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Scene 5
The Beauty Contest

Beauty Contestants

Each town had chosen a contestant to represent them, like Miss Grove Park was Kristi Joe Gump and Miss Cross Creek, well she was Sally Joe Gump.  Now they being sisters was bad enough but when their mother, Dixie Lee, entered and entered Miss Rose Shell contest that set off a ruffus like you never heard in these parts.  See the rules only said single and not ever been married and seeing that no self respectable woman in these parts had ever been divorced, well that how Dixie Lee got into the contest, although it seems there were some threats from her brother Sheriff Randy.  The beauty contest was about to begin. 

Mr. Gary was real pleased that he had gotten most well known gentlemen inMayor Michael Hog the area to be the judges.  First of all there was Mayor Michael Hog of Hawthorne.  Not only was the mayor of the biggest town near the springs but he believed that if he could get the new airport planned for some small town called Orlando changed up to Hawthorne that he and Mr. Gary could make this area the biggest tourist attraction in Florida. 

Cooter MixsonNow the second Judge was Cooter Mixson.  Now Cooter had been delivering the mail in these parts for thirty years.  In the old days they gave Cooter a horse and buggy and then later a truck for delivering the mail but Cooter refused to use either.  He said as long as God gives you legs then you should use them.  Now Cooter had twenty square miles to cover so from dawn to night you could see old Cooter delivering the mail.  Now there were complaints from some of the ladies in the area that old Cooter was a peeping Tom but Cooter claimed he was just passing their windows on the way to delivering the mail.  But it was until years later that I noticed that a lot of those youngins on Cooter’s route sure looked like a lot like old Cooter. 

Bubba FieldsNow the third judge was Bubba Fields.  Now some folks thought Bubba as just a good old boy but I know Bubba for the smart fella he was.  Now automobiles were getting popular in 1935 and with them came some problems.  So what old Bubba would do is hitch up two horses to a wagon. Then he would go up and down the roads and orange groves and everyplace day and night tell he found someone whose till he found someone who’s Ford had petered out and he would pull them to wherever they needed for repairs.  He also was paid a little extra to keep his mouth shut concerning who was parked in, what young lady was in and after an evening of smooching in some orange grove they their auto wouldn’t start. 

Doc SmithNow the next judge was Doc. Smith that had come from some place up north, I think somewhere around Tallahassee .  Most folks said they weren’t going to any foreign doctor if old Vet Jenkings was good enough for cows and horses he was sure good enough for them.  So the young doc’s only patient was Kristi Joe Gump, Miss Pine Grove.  Seeing everyone knew they had been courting they figured she was a shoe in to win the beauty contest.  Course I knew that Sally Joe, Miss Cross Creek had been seeing Mayor Hog .  Now Bubba Fields had told me he had to pull the Mayor’s car out of the creek after Sally had hit the deer, hopping over the seat to get into the back.  It was going to be a real interesting thing this here beauty contest. 

Pushing and shovingSo Mr. Gary finished about the judges and the contest was about to start.  Now the rules were the ladies were to walk around the springs and the judges would look them over and then vote to see who won.  Well folks you have never seen such a fight in all your life.  Those girl were trying to outdo their mama and this is pretty hard to do.  They started pushing and shoving and Miss Dixie almost ended up going right in that pool. 

Sheriff warning the church groupTommy Bob and his church group started singing “Bring In The Sheep” and Sheriff Randy threatened to shoot them if they don’t stop.  Now, the reporters were writing down all these going on when Mr. Gary announces the Judge’s decision.  

The Winner“The winner is… MISS DIXIE LEE”.  Now those girls of hers started having a hissy fit, boy are they mad.  They claimed their uncle, Sheriff Randy, once again paid off the judges or better yet probably threatened them too.  Mr. Gary didn’t pay them no mind and crowned Miss Dixie Lee the first ever Miss Magnesia Springs. 

Monster carring off Dixie LeeWell Miss Dixie started her winners walk around the springs when all of sudden, you couldn’t believe it, something black, and something slimy rose up out of the water, climbed up on the side of the pool grabbed Miss Dixie and carried her off.  The monster and the beauty queen were gone.

It looked like that medicine man was right there was a monster in Magnesia Springs.  Now, all the testimonials, all the healing powers, all the advertising in the world wouldn’t bring the people back.  And worse yet it all happened right before the eyes of the reporters from the Gainesville Sun, and the Ocala Star Banner. 

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