto the counter top and it was very…you could tell she doesn’t make the strawberry pie,” Housh laughed. “And I just stood back and laughed because it was so, she’s so genuinely “Oh no, there goes another one” and she’s kind of like, ‘This needs to be over, how do we get this done?'”
“She’s had me on the show time and time again, which is kind of funny because I can’t even cook,” added Gary Stubblefield.
As the former director of the Carl Junction Chamber of Commerce, Stubblefield was a frequent guest of Carol’s, promoting a host of community events, many of which involve food.
“Carol has always been so kind to attend the events and it’s amazing when people spot her in the crowd,” Stubblefield continued. “They just surround her and let her know how much they appreciate her.”
The Webb City Farmers Market is one of the premier venues of its type in the state of Missouri, and market master Eileen Nichols says Carol Parker had a lot to do with that.
“A huge amount, particularly in the early days, any time I was on the show, there we had a big bump in customers the next day because it was so effective in getting the word out to folks,” said Nichols. “They didn’t know we were here and they saw us on Carol’s segment on KSN, and said, ‘Let’s go to the market.'”
“I couldn’t have had a better person to work with on television because truly, I have no skills when it comes to television and she just made me look good,” Nichols laughed.
On behalf of these and many other guests, we love you and we’ll miss you.