For the second time in eight years, a Bearcat has claimed the title of Miss America. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music student Kirsten Haglund won the 2008 national crown in Las Vegas Saturday night, following in the footsteps of former Miss America, Heather Renee French, DAAP ’97, who was crowned in 2000. My husband is employed by UC and three of our children graduated from UC so pretty neat a UC student won. Kirsten was representing Michigan, her home state.
Her platform is to raise awareness of eating disorders, which she revealed she has had to overcome. I think this is great she’s focusing on this problem. There are so many people of various ages suffering from eating disorders. My character, Dr. Jennifer Hunter, in NO GREATER LOSS has a radio segment about eating disorders.
Years ago, I watched the Miss America Pageant. It used to be televised in September. For some crazy reason, after I heard about the new Miss America, I went down memory lane remembering Miss America of 1965 which was Vonda Kay Van Dyke. Why do I remember her? I was only a child at the time, but her talent impressed me so much that I asked for a dummy for Christmas. I never became an accomplished ventriloquist, but I did learn how to throw my voice. I checked out Paul Winchell book on ventriloquism in order to teach myself how to become a ventriloquist. By the way, Winchell was an early television ventriloquist who provided goofy voice-overs for such animated characters as Winnie the Pooh’s friend Tigger. In the mid-1950s, Dr. Paul Winchell patented an artificial heart.
I named my dummy Chris since he was a Christmas gift. I’m afraid I don’t even know what happened to Chris. And that’s a shame. It was fun to inject jokes into dialogue with a dummy and not move my lips. Actually I might use ventriloquism in my new book.
Miss America of 1965, Vonda Kay Van Dyke with her dummy Curley