COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Some would probably call her Columbus’ version of Mister Rogers, but the star of a wildly popular WTVM children’s show is a Columbus celebrity all on her own.
Patsy Avery spent more than a decade at the helm of “Miss Patsy’s Playhouse” in the 1960s.
Miss Patsy herself returned to the station recently to film a PSA for COVID-19, but spent some time catching up with News Leader 9.
“Hi, I’m Patsy Avery. You may remember me from ’Miss Patsy’s Playhouse’ on WTVM.”
Throughout the 1960s, this local kids’ show was popular across the Chattahoochee Valley, but Miss Patsy will tell you she did not set out to host a children’s show.
“A friend of mine called and said that Channel 9 had an opening for a weather girl. I went down there and I was on the air the next day,” said Avery.
That was in 1958 and just a year later, “Miss Patsy’s Playhouse” was born.
“I am so grateful the Lord put us in Columbus, Georgia, that he gave me that show. And it gave a purpose to my life that I can’t say thank you to the Lord enough,” said Miss Patsy.
From puppets and live interviews to the kids who flocked to see her, Miss Patsy was a household name.
While her popularity grew, so did her family. She and her husband Lynn Avery had four children at the time.
But in life, all good things come to an end and so did her show after 11 years.
“I don’t want to go back to work because now we have six children. I quit with four children and I quit with the world’s best job, so I’m not looking for a job, but I want a purpose. Do you know I subbed in the school for maybe 20 years?”
Since her husband passed away about five years ago, she now enjoys her time with her kids and grandkids who keep her busy, but every now and then, she’s reminded of the past.
“I went to the doctor last week and the woman next to me said, ’I was on your show.’ and I said, ’You’re not old enough!’” Miss Patsy laughed.
Miss Patsy shared her age, which she says she never does, so we’ll keep that to ourselves, but she wants everyone to know she still has a zeal for life and is now focused on one of her first loves.
“I’ve got to paint because if the Lord gives you a gift and you don’t use it, I’m going to paint.”
And a colorful life she’s had, a wonderful marriage, family and career that she’ll never forget.
“I’m Miss Patsy. I always say don’t call me Mrs. Avery, that’s too formal. I’m Miss Patsy.”
So if you ever run into her, remember, don’t call her Mrs. Avery.