Readers Respond to Column on WJHL Radio’s Princess Pet

Several months ago, I wrote a column about a delightful early Saturday morning children’s program over WJHL radio from about 1951 to 1953 titled, “The Adventures of Princess Pet.” The sponsor of the 111 episode series was Pet Dairy Products.

The company also published two 36-page color and black and white booklets with the same name. The main characters were the lovely young ruler, her Royal Highness Princess Pet, Pet Brown Mule and Pet Brown Bear. They lived in the yummy Land of the Ice Cream Star. I asked my readers to drop me a note if they remembered this long-ago juvenile series. I received four e-mails.

The first respondent was Carolyn Wilcox who wrote “I fondly remember Princess Pet, Pet Brown Mule, and Pet Brown Bear from the old radio show.  In fact, my mother ordered me one of the storybooks, which I think was called ‘Princess Pet and the Ice Cream Mountain.’ I can still visualize Princess Pet, Pet Brown Mule, and Pet Brown Bear looking at that ice cream mountain, and me wishing that I was there too. I believe Princess Pet lost a gold bracelet in this story.” 

Another reply came from Linda Morgan who indicated she still owned her Princess Pet storybook, saying it looked just like the one shown in the newspaper: “I don't remember listening to the show but I must have since I have the book.  I would have been four years old when it started in 1951. I called my cousin to see if she remembered it; her memory was of the Foremost Dairy show on WJHL-TV. If you saved labels from Foremost Milk products, you could get a secret code card and then receive secret messages through the show.”

“Sonny” Garland added his remembrances of the program: “Princess Pet brings back some of the fondest memories I had as a child. In 1950 when our family visited my sister who was 16 years my senior in Pennsylvania, my brother-in-law, “Uncle Charlie,” gave me a small portable AC/DC radio. It had a battery almost as big as the radio itself. To my horror I left the radio in the train station in Harrisburg. But to my good fortune the radio was found and mailed back to Tennessee.

“On Saturday mornings mom would let me stay in bed and listen to the kids’ shows that were on WJHL. If my memory is correct Princess Pet was on early; then my favorite “Big John and Sparky” came on. Seems like I could “see” every move they made in the radio. Years later I always watched for them to come on TV, but they never did.

“My Saturdays would be perfect if, later that day, I could go with a friend to the Capital Theater in Erwin to see an action packed adventure of cowboy star Allan “Rocky” Lane.” The icing on the cake would be if the Three Stooges were showing that same day, all for the admission price of nine cents. It never entered our minds that these would become the good old days. Take care and keep up the good work.”  

Finally, Dora Wheeler expressed her pleasure at finding the Princess Pet article on the Heritage/History page:What a nice surprise to read in the Monday morning paper about something I listened to when I was 10 and 11 years old. I remember the program very well. I also have both volumes of the books you mentioned in your column. By the looks of them now, you can tell I read them a lot back then. That’s been 56 years ago since I enjoyed every program. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the article. It brought back many memories.”

Thanks to Carolyn, Linda, Sonny and Dora for sharing some cherished reflections of yesteryear.