One on One With Heloise
Heloise, whose seven-days-a-week column is syndicated by King Features to more than 500 newspapers in 20 countries, has also written six books which have sold millions of copies. She is a contributing editor and writes a monthly column for Good Housekeeping magazine (“Speaker for the House/The Heloise Help Line”). A frequent guest on network and local talk shows, she is also a star attraction at conventions, fairs and on the lecture circuit.
She also devotes considerable time and energy on behalf of charitable organizations, making frequent appearances for the Shelter for Battered Women and the Lighthouse for the Blind. In 1991, the National Mental Health Association honored her with its first Mental Health Mission Award for her outstanding contribution to mental health education of the public through her column.
Heloise grew into her role as columnist at the knee of her legendary mother who began writing the first “Hints from Heloise” for the Honolulu Advertiser in 1959. Daughter quickly learned how to tackle problems that are common to everyday households and, while yet in her teens, worked full time during summer vacations on the increasingly popular column. Although she had set out to teach math, she decided after graduating from Southwest Texas State University that writing “Hints from Heloise” was what she really wanted to do.
Today the high-flying Texan pilots her own hot air balloon in her spare time and shares her life with a busy husband, David, a plumbing contractor who was one of the country’s first commercial balloonists.
Her home in Texas doubles as her base of operations. She has a staff of four who work full-time, sorting and filing the thousands of hints received each month. Her staff helps research and test new housekeeping tips before they are suggested to Heloise’s vast audience. When mail runs especially heavy (as it frequently does) the regular office staff if supplemented by as many as six part-time workers.
Heloise also enjoys spending time with her small zoo of animals which includes Savvi, a miniature schnauzer and Black Jack, a black Lab adoptee, as well as Fussy and Dollie,the cockatiels and Rocky, a military macaw. And, as she says, “I don’t own them, they own me, and I love it!”
While Heloise loves ballooning, she keeps her feet on the ground in every other way. She remains unspoiled by her own international fame, and takes media attention with “a whole box of salt.”
“Even better than flying,” says Heloise, “is cooking, which I enjoy most.” There’s a touch of Texas in her boast when she claims she can make something from nothing. “Always keep eggs on hand – you can make a million dishes with leftovers – and no one will know the difference,” she advises. But as another well-known Texan observed, ‘It ain’t boasting if you can do it.” And Heloise can!
People magazine called her “the world’s best-known housekeeper” and even though she wears the title well, she still says, “I’m not a fanatical housekeeping like most people may think. My philosophy is always to pick up the big chunks and keep things neat. No one is going to look inside your oven, heaven forbid! If they do, they deserve what they find!”