While cleaning out some old scan files, I came across these pictures. Wow time flies! The first is of me when I was Rigby's Jr. Miss. I was 17 years old in this picture. This picture brings back so many memories! I loved Jr. Miss, and all of my friends who competed in it. In fact, it was my friends who convinced me that I should do Jr. Miss in the first place. I remember thinking that I didn't have a chance at winning...but that just motivated me to work hard and practice all the routines and my talent piece extra hard every single day. I interviewed myself in front of mirrors, and would walk all over the house in my heels so that I was comfortable in them on stage. So when the final night came, I felt so prepared that I just went out on stage and had a blast. That's when I think I realized how much I enjoyed performing on stage. And this is when I was Miss Idaho 1997, just a few years after being Jr. Miss. This year, Miss America was trying to get away from the "beauty queen" image, so they asked all of the contestants to have their official pictures taken without their crowns on. I suppose holding a crown, rather than wearing it makes a difference....to...somebody. I loved that color of lipstick for on-stage. It was called "Siren." Andy proposed to me while I was Miss Idaho, and so we had an 8 month engagement. I was very busy, and he was very patient! I'll have to dig up some more of my pageant photos and post them later.
My favorite part of being Miss Idaho was being with the school kids. I loved visiting the classrooms and talking to each of the children in the classroom. On my very last school "appearance" as we called them, I was walking out of the school to go home when I noticed this little girl just sitting on the sidewalk. I sat down by her and asked her what she was doing. She told me she was waiting for her mommy to come and pick her up. (My, how times have changed! No child would be allowed to be outside the school alone today!) Anyway, I asked her if I could just wait with her and she said yes. So we sat there and looked at ants crawling in and out of the sidewalk cracks. I was wearing my favorite royal blue business suit and crown, and she was in shorts and a t-shirt. She asked if she could wear my crown, so I pinned it on her head and she wore it until her mom came to get her. I don't remember her name...but I remember liking the feeling of making that little girl feel special because "Miss Idaho" talked to her and let her wear her crown. On my drive back home to my host family (the Bucks) house, I cried because I knew that that little moment with that little girl was my very last one with a school child as Miss Idaho. It was a great way to end. My year was filled with moments like that one, and I loved it.