Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"But It's Better To Be Related To One..."

Besides Christmas Eve, it was the most exciting night of the year for my Momma as a child. Her Momma, The Original Jean, would dress the sisters up in their Sunday best and even wear her own pearl earrings; it was one of the top social events of the summer, after all. Once the bows were tied and the curls were pinned, Jean would load the three girls into the Oldsmobile and head into town. 
It was the night of the Wayne County 4-H Queen Contest. 
The Original Jean never had the opportunity to be 4-H fair queen; our county started having the event a decade after she graduated high school. But for some reason, she always had a great interest in the contest. The dresses, the poised young ladies, the class. The whole thought that the young gal who took the title under the big top would be the positive spirit of the county fair. 
What Jean didn’t know back in the 1960’s is that she would have a niece and five granddaughters that would allow her to go to the contest for decades and leave “knowing a winner”...

My second cousin Julie was the first Wayne County 4-H Fair Queen in our family, crowned in 1986. She vividly remembers being “drug” to the contest by her Grandma (my Great Grandma) when she was a young girl.

Julie 1986

A note written to Julie from Aunt Jean

Twenty-five years later, Julie and Jean watching the 2011 hog show

 In 1998 my sister, Laura, reigned over the fair - Jean’s first granddaughter to win the contest she was so very fond of. 

Laura 1998

Three years later in 2001, my cousin Kathleen won contest at just sixteen-years-old. 

 Kathleen 2001

And in 2002, Kathleen passed that exciting title on to me.

 It's a Family Tradition

 Lindsay 2002

An email to Laura (1998) from my young cousin Joan

Keeping the competitive spirit alive, cousin Sarah won in 2007.

Jean and Sarah 2007

 And wouldn't you know, my "young" cousin Joan doesn't have to worry about collecting autograph cards from the 4-H queen this year, because she won that title last week. The last of Jean's granddaughters to compete and she certainly made us all proud. 

Joan and Jean 2011

I sat by The Original Jean at the contest this year. Just after Joan was crowned, Jean leaned over to me and said, "We won the whole deal. Guess it's true, I am the Queen Mum after all."

Yes, Grandma, you sure are. 


  1. How very cool is that? What a cool tradition that I hope continues for many years!

  2. What a neat tradition that has developed in your family......thanks for sharing the pictures so that generations to come will understand what 4-H can do! Queen Mum certainly started something big!

  3. So neat. I always try and be there we take money at the door. So nice when you know the girls. What a family tradition!!!