The winner of the Miss America pageant was clear to me

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How would you feel to have 6.7 million sets of eyes trained on your every move for short period of time?

I would not feel so comfortable, but if I looked one-quarter as good as Maggie Bridges I might be able to handle it. Having that many eyes looking at me is something I will never have to worry about and I’m glad.

But, for a short period of time this past Sunday night, a huge portion of Bainbridge television sets was among those millions who were viewing the Miss America event from Atlantic City. I don’t know what was going on with the judges, but as we say about umpires in baseball and referees in football, they must have been blind in one eye and couldn’t see out of the other.

“Maggie Bridges, ya done good!” I understand that you have many gifts and graces. I know that you have pursued this goal as diligently as you could. I can’t even begin to understand all the hard work that goes into making it to the biggest stage of all, but I have a question.

With all of that frenetic activity, those popping lights, and all those number of times you have to walk around in gowns, swimsuits, costumes of all sorts, how do you keep smiling and upright? Talk about being able to walk and chew gum at the same time!

I marvel at all the contestants as microphones are stuck in their faces and up their noses and, yet, they are expected to respond as if that were the most natural activity in the world. Quite frankly, all of the contestants are amazing.

There can only be one winner, though. Technically speaking, this year’s Miss America hails from the state of New York. That’s only technically speaking. We, down here in Bainbridge, can have our own and differing opinion. The winner was clear to me and it was our Maggie Bridges.

It makes me feel great to describe Maggie as “ours.” Many here in town have personal knowledge of Maggie and I have met her once, although I am sure she does not remember that. I was impressed then and remain impressed.

On Sunday night Maggie Bridges gave all of us a chance to be a part of the Miss America pageant. On my Facebook page, it was clear that she was in the thoughts and prayers of this town.

After many of our church services, where we prayed for her, we looked forward to getting home and watching “our” young lady in all of her poise and beauty.

One of things that I have grown to appreciate is how some people can be on a huge stage, like an important game or a contest like Miss America and be able to keep their wits about them. James Butler, of Climax, played in the most important game that football offers, The Super Bowl, and “showed out” wonderfully.

Now, we can claim another All-Star. There may be a Miss USA, a Miss Universe, or other beauty pageants, but there is only one that can say “I’m the first and best!” That’s Miss America. When you are on that stage, it’s something-else.

Maggie, thank you for letting us all feel that we were a part of it. As I said earlier, the winner was clear to all of us and it was you!