I just have a lot to say.
October 29th, 2014 by

Daylight Savings Time and the Night I Missed Carol Burnett

“Y’all have to go to bed early tonight.”


“Because the time changes, and we have to move the clocks forward an hour.”

“No, we don’t. We turn them back an hour. We get to stay up an hour later.”

Evidently in the mid-70s, spring forward and fall back had not been coined yet. If so, my daddy had never heard the phrases.

Kristi was spending the weekend with me. She moved to Dothan when we were two-year-olds. Her daddy was the minister of music at our church. Her mama played piano, taught children’s choir, sang in the soprano section and an occasional solo, and did about 1000 other things. We lived near each other and attended the same elementary school. We were sidekicks, soul mates. We were both the babies in our families, so we had that in common. We were babies with a big age gap between us and the next older sibling, so we had that in common, too. We probably had the same personality, because we argued with every breath. Mama said about us, “They are miserable when they are not together, and they are miserable when they are.” Folks often called us the other’s name. Old folks at church occasionally slipped and called me Kristi even as a young adult, long after Kristi and her family had moved.

They moved the summer after we completed second grade at Girard Elementary School. Church members were saddened by the news. Kristi and I were heartbroken. Our parents vowed we would stay in touch. Many times, we make promises in life that with every fiber of our beings we intend to keep, but life pushes in and good intentions get pushed to the side.  Our parents were true to their word, though. If Mama heard of someone going to Birmingham for the weekend, she would call Mrs. Andrews while she was packing my bag, and vice versa.

So, Kristi and her doll Humpty were with me this particular weekend. Daddy let us watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, but he sent us to bed BEFORE The Carol Burnett Show. We were outraged. He had NEVER sent me to bed before Carol Burnett. We slung our hair and stomped our feet down the hall to my room. We discussed the unfairness as we snuggled in my double bed and took turns tickling each other’s backs.

Sunday School began at 9:30. To our neighbors, the Pitmans, that meant leave for church at 9:00. To the Kings, that meant leave for church before 9:30. Yet, the next morning, as Kristi and I climbed in the rear-facing backseat of Mama’s blue station wagon with the brown paneling down the side, we noticed that the Pitmans’ cars were still in their driveway. Somebody was obviously sick. But why would everyone stay home? Why would both cars be there?


“Sissy, go call Time,” Daddy said.

I ran to the kitchen, to the only phone in the house (the one attached to the wall, the one with the long curly cord), and dialed the numbers on the rotary phone. I knew them by heart: 794-8441. I heard the familiar voice say, “Don’t bank it in a sock; sock it in the bank. Your Colonial Bread time is 7:27. Temperature—.” I slammed down the phone. I didn’t care about the temp.


Angie got out of the car and returned to bed. Starla probably went to study her Sunday School lesson. Kristi and I went to downstairs to play Barbies. I imagine Mama started lunch or called Little Granny. I picture Daddy sitting in his chair, sipping a bonus cup of coffee, reading the Dothan Eagle, and grinning from ear to ear over the new tale he had to tell on himself.

I bet you money (to quote Little Granny) that we were still late to church.

with Kristi 2 - Copy

Kristi with me at my cousin’s birthday party.


4 Responses to “Daylight Savings Time and the Night I Missed Carol Burnett”
  1. Christy Keyton says

    HILARIOUS. Just hilarious. I loved Carol Burnett, by the way!

  2. Karen McLeod Parks says


    I loved reading this blabbering! I smiled when I saw that cute Kristi. I used to babysit her and would love to see her again. I cracked up and laughed so loud when you said your Daddy told you to go call TIME. Lawsy, I’d forgotten how we used to do that and probably would have never thought of it again. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. This post makes me smile. I so remember the Carol Burnett Show days. My daddy always let me stay up and watch Marcus Welby, M.D. I thought I was something to be able to stay up and watch TV with the adults! Thanks for bringing back fond memories of the good old days!

  4. The first or second year of my married life (67 or 68) we ran our clock ahead instead of “falling back,” which as you said had not become part of our time-language. We lived in Ripley, MS at the time (where I met my wife) and wondered as we motored through New Albany to Pontotoc that Sunday morning, why nobody had made it to church, as is was clearly time for church. We figured they must have all overslept and didn’t learn otherwise until we got to my parents in Pontotoc. Thanks goodness we learned to “spring forward and fall back.”

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