I was off Friday so that I could attend the grand Miss America (search) parade on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.
Besides drawing thousands and the contestants from the 50 states and D.C. in classic convertibles, there were high school marching bands from several states. It felt very 1950s to me -- a time when our culture was very different. I could not help but feel nostalgic for a slower, simpler time.
One of the parade traditions is for the contestants to wear shoes decorated to commemorate their home states. As they go by in classic Cadillacs, for insurance, the parade watchers yell out "show me your shoes!"
I asked a fellow judge -- who was Miss America 1994 -- the origin of the "show me your shoes." She said it dates way back to the early days of the pageants when the sailors stationed in Atlantic City would yell it so that the women would raise their shoes and the sailors would then get a glimpse at their legs. Obviously that is a very different time than now...
After the parade, all the judges and spouses were hustled onto a mini bus and taken to dinner. Are you ready for this? We had a police escort with lights and sirens to and from the restaurant. I confess -- it was funny and I loved it.
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