God Bless The Good ol’ South

MI crooked letter, crooked letter I, crooked letter, crooked letter I, hump back, hump back I. Mississippi is only state I can spell with ease since there is an unforgettable way to spell its name.

My impression of spending a week in Vicksburg made an indelible mark on my memory. The week was spent doing my favorites things….laughing, eating, laughing, eating, and watching extraordinary young women compete for the title of Miss America…….I mean they were all Miss America material.

We stayed in a casino/hotel compete with the continuous sounds of slot machines being played 24-7. I believe Vicksburg was made famous from the Wa-wah but I saw another type of wa-wah in the lobby and I almost had my own private wa-wah in the elevator with an UMW (unidentified mad woman) on Saturday night…..God love her.

I was in awe of the production done par-excel-lance by the one and only Mallory Graham.

I told edgy stories and blamed it on my mother…she would be proud.

I learned a great deal about Mississippi interviewing the 45 contestants. There is one word that shakes the innerds of Mississippians…..football. When asked questions about players, coaches, games, etc., these ladies got a glazed-over look on their faces. The next words out of their mouths would have astonished Bobby Bowden and the late Frank Howard. They knew details of details. It was amazing.

Before one contestant walked into interview, one of the judges said, “You know she is the captain of the Dixie Darlings.” There was a hush in the room. I did not know what to expect. Did I need to practice my curtsy? Maybe I need to speak only when spoken to! It was explained to me at University of Southern Mississippi a ka-zillion girls try-out but few make it. It is like royalty.

I Googled Dixie Darlings and they have their own newsletter, Myspace and a massive alumni association. They award the “Dixie Darling of the Year” and sign their letters, HUGS and KICKS. I think they would put our Tiger Twirler to shame.

We crowned a beautiful young woman Miss Mississippi and all 45 ladies had knock-out swimsuit figures, great talents and fabulous gowns. The television production was amazing.

One of most impressive parts of my experience was the lovely manners and sweet Southern Belles who spoke to the judges after the pageant.

Fellow judge, Dr. Myra is a former Miss Mississippi and second-runner up to Miss America. Not bad for a beautiful, young, Mississippi girl to become a New York, cancer specialist with a focus on breast cancer. Myra and husband, Paul are such a wonderful couple who are living the dream. Myra is what the Miss America Program is all about.

Mississippi is the hospitality state and proven many times by our hosts and hostesses. My fellow judges will agree it is the state of the pageant’s theme…..a land of many Kings and Queens.

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