by Eugenia Exum Holston
(second from the right - "Miss Gibsonton" elected queen
of the 1942 Florida Tomato Festival)
Don't chuckle, as I tell you of the way in which I
was elected to compete in this very interesting event. We met on the steps
of the Gardenville School and were to perform a skit that we had written.
One of the judges, I remember, was Mrs. Dan Graves (known as Spike). My
act went something like this, as it was spur of the moment and not much
time to really plan a polished production. I chose the Lucky Strike slogan
as my title (So round, so firm, so fully packed). This was done in a song,
dance and dramatic setting. Another thing that makes me amused, when I
think of it, was that this was all done with no accompaniment and outside
of the building.
The next step was how we were to be the winner of
the contest to become Queen. This was based on the number of votes that we
could raise and each vote cost the voter a penny. That meant that the
contestant had to get out and promote herself. My father and uncle had
been in the produce business for years and collected many votes. The other
areas to pursue were, local barbecues that were being staged out in the
country locations. I remember going to several of those, introducing
myself and collecting votes in among those attending. When the votes were
counted, I was declared Queen.
This honor had an impact on my future plans for a
career in music and performance. That goal has been finished time after
time in a minor way. There has always been opportunities to use this
talent in the Service of Our Lord in churches, as I traveled with an Air
Force husband, as well as productions that I have written of Officers
Wives Clubs around the country. Then after my husband's retirement, I have
taught music and conducted choirs in the local area.
To Those who might think of getting involved in the
community activities, I say go for it.