Friday, June 29, 2007

More Miss Ohio Photos- My Adventures in Mansfield

Every year while I was at Miss Ohio trapped in a freezing cold, dark, fog-filled theatre for a week, my parents, EDs and boyfriend would be out enjoying central Ohio. They took trips to Amish country, had morning coffee at some biker restaurant called Mr. T.’s, went shopping and there was even some horseback riding that my mom would just as soon forget… So, this year I told them I wanted to experience what I had only ever seen photos of.

Sunday morning after the Miss Ohio finale we met my former chaperone, Ginny, for brunch; I was able to have supper with my former hosts Brenda and Terry before the pageant Saturday night and it was so great to see all three of them! After brunch Loren, Mom and Dad and I headed to the
Kingwood Center.

Kingwood is a glorious estate with gardens, greenhouses and a beautiful mansion. It’s located on a main intersection and while I had driven by it hundreds of times, I had no idea what an expanse of beauty lay beyond the brick and wrought iron fence.

I could not believe that in five years of going to Mansfield I had never been there, and furthermore, why are the contestants not photographed there? It would be perfect! (This is nothing against Paul, considering he is the third photographer in five years. I understand logistics would be difficult, but check out these pictures and you’ll see what I mean.)

Below are a ton of photos from our lovely Father’s Day at Kingwood.

Kingwood Center photos continued... CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE!

Here are photos from inside the beautiful mansion... althought I got in trouble for taking these. Getting in trouble for taking pictures... I was really good at that the weekend of Miss Ohio, huh? :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National Pageant News

Right now the big news is the continued crowning of state titleholders, but I have noticed a few other bits of national pageant news…

First, Miss USA, Rachel Smith, met with President Bush on June 22nd. A photo caption I found said “Washington, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (R) greets Rachel Smith (L), Miss USA 2007, after she introduced him during an event celebrating Black Music Month in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, 22 June 2007.”

Also, check out this YouTube video promoting a hearing aid and featuring former Miss America, Deidre Downs.

No one seems to have known that Deidre had a hearing problem, nor did anyone notice that she wore a hearing aid during her reign. Most contestants use personal issues like this as their platform, so it is very interesting and surprising that this was not known. Some are suggesting that she did not want to be compared to Miss America 1995, Heather Whitestone, who was also from Alabama and had a much more sever hearing impairment. Many are asserting that they “like her more” now that they have learned she overcame this and did not use it as her platform.

Finally, Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe organization, is talking about making reality show stars of the three pageant beauties that he houses in New York City.

Half-hour series "Pageant Place" will see Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA living in the same New York apartment... Former Miss USA Tara Conner, who became the subject of controversy after reports of her partying surfaced last year, will also star, serving as a kind of den mother and chaperone to the women... At four-month intervals, one of the pageant winners moves out and a new one moves in; the first season will feature the transition from Blair to the new Miss Teen USA.... Project grows out of the various beauty pageants Trump owns with NBC, which has a first-look deal on any potential series. "Pageant Place" was set up at VH1 before migrating to MTV.... NBC recently extended the contract for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants for three more seasons.

CLICK HERE for the complete article by Steven Zeitchik.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

State Titleholders at the State Special Olympics!

This past weekend Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp, was in Columbus at the state Special Olympics. In the above photo she is with Keri (Fussell) Schmelmer, a former Ohio USA contestant and reigning Mrs. Ohio United States. The photo is from Kari’s blog; CLICK HERE a short description of what she and Berta did at the event.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vote for Jessica!

Congratulations Miss West Central Ohio, Jessica Barrett, for being a Top 5 finalists for Fourpoints Magazine's Cover Model contest! Follow the link below and vote for her!

The second fourpoints Make Me A Cover Model Contest is drawing to a close. We received an overwhelming response from beautiful, talented, intelligent young women across the country. It wasn't easy, but the fourpoints staff has managed to select a Top Five. Now, it's your turn to make a few decisions! Click on the Cover Model button on the right side of the screen and vote for your favorite Top Five Make Me A Cover Model Finalist! Or you can just click right here We've provided their cover photo and a small bio, now you provide us with who you'd like to see on the cover of the next fourpoints!

Jessica Barrett is a pre-med student who recently competed in the Miss Ohio pageant as Miss West Central Ohio. Jessica enjoys singing, tutoring, and volunteering. Jessica's platform is organ donation.

Congratulations Katelyn Koval, Top 10 at Miss Pennsylvania!

Last year Katelyn competed at Miss Ohio as Miss Open City; last night she placed in the Top 10 at Miss Pennsylvania as Miss Allegheny Valley! (She is able to compete in both states because she is from Ohio, but currently attends Point Park University in Pennsylvania.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh For The Love…!

On the Miss Ohio message board, under the same post in which I was called out for wrongly taking photos at the finale, someone wrote:

“Besides myself and about 100 other people-who wishes Abby would just be seen and not heard? Actually I'm growing tired of seeing her. Abby-you are a lovely girl but I think the fact that you CONTINUOUSLY try to live vicariously through Miss Ohio is becoming tiresome for the rest of us. But I did love the great pics.”

I’m not going to respond directly to this poster on the message board because A. after only two replies I said I was done responding on that thread, because… B. I don’t want to be a part of fostering negative conversations on that volatile forum when we have a new Miss Ohio we should instead be supporting.

I will, however, respond here, because this is my blog, with which I can do whatever I want! :)

A few things are running through my mind… the first of which is, "seen and not heard?!?!" What? Am I a child? And forgive me for not being humble, but yes, I think I have earned my place to share my educated opinion.

I don’t exactly understand why someone is so sick of little ol’ me… Someone else agreed to the derogatory posting, saying “Abby, butt out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But I don’t know where exactly I butted in any more than anyone else. I can’t force anyone to log on and read this blog; I assume those who don’t like me or what I post here don’t make this site a regular internet visit.. and that’s fine by me. Other than this, I went to a few pageants this year and recently signed my name to a few posts on a message board…

I gave away my last crown this past fall, and attended three other closed locals (which are “local” to me) as well as the always exciting sweetheart pageant. So I guess I was at a quarter of the pageants, but most other “pageant regulars” were not at those closed locals and I’m not going to apologize for attending to support the program, my friends and in a couple cases, my former titles. It’s not like I’m inundating the system as an emcee and/or entertainer… although those are two things I can do (wink * wink).

Perhaps they’re sick of seeing my name because I actually signed it a whopping three times in one week on a message board that is almost exclusively anonymous. The reality is, it’s probably the same 20 or 30 people who consistently post on the board, it’s just that name-signing is a rarity.

Never mind why someone felt the need to say they’re sick of me, I’m more bothered by the idea that I “CONTINUOUSLY try to live vicariously through Miss Ohio.” That doesn’t even make sense considering this is the first year I haven’t vied to be Miss Ohio! (And I'll likely try the Ohio USA system again if I'm around this fall.)

As I mentioned at the start of Miss Ohio week, because I competed for so long, this first year of not competing came with many emotions. Now that I am aged out there is a certain amount of relief to not have to be “pageant perfect.” On the other hand, I am sad to no longer be with my Miss Ohio friends and family for a week in Mansfield and it is frustrating to look back and think about what I would have done differently in order to be more successful. I will admit that my continued involvement as a news source with this blog has served as a coping mechanism. But I completely disagree with the idea that I am, or have ever tried to live vicariously through the reigning Miss Ohio.

This program has become a norm in my life and that of my parents and close friends. I am not living vicariously; I am living my life and this program happens to have become a big part of it. I know several contestants; I’ve even helped some and lent clothing. I suppose in a few years when I don’t know the contestants I may become distant from the program, or Loren and I may start a local; while I was still competing we talked about being EDs and even what we might call our program. Eric and Linda Wagener would like me to help with their program, and I have agreed IF I am still in this area. I want to stay involved, but hopefully my career takes me out of Toledo.

To call me a bad wanna-be journalist would be more accurate, but living vicariously I am not. In my defense, someone else on the message board noted that former contestants who do not continue to participate are criticized, yet my presence has garnered me the same negativity. That’s the thing about message boards, it’s a place for everyone to post their opinions, and you can never make everyone happy… Oh well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Roberta's Year Begins with the Special Olympics!

After a few days of what I hope included rest and relaxation, and what I assume involved life reorganization, our new Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp begins her duties this Friday!

Friday, June 22nd she will be at a Special Olympic event at 5 p.m. signing autographs. Roberta will be right at home, as the event is on the campus of her Ohio State University in Columbus.

CLICK HERE`for more about the Special Olympics.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pageant Press: Third time's a charm for new Miss Ohio

As I mentioned below, my parents, boyfriend and I were at Roberta's first appearance. A reporter spoke briefly with my mom; Miss Ohio and Miss Maple City officials were also there, but indeed, my mom ended up in the article.

The Grove City woman made her first official appearance Sunday afternoon at the Richland Mall, where she described hearing her name called as "unbelievable" and "a dream come true... " I get to unpack and unload," Camp said of her few days off between Sunday and Thursday, when she hits the road as part of her duties.... "I'm still a little overwhelmed," Camp told the audience at the mall's center court, explaining that she had only slept about four hours since her crowning.

Vickie Bollenbacher, of Rockford, was near the front of the line. Camp and Bollenbacher's daughter, Abby, were in pageants together until Abby reached the age limit. "We've watched her grow up," Bollenbacher said. "She's an awesome girl."

CLICK HERE for the entire Mansfield News Journal by Lisa Miller.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Roberta's First Appearance as Miss Ohio 2007!

This afternoon Roberta appeared at Richland Mall in Mansfield. She spoke about being crowned, though she’s still in shock, she performed "Blessed" and signed autographs. A Mansfield News Journal reporter was on hand (and talked to my mom about why she was!), so look for the article soon.

About my photos…

It’s been brought up on the anonymous Miss Ohio message board that I should not have taken photos at the pageant, that an announcement was made and "no photography" was printed on the ticket, and I “could be banned from any future Miss Ohio pageant…”

Here’s my response to that:

Here’s the thing, I had heard there was no photography this year, so we didn’t even take our good camera when we went to the show Tuesday night, but I did notice several others taking pictures on small/regular cameras. Tuesday night we got in our seats just as the show began; Saturday night I was wishing the girls good luck in the dressing room when the National Anthem was performed, then I was in my seat by like 7:57. Saturday night’s show started about 10 minutes late and there was no announcement before the clown did his thing. If the announcement was before the Anthem, I didn’t hear it, and my opinion is that since there are always people like me walking in at the last moment, that kind of announcement should be immediately before the show begins. That’s how it is in all theatre productions. As for my ticket, I never even looked at it. Who does?

I think Paul has done an amazing job as the official photographer; he’s taken the job and run with it, going above and beyond! I very much appreciate that he sent me photos to post on my blog of the first few days of Miss Ohio week. My goal is to disburse information as quickly as possible for the betterment of the program, and obviously Paul feels the same. I understand, however, that he needs to make some money from the photos he takes, that’s why we didn’t shoot the entire pageant last night. Perhaps if we had tried the ushers in the balcony would have reprimanded us, but no one said a word to us in the three minutes we had our camera out. It seems to me that the “no photography” rule is so the official photographer can garner business and be compensated. I do not feel the photos I shared on my blog will prevent that.

Again, I totally respect Paul. I double checked my ticket and it appears I did indeed break a rule; had I realized that I wouldn’t have so proudly given photo credit to my man! As for being banned… well, I should hope Miss Ohio officials have more important things to concern themselves with than burning a bridge with a former, who obviously still cares greatly about the program.


** Some of Paul's Photos from Saturday night will be posted tonight by 8:30. He has over 1,000 pictures from the finale; more will be uploaded tomorrow. **

Congratulations to Our New Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp!

Special thanks to my amazing boyfriend, Loren, for getting these shots from the balcony. These are the first on the internet, Loren should get a scholarship for that! :)

Also Congrats to...

First Runner-up Erica Gelhaus, Miss Lake Festival

Second Runner-up Karissa Martin, Miss Scioto Valley

Third Runner-up Kasey Wilson

Fourth Runner-up Nanciann Strosnider

And the remaining Top 10...

Allie Krucek, Miss Clayland
Sophia Davis, Miss Miami Valley
Christie Youssef, Miss Portsmouth
Elyse Healey, Miss Greater Cleveland
Andrea Andryscik, Miss North Coast