LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- For anyone who grew up watching the children's show called "Hatchy Milatchy" on WNEP-TV, Miss Judy played a big part of their childhood
She was played for ages by Lois Burns who is now enjoying her retirement.
It's been some time since Lois Burns was a staple in homes all across our area. She played Miss Judy on Hatchy Milatchy, the children's show that aired on WNEP for more than a quarter of a century. She's now enjoying her retirement and joining us for few holes of golf at Sleepy Hollow in Lackawanna County.
Lois' "Miss Judy" was one of the key parts in the wildly successful children's show, the kind of show that sticks with you into adulthood and makes you remember the wonder you felt as a child tuning in to see what Miss Judy was doing on any given day.
"The thing I get most from people who used to watch when they were little and enjoyed it is, 'I'm so sorry my children don't have something like that to watch,'" Lois said.
Hatchy Milatchy went off the air in the late 1980s after delivering children's programming and stoking kids' imaginations for an entire generation.
Looking back, Lois had a very simple mission and by all accounts, with the help of everyone who worked on Hatchy Milatchy, that mission was accomplished.
"That's the thing you always wanted the children to know: that each and every one of them were important in their own right."
These days, Lois golfs, travels, and even plays and teaches the card game bridge, certainly a change of pace from the live, unscripted Hatchy Milatchy program that ran five days a week on WNEP-TV for a very long while.
"I think the secret is you just have to keep moving. You can't sit down and wait," said Lois.
That was always the case with Miss Judy, it seemed. When the camera was on, she was "on" for the children, and it brought the best out in many of us.
Even though the times have changed, Lois Burns still cares about children as they face challenges that didn't exist 30 years ago when Hatchy Milatchy was around.
"Our children are growing up too quickly, and there's nobody who I think makes them feel special. You know, we live in this digital age. And it's so easy to feel lost."
The combination of Miss Judy's charisma and Hatchy Milatchy's "make believe" is credited with helping children find their way for all those years and for Lois Burns, that's mighty nice.
"Back when we were doing this, every child was important and hopefully they knew that."