Our new Miss America is from Nebraska. Congratulations Teresa Scanlan! She's a 17-year-old aspiring politician who won a $50,000 scholarship and will spend the next year promoting the Miss America Organization and herself. As I watched the competition Saturday night, I remembered 1974 when I was in that pageant.

It was held in Atlantic Cit, N.J., Bert Parks was the emcee and I was representing my state,  North Dakota.  As you can well imagine, it was the most exciting thing that had happened to me in my 18-year life.  My 'rivals' were so pretty, talented, fun, and just amazing young women. Most of us had the same fear of tripping on stage while modeling a swimsuit...IN HEELS.

We shared the dressing rooms, the stage, and  dreams of being Miss America.  While Shirley Cothran won the crown that year,  each of us won scholorships, many lovely gifts, and a forever place in the exclusive Mu Alpha Sigma, the

Miss America Sorority. 

The pageant was Saturday night in Las Vegas and the first time Nebraska
was the winning state. Many of the past winners were featured on the show.