From One Local Legend to Another

Ebby is one of those names that needs no last name for clarification.

Think Mary Kay, Cher, Dubya, Elvis, Madonna, Oprah, Prince, Shaq. You get the point.

So as we approached this Dallas real estate mogul's 100th birthday, we thought it appropriate that she be interviewed by broadcasting royalty to mark the occasion.

Bobbie Wygant, like Ebby, has paved the way for women in her field.

She started at KXAS-TV, which was then WBAP, in 1948 and quickly became known for the way she connected with celebrities. From Bob Hope to Jane Fonda to Gwyneth Paltrow to Charlton Heston to Matt Damon, Bobbie has interviewed just about every notable newsmaker.

Except Ebby Halliday.

I was honored to be in the room when the two Texas powerhouses met for the first time.

For decades, the two ladies had been in the same room but had never really spent time together. You could tell both Ebby and Bobbie were eager to meet and instantly smitten.

"I've had to wait 100 years," said Bobbie, as Ebby walked into the boardroom at Ebby Halliday's headquarters in Dallas.

"And in between, you certainly interviewed more important people, like Bob Hope," Ebby said.

Conversation came easy for the two.

"We are both widows. My husband died in 1986. We were married 38 years and you and Maurice had been married 28 years," Bobbie said.

Both women never had children, but mentored many young people through the years.

Both broke major barriers for women in their fields and, today, run circles around many in the younger set.

"I have a trainer three times a week," Ebby said.

Both changed their names. Bobbie was born Roberta Frances Connolly, and Ebby was born Vera Lucille Koch.

The two, certainly not short on life experiences, told me that this meeting was different.

Near the end of their meeting, Ebby signed a copy of her book for Bobbie and read it aloud.

"To Bobbie: I feel so honored to have been interviewed by you. And I do," she said.

Bobbie, visibly touched, said, "Thank you very much. That touches me. Thank you."

As our crew packed up, we noticed the two had disappeared down the hall. I went with our photographer, Steve Stewart, to find them.

Ebby had picked up her ukulele and was singing a song to Bobbie.

"I've been interviewed by Bobbie Wygant, an honor, woo woo!"

Bobbie was clapping her hands and stomping a foot.

You would have thought the two had known each other for, well, 100 years.

Contact Us