Friday, December 2, 2016
The Sad Story Of Betty Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The story of Betty Williams was one o the more recent ID programs I had seen to move me, because it was genuinely tragic, and I was not at all familiar with it. With "Cold Case," in the back of my mind, it reminded me less of "The Sleepover" and more of "That Woman." Both episodes, incidentally written by Liz W. Garcia.
"That Woman," set in more recent times than Betty Williams', told the story of Carrie Swett, a girl with a flamboyant non-conformist approach to life, who, to fit in, joined the Hearts Can Wait Club. This was a group of youth, who practiced sexual abstinence, until marriage. Good luck, there, darlings! As it turned out, nothing was what in seemed, because, in a scene that seemed right out of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," Carrie was stoned to death by her club members, to keep quiet the fact that none of them practiced what was preached. Though once Carrie joined, she did.
Betty Williams was the Carrie Swett of her day--1961. And in the town of Odessa, Texas, which sounds straight out of "The Last Picture Show." If Betty had been smart, she would have high tailed it out of there, on a bus. Just like Janis Joplin!!!!!!!!!!!!
She was a flashy dresser, and she liked the boys---and they liked her back. But only for the moment. And Betty always wanted something more lasting. Noble intentions, but the age and hormonal levels of the boys were against her, then. And she was a young girl, so how could she know that?
But Betty had dreams; she wanted to leave Odessa--smart--and go to college, and major in Theater. Hey, it would have taken her somewhere. And Betty was not dumb; she had the grades and more, for college. She was also active in the Drama Club, and so were some of the boys she frolicked with. Now, this is pretty amazing; a Drama Club, with so many straight guys????????? Well, it was Odessa, Texas, some might say. Mack Herring was captain of the football team, and he acted in plays. But I have to wonder how many turned out to be just big old closet cases. The thing is, if any of these guys had come out to Betty, she would have been the one to be fine with it. Had Betty left Odessa, she certainly would have been gay friendly.
Time and place did Betty in. The year 1961 was still operating on the conformist code of the Fifties, and Odessa was super conservative. When Mack Herring called it quits with her, it hurt her more than folks realized, And when her parents, especially her father, found out about her flamboyance--by reading her diary, which was one mistake Betty made, leaving it on view--he laid down the law, condemning her to practically a life of spinsterhood or housewifery, with nothing more than a job behind a notions counter! What a sexist pig!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This just ruined Betty, tail spinning her into deep depression. She began asking people to kill her; it became common knowledge, but no one really thought she was serious. But she was. With no vision of the future--so typical of the young--she thought her life was not worth living. Finally, she worked on her former boy friend, Mack Herring, who, on the night of March 20, 1961, drove her 26 miles out of town near a lake, gun in tow, and pulled the trigger--to make Betty happy.
Oh, really, Mack? And what was going on in your head? Dumb jock; instead of driving to kill Betty, you should have driven her to the nearest bus headed for New York, or at least to a shrink, to get help. Where did you end up, man????? Prison????? Good for you, you sicko thing, you!
It is said at various times of day, or night, and in certain locations, Betty's ghost still haunts the high school. I hope she haunts Mack!!!!!!!!!! If he is still alive!
Poor Betty! Like Carrie Swett and Rita Baxter, the social populace of the day just couldn't let her be.
Same with two real life examples--Tyler Clementi and Daniel Fitzpatrick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!