Betty Beeby’s Shady Adventures and a nod to Log Cabin Day

Posted on June 30, 2009


First of all, I know you wonder why I have not written anything about the wonderful dinner held in honor of Betty Beeby last week. That is because I was not there, but playing Cinderella at my day job. I made up for it by interviewing Betty yesterday about her special evening, and sent most of that story to the Antrim Review for this week’s edition. Most of it. I saved a morsel or two for you.

I gather that most of you were there, and that everyone who was there took pictures. However, here is one Norton Bretz took of Betty that perhaps you missed.

Betty Beeby at Tribute Dinner in her honor, by Norton Bretz

Who would imagine that such a gracious woman could, in her flaming youth, have driven smack into the little log cabin that still stands–well, leans, really–on that big curve in M-88 just south of the King Orchards farm market? But Gary Dawson told me the story, and Gary Dawson is widely recognized as a fair and accurate historian of local matters. Betty says he’s got it all wrong, she only ran into the totem pole in front of the old Shady Nook, not the cabin itself, and besides, she wasn’t driving recklessly, she had merely, um, omitted to establish the whereabouts of the brakes before taking over the driving chores from her sister Ann, and in any case Jeanne Sage, the owner of the totem pole in question, forgave her and kept her on at Shady even though she–Betty that is–was not all that good at math.  You know this curve. You can see how it could happen.  I wonder whatever happened to the totem pole.

Shady Nook log cabin.  You know this curve.  You can see how it could happen.

Betty remembers that Shady’s hamburgers were wonderful. Jeanne, a large woman who moved about in a wheelchair and lived a very long time, used celery salt and slathered cooked sliced onions on the burgers. They were the sort of thing it’s hard to find nowadays, even at Don’s Drive-In. We pause for a moment in homage to Truly Wonderful Hamburgers, and to grieve for the sad state of the old Shady log cabin today.

Shady Nook - its sad state today

That’s my best Betty story about the past–at least the best one I can get away with telling you. Here’s what she’s up to now. She’s assembling piles of pink thank-you notes. (“Pink because I’m in the pink,” she says.) She’s made lists and lists of people she wants to thank, and she added more names to the lists while we talked. She was deeply touched by the dinner, and by all the things people said about her. It was . . . wonderful.

Betty Beeby at work on thank you notes

And now a word about the future. If printer Jack Bodis can do without sleep for the next week or so, copies of A Book of Hours, by Terry Wooten and Betty Beeby, should be rolling off the presses and trundling up the path to a bookstore, gift shop or Bait Shop near you. Reserve your copy now. No telling how long Jack can keep up the pace.

Beeby and Wooten - A Book of Hours - The Order Form

And here, in a nod to Log Cabin Day, is an excerpt from A Book of Hours. Blame the flaws on my photography, and click on an image to make it larger.

Book of Hours p 58Book of Hours p 59