Monday, February 23, 2009

Would YOU like to be QUEEN for a DAY???

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek****I posted this earlier in the week, but couldn't resist linking it up to PSF as it is the ULTIMATE photo story!****

(Today is my mom's birthday so I thought it would be fun to "rerun" this awesome story to let her know I'm thinking of her today. Love you, Mom! Happy Birthday!)

“Would you like to be QUEEN for a DAY?”

These were the words my grandmother, Evelyn Stuart, heard 50 years ago before being crowned “Queen” out of 25 other women who shared their stories of hardship and hopes for a better tomorrow.

After telling their heartfelt stories, each woman was asked to share one wish she would like to be granted. Evelyn, mother of nine children and nine months pregnant with her tenth, told of the tragic loss of their seven-year old son and the devastating fire that destroyed their home. They moved to California for a “change of luck” and dreamed of winning “Queen for a Day”.

She wished to receive “300 springs” and a drill to use in the construction of “The Bunny Hop”, a new baby swing she had created. Evelyn hoped the success of her “Bunny Hop” would relieve the family of financial burdens. Not only was my grandmother’s wish granted, but their family received several prizes: a washer, a range, a bedroom set, but most of all, a life-changing moment she and her family would cherish forever.

Only 15 days later, Evelyn gave birth to a baby girl, my mother.
Baby Debbie in the Bunny Hop

This baby girl grew up hearing the story of her mom being crowned "Queen" and knew what a special memory that was in her mother’s life.

Over the last several years, my grandmother's health began to deteriorate. In an effort to commemorate this moment in her mother’s life, my mom was determined to find a special souvenir from the show. More than anything, she wanted to find footage from the actual show my grandmother appeared on. After years of searching, she finally came in contact with the president of “Queen for a Day”, Mr. Ray Morgan Jr. in Hollywood. It was he who confirmed the footage did not exist.

As a consolation for my mom’s heartfelt request, Mr. Morgan sent her a rare souvenir photo of a “Queen for a Day” audience. He did not know the date the photo was taken. He only knew it was from the same decade my grandmother had appeared on the show. My mom was elated to receive this photo, however, her state of excitement turned to one of COMPLETE DISBELIEF when she discovered that HER MOTHER was one of the women pictured IN THE AUDIENCE!

My mom was able to share this amazing story (including how she flew across the country to present it to my grandmother just weeks before she passed away) on a national radio program almost a year ago.

The famous photo...

My mom with the radio show host, Dick Gordon, and the producer, Denise.

To hear the broadcast & see more pictures, visit this link. It's about thirty minutes long, but well worth a listen if you have the time.

I have to admit - Nobody tells this story quite like my mom.


Heather said...

Oh, that is so neat! Whatever became of your grandmother's invention?

amanda said...

oh my goodness honey that is amazing!! seriously awesome.

such a cool family you come from!

Mrs. S said...

That is SOOOO beautiful!!! What a wonderful story!

Muthering Heights said...

What an amazing story!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh I love stories like these, that truly is AMAZING!

Wayne said...

geat story and the pictures are so cool

Krystyn said...

Oh, goosebumps! What an amazing story.

Cecily R said...

What a great really IS the Ultimate PSF!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

What a great story and family memory!Tell me you have a copy of this radio story for future generations.