And as outlined in yesterday’s Star Magazine by Cindy Hoedel, one of actress Carol Barta‘s first roles here was playing the Fairy Princess at Kline’s department store in downtown Kansas City. The year was 1956 and Barta, then 19, was living at home and yet to secure a full time boyfriend.
She landed the low-paying, part time gig based on her looks and the fact that she already owned a fairy princess-like dress. At that point in time it wasn’t so much of a contest as it is now, she says.
“It wasn’t like it is today where the girls vie for this almost like it’s a contest,” Barta says. “They have to have certain credentials like good grades and they have to have done some community service. And they don’t get paid.”
Today’s Fairy Princesses work at the Kansas City Museum or Zona Rosa mall.
“Former museum director Christopher Leitch and I very loosely formed a Fairy Princess alumnae organization a few years ago,” Barta says. “Because as I said to him, why should the Botars have all the fun? But not that many Fairy Princesses came forth – maybe a dozen – and most of them were recent. Most of them are in their 20s.
“And I was not the oldest Fairy Princess, but unfortunately, the oldest one died this past year, so now I’m the oldest.”
No squabbling, rude parents or pushy, spoiled kids.
“It’s not like it is now,” Barta says. “But it’s still a lovely experience and it reminds you that kindness still exists, but you have to be in the company of the Fairy Princess to see it.”
While Barta’s rein was short and the pay sucked, it lead to a gig on KUDL AM.
“I got the opportunity to go to KUDL as a copy writer and I did,” she says. “Then one day my boss came in and said, ‘I’ve got this great idea.’ And I became the KUDL weather girl.
“My name was Kuddles – that was my on-air handle- and I was supposed to sound sexy. It was the beginning of having weather girls rather than just weather men. So I was one of Kansas City’s first weather hotties. I think that can be said. I don’t know if there were any other weather girls at that time, but there weren’t that many stations in Kansas City back in 1957.”