Lacey Fitzgerald - Miss Missouri 2009
I also had the opportunity that year to judge the American Co-Ed Pageant in St. Louis. The 12 year old girl that won grew up to represent Missouri in the Miss America Pageant this year. Lacey Fitzgerald. Even at 12 I can remember how dynamic she was in interview! That year I met another great lady whom I still love and miss dearly. Eugenia Scantlin. I wish I had a photo of the beautiful, glamorous Eugenia. Unfortunately, I don't but I'm sure you know here daughter - Melana. Melana was Miss Teen Missouri USA that year, went on to be Miss Missouri USA and was on the television show Average Joe. She also was the youngest Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader and announces for the Chiefs games.
Beautiful girl and her mama is just as beautiful. And soooo much fun! I've lost touch with Eugenia and some of my other pageant friends but just the memories of the good times we've had together makes me smile!
I have many friends that I still keep in touch with left over from my pageant days.
Aime (Rinehart) Cohen was Miss Missouri USA the same year I was Mrs. Missouri.
I first met her when she competed in the Miss America system. She consistently placed in the top ten. The year she competed for Miss Missouri USA she won and I ended up being her personal assistant and traveled with her. She essentially loaned me her competition wardrobe to wear at Mrs. America! How cool is that?!? Now she is married with a family of her own and we still keep in touch. She is one of my best friends and I talk to her and see her as often as I can, but not near as much as I'd like.
Sonya Wise - Mrs. Missouri 1999
Sonya was my 2nd runner-up. She took a short break from competing and came back and won the pageant in 1999. However, I knew Sonya before then. I've known her for over 20 years - and although she still lives 'back home' - yes, another hillbilly debutante, we talk at least once a week and she's even been here to Virginia to visit me! And - ahem! - keeps promising another visit.Laurett Arenz - Mrs. America 2001
Laurett was Mrs. Virginia when she won Mrs. America. About a year after I moved here I was the Fashion Director for a modeling agency and I was Laurett's agent. It really is a small world, isn't it? She's a truly nice woman and very hard worker. I wish all of my models and actors had been as hard-working and reliable as she was.
So, you see - all those feminists who talk about how pageants 'exploit' women - I just don't see it that way. And while it's not for everyone, pageants were a wonderful experience for me that opened lots of doors. I miss the comraderieship and the glamour! But I will always treasure the lasting friendships I made along the way. So much for the stories of sabotage and destruction. And while I'm sure stuff like that does go on, I (thank God) never experienced it.
Plus, if I can dispel any 'hillbilly girl' stereotypes along the way, I'm only happy to oblige!
Thank you for letting this old 'has-been' reminisce for a while. Shhh...I think they're playing my song!
There she is.....Miss America...
There she is... your ideal....