You might think that sitting behind a display table for three days would be boring.  But when you are at the Miss America Pageant at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, it’s anything but.

 

For the past three days I’ve been selling my new book, Pretty Smart: Lessons from our Miss Americas at the Pageant with the endorsement of the Miss America Organization.  Hundreds of people have stopped by to say hello and most have bought books – some as many as five.

 

I’ve met people from all over the country.  What is so amazing about the Miss America Organization is that, except for a small staff in the national office, all the state and local pageants are staffed by volunteers.  And once someone gets involved with the program, it gets in their blood like a fever they can’t shake.

 

I’ve already spoken with so many people, ardent and passionate, who have been involved with the Miss America Organization for decades – state and local pageant directors who manage the pageants in addition to full time jobs and families; women who are hostesses and shepherds for the contestants when they compete and who bear witness to tears and joy and lots of hand holding; women who dress the contestants and  make sure that nothing is showing that shouldn’t be and what is showing is seen to its best advantage; and men who got hooked young on the power of an organization that promotes brains as well as beauty.

 

I’m feeling like a vip.  People whip out their camera and ask for a picture with me and them and their copy of the book.  I guess I’m on my own little red carpet.  And I’m also feeling a bit more mature (read older) than usual when the beautiful young girls, especially from the south, answer my questions with, “Yes, mam.”

 

Wednesday afternoon, I got to speak before a gathering of more than 200 state and local directors and tell them about Pretty Smart.  Many came up to me and said that it sounded like a must have.  I certainly hoped so.  And yes, a substantial number came to my table in the Miss America merchandise room the next day to get a personally autographed copy for them and their friends and the contestants they support.  Who knows I may even have autographed a copy to the next Miss America!

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