Perhaps the best Christmas gifts are the ones you look forward to for months. That perfect thing that you just can’t wait to open or in some cases, use. Connie Coffelt, Tompkinsville, received just that this past Christmas with a gift from her daughter, Brittany Cain, also of Tompkinsville, that she was finally able to use on Feb. 27.
Why so long after Christmas, you may ask. Well, the gift was for an event, with a mother-daughter-girls-day thrown in. One might think, Cain, the mother of six children, would need a day of fun and a little get-a-way, even though she makes it look effortless. What better way to spend it than with the grandmother of the same children.
Cain’s husband, Eric purchases tickets for his father-in-law, Stanley, every Christmas to attend a University of Kentucky basketball game. Brittany and her mom usually go along, but this year she wanted something special for her mom that she knew she would really enjoy.
While Eric was online shopping for basketball tickets, he came across what Brittany knew would be the perfect thing. “Do you remember when you were little, and you went to your grandma’s during the summer or you stayed home from school sick? You knew you were going to be watching soap operas and ‘The Price is Right.’ Everyone loved ‘The Price is Right.’”
She continued, “My mama never does anything. I wanted to take her for something I knew she would enjoy. You can’t fly her anywhere because she will not fly, and I thought this would be perfect.”
The Price is Right is a popular day time game show from the 70s and 80s, hosted by Bob Barker, who Cain remembers fondly, “I loved Bob Barker. I cried when he left the show.” Drew Carey took over as host in 2007, with the longest running series in history continuing to be popular to this day. Contestants are chosen from the audience and compete in a variety of contests guessing prices of retail items.
Cain knew her mom would love this gift. She made her decision and purchased two tickets to the Traveling Price is Right Show, which would be in Louisville, at The Plaza Theater in just a few short months from Christmas.
Cain noted that the traveling show is different from the actual show filmed in California, with fewer games and different hosts. Yet the hosts are always different and always someone famous.
The show is known for its catchphrase, “Come on Down,” which is how contestants are announced. So of course, Connie needed a “Come on Down” t-shirt. She proudly wore a Kentucky Blue shirt with a silver outlined map of Kentucky reading “Come on Down” across the middle.
Cain and her mom arrived early but were still met by a very long line of around 2,500 other ticket holders. She and her mom were separated and asked a few questions. Then they were given name tags which were placed in a wheel. Random contestants were drawn from the wheel, which is a little different from the TV show.
They were seated in the audience and awaiting the start of the show when another icon of the 70s and 80s appeared on stage to welcome them and other potential contestants. Giving the introduction was none other than Barry Williams who played Greg Brady in the series “The Brady Bunch.”
Brady explained that the host of the stage show is not Drew Carey but promised it would be someone they would all recognize and enjoy. Cain says she was speechless, and her heart was racing as she waited to hear the name Williams would announce.
Mark Walberg was another idol from Cain’s younger years. She couldn’t believe it and her mom, well she didn’t know who that was. “I was so excited. I told her who he was, I was like you know, Marky Mark!”
Unfortunately for Cain, it was not the Marky Mark of her teenage dreams but the Mark Walberg of Antique Roadshow fame. While disappointed, Cain said she really enjoyed his humor, saying he was extremely funny.
In the end, neither generation of women were picked to be on the show but they both enjoyed interacting with the ones who were. “If we had been picked, we would have definitely won. We had been talking strategy all day and we were ready. A lot of them up there, maybe they were just nervous, but they could have done a lot better.”
The ladies had a great day together and while Connie noted she had a lot of fun, she said in the future she would rather stay home and watch the show on tv. “It was a great experience, noted Cain, even just seeing the Plaza. It was beautiful and full of so much detailed art. It was a great day.”
What will Brittany do next Christmas to top this gift? She’s not sure yet, but she knows one thing for certain… the “retail price” of the quality time spent together with her mom was better than any $10,000 spin of the big wheel.