Marlboro County viewers of NBC’s Today show on Friday, January 19, were surprised to see Carolyn Wallace of Bennettsville appear in a conversation with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, co-anchors of the show.
The co-anchors went outside the studio to greet visitors and spotted Carolyn holding a sign signifying she had visited the NBC studios 60 years ago and had been in the audience for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar as host. And, she wanted to meet Hoda and Savannah this year.
Kotb visited with Carolyn on the air for several minutes, getting the full story on her previous visit to NBC. Wallace finished her interview with a plug for her hometown of Bennettsville.
Ringside with Carolyn were her daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Jamie Waters, and granddaughter, Mary Katherine, all of Lexington.
Grandson Conley and granddaughter Hannah Grace chose to sleep in at their Times Square hotel. All enjoyed this three day visit to New York, Carolyn’s Christmas present to her three grandchildren.
Hoda and Savannah were so intrigued with their visit with Carolyn, they invited her and her family to come inside and tour the studios.
It was there that Carolyn and her family were able to meet The Today Show regulars Al Roker, Carson Daly, and Craig Melvin, a native of Columbia and graduate of Wofford College, with whom Carolyn said they identified as Methodists.
Carolyn said other events her family enjoyed while in The Big Apple were seeing “Wicked” on Saturday night, visiting Ground Zero and the 911 Museum, going to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center), eating hot dogs in Central Park, and walking along Madison Avenue and Broadway.
It was cold, but they could stand it, she added.
Carolyn’s 60 year ago visit to NBC came in 1957 when she was traveling with the Bennettsville High School Band under the direction of Lawrence Atkins, who arranged for the group to visit New York City after a day in Washington, DC, and marching in the Miss America Parade and attending the Miss America Pageant at Atlantic City, NJ.
This opportunity presented itself after the BHS Band marched in the parade at Manning honoring Marian McKnight of Manning, the reigning Miss America.