Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

One of my favorite holidays! Went to the Calvary United Methodist Pancake Breakfast, got my picture taken with the fine cooks, made opening remarks at the welcome ceremony along with the other dignitaries (yoohoo, have I arrived??) and then got to ride in my hometown parade as MISS WEST VIRGINIA! I have truly dreamed of this day since I was a little girl. My very first pageant was the Ripley Little Miss Firecracker, and I gave this corny speech about “If you’ll let me be Miss Firecracker, I’ll sparkle and shine for Ripley all year long!”

I had been invited to the parade at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, so my parents decided that they needed to accompany me to this event (wonder why?). Anyway, as soon as Ripley’s parade was over, we switched out cars and drove pell-mell to Greenbrier County. Had no time to go to the bathroom or catch a bite to eat, so lunch was about a hundred Tootsie Rolls from the candy basket! Got there in time, met up with my Monarch Miss, Danielle Jolliffe, who has a very special place in my heart! Connie Jones was there to meet us with her car equipped with signs and decorations, which was another blessing! The parade there was put on for the benefit of the guests of the Greenbrier for the weekend, which they say is one of their busiest times, the 4th and Christmas. We circled the gorgeous property there, and there were several other interesting things in the parade, unicyclists, balloon artists, adult community bands, dance troupes, etc. It was fun, and perfect weather. After the parade, we mingled on the lawn there where they had blow-up games for the kids, free watermelon and ice cream. I got my picture taken with several kids and made a few new friends.

We were all tired by then, and the high heels weren’t working too well in the grass, so we decided to check in. My mother had stayed at the Greenbrier about 20 years ago, and she had warned me that the room would be small and not as impressive as you might think, so imagine our delight when we opened the door to the room they had provided for me, and it was a SUITE! It was so scrumptious that we took pictures of all the rooms: A living room with TV, bedroom with huge king-sized bed and another TV and relaxing chairs, two walk-in closets equipped with robes, huge thirsty towels in a black and white marble bath – WOW!! Mom almost cried, we were so overwhelmed. Major thank you to Jim and Cathy Justice and the President of the Greenbrier! They sure know how to make you feel like a queen – it was truly a moment I’ll never forget!

The day got even better, if you could imagine that. We changed clothes and went down for our second meal since the pancakes 10 hours ago, passing by families lounging in the lobbies where live music was playing, very opulent. We ate dinner at a buffet that reminded you of a cruise spread (ice sculptures, huge flower arrangements, the works!) and ate dinner while being entertained by Phil Dirt and the Dozers. I took the opportunity to go dance on the dance floor with some of the little girls that were dancing, and they mobbed me, tried to jerk the crown off my head (which was pinned on, regrettably), and I almost fell over on the ground in a dress – my parents were watching and dying laughing, but it was kind of scary! I have no idea where their parents were, but I spent the next hour swinging and dancing with all these kids and had a blast. Met the nicest couple from Washington, D.C. that sat at our table, and they invited us to come and stay at their home if we were ever in their neck of the woods, which we surely would do, we liked them so much.

Headed to bed in that unbelievable room – I didn’t think you could ever beat 4th of July in Ripley, but I sure had the time of my life today!

Here is a video of my 1st PAGEANT! I haven't changed much...was a dork then and

a dork now!