BL:. There She ISn’t any more… Miss America

    Miss America
    BobLee
    June07/ 2018

    BLS Header.

    BL: There She Isn’t … any more… Miss America

    I knew if I was patient it would pay off… and sure enough. Amid the 24/7 carpet-bombing by “the media” of anything remotely TRUMP there arose a genuine “News Story”. Actually TWO genuine “news stories”.

    • The last living Munchkin isn’t living any more (LINK)… and

    • The Miss America Pageant isn’t a “pageant” any more and… there will be no swimsuit competition at The Miss America Whatever It Is. – LINK.

    At least they didn’t have Roger Goodell make either announcement.  Roger doesn’t do well “making announcements”.

    I purposely waited 36 hours to offer my thoughts on this pivotal moment in American history. The Miss America thing… not the departed Munchkin. Although has there ever been a time in our nation’s history when we needed a munchkin more than now?

    No word yet on whether the Philadelphia Eagles will attend the Munchkin’s funeral… or if they will “kneel” at the playing of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.

    .

    NOTE: At some point there were two “last living Munchkins”. Surely they both knew that only “THE last Munchkin” was going to be celebrated. The “next-to-last living Munchkin” was doomed to anonymity if “being a Munchkin” could ever be anonymous.

    Imagine being a 90 year old non-Munchkin midget and going through the past 70 years having to say “No, I was NOT a Munchkin… or in the circus. I am a systems analyst for IBM.” And seeing the disappointment on children’s’ faces.

    .

    So in the past 36 hours have you uttered your zinger on the vapidness of “pretty girls with big hair and really white teeth determined to make The World a better place “by opening a chain of baton-twirling studios in the inner cities…”?

    Without Mr. Google… I can name six “former Miss Americas”… Bess Myerson – Phyllis George – Lee Meriwether – Vanessa Williams – Maria Beale Fletcher – and Gretchen Carlson. Maybe Mary Ann Mobley but I’m not sure about her. How many could you have named before I named all the obvious ones?

    Vanna White was NOT a Miss America, of course, but is probably more famous today for doing “former Miss America-type stuff” than any of them.

    I remember Lee Meriweather because she “made an appearance” at Greene’s TV & Appliance Store in Kinston and I got a signed 8×10 glossy. Maria Beale Fletcher

    Maria Beale Fletcher was Miss North Carolina 1962 which is why I remember her. She was from Asheville.

    Surely every Baby Boomer remembers if “Miss Your State” wins… unless “Your State” is Texas or Mississippi which have had way too many MA’s to keep track of.

    At its height of popularity, Miss America pageants were as fiercely competitive among rival states as The Olympics.  If “Your State’s Miss” didn’t make it… you screamed Crooked Judges !!!.  Wonder if “East German Judges” ever worked Miss America?

    The Miss America Pageant started in 1921 to promote Atlantic City. But it arguably reached its Hey Day in the 60s – AKA When Baby Boomer America was at its zenith.

    For us “Boomers” the Miss America Pageant was MUST SEE TV as much as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, I Love Lucy and The Lawrence Welk Show.Bert Parks

    Sure, Bert Parks was sorta creepy but there was so much goodness and sugary sweetness about the whole darn thing that we could momentarily forget about “The Cold War”… JFK’s Assassination … exploding Pintos … and how they would fit 50 stars on “The Flag”.

    I can do dozens of snarky zingers about how corny the whole thing is/was, but I’ll let others do that.  “Corny” is not all bad…

    The late 50s to mid 60s were “Good Times” for middle-class America. OK, middle-class White America. I’m not sure how many RCA Victor TVs over in “East Kinston” were tuned in to Bert & The Beauties back then. Probably not too many.

    Viet Nam and Haight-Asbury came along and I’m not sure Miss America was ever quite the same. The Ester Williams swimsuits finally gave way to “bikinis” (Hubba Hubba) and Ol’ Bert himself eventually gave way to a series of toothy Gary Collins-types.

    Atlantic City became so run-down scary that “the pageant” moved. Even the doomed plan to turn AC into Vegas-East failed to do much to revitalize that swamp. Our family visited in the early 60s and I recall salt water taffy and “the diving horse”.

    Remember that annual picture of the 50 contestants lined up “on the Boardwalk” for their group picture?

    All of them with their “portable hair dryers” of course.

    I rather suspect there was both “hanky” and “panky” going on “behind the scenes” from Day One because that’s just how we as humans are hard-wired. Surely there were lecherous judges as well as skanky gals “back then”.

    Do you recall where you were when you learned that Vanessa Williams AKA “The first black MA” had posed for “dirty pictures”? Vanessa had to relinquish her crown but they gave it to another black girl because… well, just because.

    As there been a Lesbian MA… yet? Has there / will there be “a Trany MA”?

    I don’t recall when “it” stopped being MUST SEE TV for me. Probably in the early-mid 70s.  I REALLY stopped watching when they did away with the “fire-batons twirlers”.  Cello players can’t compare to a fire baton twirler… on a unicycle.

    In 1970 what we know as The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders made their debut. If one’s interest in watching Miss America was primarily for prurient purposes… the DCCs were even more better.

    The DCCs were basically the same gals but without the goofy evening gowns and dopey questions… and in spandex.

    “Beauty pageants” in general have fallen into the realm of stand-up comedy routines what with the rabid “pageant moms” and all the “wink, wink, giggle, giggle” regarding the aforementioned “hanky panky”.

    It was inevitable… sigh, sob, sniff.

    This week’s announcement regarding “no more swimsuits” was hardly OMG-worthy. That the “pageant” will now be “a competition” for young women to blah blah yadda yadda whatever is only BIG NEWS because “the media” can take a few giant leaps and blame it on “Donald You Know Who” somehow. …and CNN’s Brian Stelter gets all tingly saying “girls in bikinis” on-air.

    I suspect “they” will try to blame POTUS DT for the Last Munchkin’s death too.

    I’ve outlived the entire Cartwright Family, Lucy & Ricky (and Fred & Ethel), Matt Dillon & Miss Kitty, Lawrence Welk… and now all The Munchkins. OUCH!

    Red Schoendienst died yesterday. … and Kate Spade hung herself. OK, that last one had very little emotional impact on me.

    “Miss America” will go on as whatever-it-is. Yawn… Both warring sides in America’s Bitter Cultural War stopped yelling at one another for five minutes this week to ponder that reality… then commenced to yelling again.

    QUESTION For Boomer Guys:

    Which of the following do you recall most “fondly”:

    “Miss Kitty” … “Jeannie” … “Annette” … “Ginger” … “MaryAnn” ?

    …or, if you were into comic books – Betty or Veronica?

    .

    ######

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    BobLee
    • Doug Reply
      1 week ago

      Reply to Keith Spence:

      It’s going to get a lot more interesting than that. There are over 118 claimed genders as of 2018. Reading the “list” is a hoot.

      https://www.quora.com/How-many-genders-are-there-in-2018

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        Seems like only last month there were only 30-40 …

    • Keith Spence Reply
      1 week ago

      Just a matter of time now before it becomes the Mr/Miss America pageant – with contestants competing as either male, female, or both – according to how they identify at the time

    • DM Carpenter Reply
      1 week ago

      Response to above:

      She was a panelist on I’ve Got A Secret, and she was fetching, but Betsy Palmer was also a panelist, and Betsy had more WOW. Old reruns are broadcast on the BUZZR network. (Old TV is much more enjoyable than the new programs, but that is not much of an accomplishment.)

    • DM Carpenter Reply
      1 week ago

      I am two years outside of the Boomer window, so I will go ‘off list’, Julie Newmar as Catwoman.

      Bess Myerson, didn’t she end up in politics and have a scandal of some sort in NY? She is most fetching on the What’s My Line reuns, or was it To Tell The Truth?

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        I only recall Bess opening appliances on some late 50s quiz show… but maybe a panelist too ??

    • Doug Reply
      1 week ago

      RE: BL post of CNR comments…
      .
      There is always a thread connecting people if one searches long enough. Red and my dad were both born in 1923. Dad would have turned 95 next week. As teenagers both worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the New Deal. Dad served in the CCC at White Lake, NC and for years would tell tales of that experience to his children. Red almost lost an eye during his time with the CCC in Illinois. CNR can probably explain as good as anyone how he overcame that injury and became a lifetime .289 hitter and a Hall of Famer in the Big Leagues.

    • Ken B Reply
      1 week ago

      RE: BL post of CNR comments
      .
      Thanks again to CNR for the memories of Cincinnati and Crosley field, the Terrace in right field. If a youngster wore his knothole uniform, he got to sit in right field bleacher seats for 50 cents. The Central YMCA and the indoor running track located above the the basketball court. The last time I was at the YMCA< it cost 50cents to play all day and included a towel for your shower. (mid 50's). So many things/people he speaks about, I remember well. Frank Selvy, London/ Corbin airport, Laurel Lake and river were part of scenery when landing as well as rolling hills. Thanks for letting me remember and share.

    • Lakepacker Reply
      1 week ago

      I saw Gretchen Carlson on the news proclaim that the ratings would “soar” based on the changes. I completely agree. We should all look forward to seeing these highly intelligent young ladies answer lengthy questions about the future of the world as we know it or many assume we know. This could change the face of humanity. Another thought. To be pc, can young men now enter since it is not about the bodies?

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        Vegas oddsmakers are predicting a Lesbian “New MA” within 3 years… with a Trany MA following within another 2 years. Other mini-genders will follow in their turn.

    • Former96Heel Reply
      1 week ago

      Seriously BobLee, you need to get CNR to write a memoir. He’s the Forrest Gump of sports.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        Actually he “has” … he has spent much of the past ten years chronicling his remarkable life journey and all its fascinating intersections.
        .
        He has never confirmed my belief that “he held the ladder while Dr Naismith hung that peach basket in the Springfield YMCA”… BUT he has also never denied it either. 🙂

    • TheCowdog Reply
      1 week ago

      Yep. Red passed on. Can you imagine 76 years of baseball life’s work?

      #Note. Just read a missive from Coach, sooo….

      All I gotta say now is suicides bum me out, I always dug, and still do, munchkins, and Betty Rubble was a dreamboat.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        I imagine “Red” was much like my late dear friend Clyde King… lifelong “baseball men” with whom time spent was Solid Gold just listening to stories and sage wisdom…
        .
        Yes to Betty Rubble.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      I received this earlier today (Thurs) from “Coach” / CNR re: his dear friend – Red Schoendienst…
      .
      .
      Mr. Jimmy Brown, Mr. Marty Marion, Mr. Stan Musial, Mr. Frank Crespi, and Mr. “Red” Schoendienst were my mentors in St. Louis. they are all gone now leaving this earth much poorer. Many days, especially during my prep school days in Madison, Tommy would take me and several other boys up the river to Cincinnati for Cardinal weekends. We would sleep at the Central YMCA on Central Avenue next to the West End Crosleu Field. We would swim, and play basketball. Most of our fee time was spent at the Netherland Plaza where we would eat with Marty, “Red”, and Stan for breakfast and lunch. After dinner we would attend a movie or sit around the lobby listening to our “friends” discuss baseball with St. Louis families over for the series. My how times have changed. Where was Harry Carey? Out boozing and chasing broads, so the greats would say.
      .
      After the Cards divested themselves of Marty, “Red”, and Bill Virdon (a sandlot teammate in late ’47 in St. Louis) I lost interest in the Cards. I did not like Fred Saigh. When they replaced Marty as manager with Eddie Stanky, I continued to be a Dodger/Yankee fan. When “Red” was traded to the Braves in ’57 I was all in for the Braves. In ’59, baseball CHEATED the Braves at the end of the season to hand the pennant to LA. The Braves won a game vs the Pirates in the last week in which Dick Groat was stopped four feet from the plate. The ump called him safe, still four feet from the plate. If out game over and Braves win. Then in LA Coliseum Joe Adcock hit a shot to left that ricochet off the high standard pole that held the screen in the short left field. It was far up the pole came down like a shot at an angle, Vinnie called it a home run, hitting hard at the top sticking between a steel band and the screen on the bleacher side. Another protest and another decision against the Braves. Should never have been a playoff in LA. Never met a fan at the game that backed up the call. Baseball expanded and lost me since, although I loved last year and the Series.
      .
      “Red”, Marty, and Stan have been role models for me all of my life. My goodness, they loved their wives and families. All were modest and great to fans. Often attended Mass with Stan and “Red”. As with Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek, the three of them were devout Christians.
      .

    • 58 Wolf Kennel Reply
      1 week ago

      Good nostalgia stuff 😋
      Remember Red Schoendist in his prime as a totally hustling ballplayer with slightly better skills than Enos Slaughter.
      With Knizner in the Card’s catching chain, be aware he’s smart enough to call his own pitches. Indeed during his sophomore/junior years we were trying to convince him to go for a Rhodes Scholarship with no joking about it.
      .
      As for Miss America thoughts, I got lost forever with Miss South Carolina’s oral essay answer 😂

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        At lunch we were trying to recall Miss SC’s epic oratory about World Geography…

    • Doug Reply
      1 week ago

      Haven’t watched MA since Connie Dorn got robbed in 72. All of the Boomer poll ladies were quite fetching but there was something about the name, Miss Kitty. Knew a girl named Amanda once that favored Miss Kitty so that’s became her nickname. Met her waiting tables at The Sanitary Fish Market. Imagine that.

      RIP Red.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        It was probably Miss Kitty’s “Cindy Crawford birth mark” that attracted you. Although “dating a waitress at Tony’s” has had a spot on many downeast bucket lists.

    • Ben in MO Reply
      1 week ago

      In an odd turnabout, gentlemen prefer Veronica, but they marry Betty. Have not bothered to watch “Riverdale” since the network has apparently turned Archie’s middle America hometown into a teen version of Gotham. I LMAO’d to many of Archie and Jughead’s adventures back then, but don’t have any desire to see any of Riverdale High’s finest in the role of SJW. I hope they don’t turn Miss Grundy into some vamp/tramp sexual predator; although, I could see Mr. Weatherbee being busted with some inappropriate images on his laptop. Only in America, where Bigger is Better, and Change is Progress.

    • Ashley Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Annette. She was the one with boobs. Jeannie was best as the manicurist on Andy Griffin Show

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        As I recall Floyd had to fire her when The Wives of Mayberry complained.

    • Chip Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Funny that Gretchen Carlson was making the rounds of the morning shows saying MA was no longer about appearance. She definitely appears to have had some “nip-tuck” on her face and not a good one.
      When will we see the first “plus-sized” or “transgender” MA?

      • BobLee Reply
        2 weeks ago

        I don’t think very many of us “will ever see” such. There may be such MAs but not many will see them. Have not seen Gretchen Carlson since she left FNC. Her husband is/was Derek Jeter’s agent.

    • Former96Heel Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Oh yeah, technically a Gen Xer, but via the miracle of UHF reruns and TBS, Jeannie, with MaryAnn a not so distant second.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 weeks ago

        I read a few years ago of a Boomer survey that had “Jeannie” as Boomer Fantasy #1. I think it was “the navel thing”.

    • Former96Heel Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Won’t be judged on appearances my rear. The pinnacle of PC-ness. So they are saying that we will see an obese MA soon? How about one with a handicap? A skanky snake handler with sleeve tattoos (that is so 21st century)? I won’t be waiting to see, nor do I think the sponsors will be shelling out money to advertise shiny hair and sparkly teeth products to see the quite possibly wonderful woman who do not possess extreme beauty fight it out to win.
      .
      This is a concoction of the marketing folks to try to drum up a shred of relevance in the Me Too era. They got more awareness from this move than the past ten pageants combined, but it will not translate to lasting attention.
      .
      Time for counter-programming. Who is going to start up the Miss PDEW pageant?

      • BobLee Reply
        2 weeks ago

        I think “the major networks” stopped carrying MA some years ago. Can’t imagine who will carry it now. Maybe Oprah’s Channel? A tattooed “Ugly Betty” discussing The Joys of Being A Vegan ??

    • BabyBoomer.Ted Reply
      2 weeks ago

      I vote for “Jeannie” and “Veronica” but I recall all of them “fondly”…. 🙂

      • BobLee Reply
        2 weeks ago

        There are no wrong answers.

    • Jerry.T Reply
      2 weeks ago

      Yes on Mary Ann Mobley… MA 1959.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 weeks ago

        I was pretty sure she was… but not 100% sure.

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