Mike Lantry, 1972
I considered posting this under numerous other threads ("OT: Bachelor Party" almost got it), but in the end, it just needed its own special treatment.
I'm prepared to make a bold statement: Donald Trump may have saved America. Or at least USA. Or US Americans. Or whatever, but. . .wow. Thank you, Donald.
The Miss USA pageant has been something of an afterthought for years. . .aside from a handful of notable distractions (Carrie Prejean, Shanna Moakler, Ali Landry, and the wonderful Tara Conner), it was an event that many of us remember most fondly as one we watched with our dads when we were kids, in one of our first "guys vs. mom and sisters" bonding rituals. We really didn' t know what we were doing, we just knew it was something Dad liked, and Mom. . .didn't. Mom liked the Miss America pageant, because they sang, danced, and demonstrated wholesome qualities. Dad? He was one of us, before we was "us".
Miss USA was the Penthouse of beauty pageants. None of this "talent" stuff; Miss USA was founded when some Miss America winner decided she didn't want to pose for photos in a bathing suit. So the sponsor dumped Miss America, and created a whole new contest that got right to it: no more plate spinning, juggling, or bird-training, this contest was about looks (evening gown), looks (bathing suit), and looks (better not distract me from your looks during the interview). Miss America was for the girl next door; Miss USA was for her naughty cousin who came into town from time-to-time, and who you still remember with a smile.
I could go on and on, and maybe should in my first diary--plenty to say, looking back on pageants' role in the whole father-son relationship (like "watching Wonder Woman with Dad makes more sense when you know she was Miss World USA first", or "what the hell happened to Delta Burke?"). However, how about we end it now and open this up for comments with the following 3 points:
1) Donald Trump is a genius, as hard as that is to admit;
2) I'll be watching the Miss USA pageant next weekend, likely chatting with my brother and Dad over the phone, wholly because Trump has decided that there wasn't enough "glam" (yes, their word) in pageant-world;
Behold, Miss Wyoming: