Miss Iron County 1938
The reason this contest was so important to me was that my family has an actual story behind it.
My Grandmother, Leona E. Plourde (maiden name), was crowned Miss Iron County 1938. It was one of the few competitions in the Midwest at the time following the Great Depression. I remember as if it was yesterday, her telling me the story, and showing me numerous photos from the event.
Grandma Lee, helped to raise my sister Tatiana and I ~ it made her feel useful in this fast paced world , as well she imparted many of her values and talents upon each of us.
Grandma Lee passed away in 2009 and I/We Miss Her So, however while cleaning her home we found some amazing, very old photos of her in the 1938 competition.
Now my Grandma was of Italian & French descent (Her Grandparents came from Italy), and since she was named Miss Iron County, I wanted to share a piece of that feeling with her, and having my Grandma win a similar competition by almost the same name, made it that much more meaningful to me.
Iron Mountain 'Italian Idol' 2012
Among the contestants was another Classical Crossover singer, a very nice 17 year old girl (who sang 'Time To Say Goodbye') very nicely indeed, and a traditional professional Italian performer. I had a lot of fun, and I was extremely surprised when I won. Okay, so I was very, very, very surprised ! And very happy.
The Master of Ceremonies in charge was Tom Gursky, who is in several of the pictures below. He too is a singer of Classical Music from the Chicago Lyric Opera if I remember correctly.. When he heard I would be singing Nessun Dorma, I think he almost had a stroke, because it was a song from his 'repertoire' as well..
I am sure that he thought, how can a young girl sing ~ Nessun Dorma.. Although afterwards, I think he liked it. :)
In fact, I received a Standing Ovation and Mr. Gursky asked me to Sing Nessun Dorma, a 2nd time for those that missed me the first time. Tom is a renowned Outdoors-man, just go and visit his Facebook page.
It was suggested by the Italian audience members, that I be nicknamed 'The Queen of Nessun Dorma'.. I rather fancy that nickname.
I can now tell my Grandchildren (when I have some) that I was named Miss Iron County's ~ Italian Idol, just as my/our Italian Grandmother was named Miss Iron County before me. And then perhaps, I will persuade one of my Grandchildren to participate in such a Contest and hopefully they Can carry on that tradition !!