When Betty Owens, 85, and her daughter, Marilyn Williams, 66, start talking about court shows on TV, it's clear they are big fans.
Judge Wapner's "The People's Court," "Judge Judy," "Judge Karen," "Judge Mathis" and more, they've watched them all, but always on a TV screen. Next week, they will get to see the "Judge Mathis" show live.
The Fort Wayne Urban League, where Williams works as a receptionist, will make the trip possible. A staff member made arrangements for Owens and Williams to attend the show June 21 and will drive them to and from Chicago, where the program is recorded.
The show airs locally at 10 a.m. weekdays on WFFT, Channel 55.1.
The social-service organization looks at the trip as way to do something good for an elder in the community, said Jonathan Ray, local Urban League president and CEO. Similarly, Ray said the Urban League gathered volunteers early this year to help clean up the yard of an elderly man who had been notified by the city that he had to clean up the property or the city would hire a contractor to do it and put a lien on the property for the expense.
Owens said she has been watching the "Judge Mathis" show for about three years.
"He's fair, and his sense of humor," she said while explaining what she enjoys about the show. "And he tells it like it is. It is just a joy to watch."
The show's judge and star is Greg Mathis, who grew up in Detroit and is a former Michigan District Court judge.
Attending a taping of the show will give them a chance to see how it is filmed, said Owens, who was born and raised in Chicago. She lived in Niles, Mich., for 30 years before moving to Fort Wayne about two years ago to be closer to Williams.
She and Williams also hope they get to meet Mathis.
"Maybe we can shake his hand or something," Owens said.