Crowning Ms. Senior Citizen
Leada Gore, Editor
One of my most vivid memories as a young reporter was being asked to judge the county’s Senior Citizen Beauty Pageant. I was one of three judges, all of whom thought we would spend the afternoon with some sweet, grandmotherly types and get lots of hugs and kisses and maybe even a homemade pie or two.
There were some grandmotherly types. And then there were some grandmothers who didn’t look like grandmothers at all, not unless you think Christy Brinkley looks like a grandmother.
The pageant included all the regular segments, such as interview, talent and evening gown. The first event was interview. One by one, the ladies came to the stage and answered some questions, usually about their hobbies or grandchildren.
My favorite answer was from a 94-year old lady who said she volunteered at the Senior Center because she “liked working with old people.” I assume she meant the really old people, such as those 95 and older. The grandmothers all had sweet answers, except the Christy Brinkley Super Grandmother who said her hobbies were waterskiing and skydiving.
I think I saw a few of the participants roll their eyes when she said that.
The next segment was talent. One lovely lady played the ukulele and sang “You Are My Sunshine.” I liked her a lot, especially since I knew she owned the local fruit stand and could probably make a mean pie. Several other ladies played the piano – hymns were a big favorite – and one read a lovely poem.
And Super Grandma? She did a tap dance routine, complete with leotard and top hat. She ended the performance by doing the splits. This woman defied age and, in many ways we shall discuss later, gravity.
The final segment of the competition was evening gown. The ladies all looked beautiful, wearing their finest Sunday church dresses. There was chiffon and silk and enough pearls to kill off an entire oyster bed. Then, out walks Super Granny in a full-length sequin dress that, shall we say, left little to the imagination. She had a figure most 20-year-olds would die for.
The ladies left the stage to wait for the judge’s decision.
Super Grandma didn’t win that day. We picked the ukulele player. Her family was so proud, they made her wear her crown out to lunch. You could tell Super Grandma wasn’t happy. I guess she thought she was a shoo-in. She should have known, however, that a good blueberry pie will beat out silicone any day of the week.