I thought about my former Newtonia neighbor Debra Miles a while ago when I read an article about changes that are being planned with the Miss America Pageant.
You would have never known it to see her on the street or at Gum's Store, or with her husband, Mitch, but Mrs. Miles, during her pre-marriage days in Kansas, under her maiden name of Debra Barnes, had been crowned Miss America. Mrs. Miles has never been one to put on airs.
The last time I talked with her was when she was living in Carthage (she may still be, I have been out of touch) and she agreed to speak at an assembly at Diamond Middle School.
Considering the changes that the Miss America Pageant is going through, I don't know if she would even want to have her name associated with it. Televised rating have been going down for the pageant for years, which some have speculated has to do with its wholesome atmosphere.
It will no longer be carried on network television and it will no longer be held in August. According to the Washington Post story I was just reading, it will on Country Music Television (CMT), which asked that it be moved to January. It will also no longer be a one-day televised event. The powers-that-be at the pageant and CMT plan to change it into just another reality series.
This would include taping all of the preliminaries, following around the contestants, probably trying to stir up conflict between them; something to spice things up. I doubt that it will ever turn into CMT's version of "The Bachelorette," but it sure isn't going to be the Miss America Pageant.