Wrapped in brown construction paper in my office are two Miss America composites that I bought last year from an antique store in Cape May. One is from 1950, the other 1959. In the 1950 photo, the women are standing together on the boardwalk, in one-piece bathing suits with thick shoulder straps and bottoms that cut straight across their thighs. In 1959, they’re decked out in evening gowns, belled at the bottom, white gloves up past their elbows.
I should hate Miss America, for two very big reasons.
**Awarded first place in Online Deadline Reporting in the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Awards