Morris woman wins Ms. Senior Trussville Pageant
By Gary Lloyd
The songs were about not needing a rocking chair and gray hair not meaning a thing, the jokes about dentures and arthritis and items crossed off bucket lists.
The Ms. Senior Trussville Pageant was held Friday at the Trussville Senior Activity Center, in a room in which the pine floor is crisscrossed with scuff marks from line and square dancing.
The older men who came to support the women talked about where they were from, using hardware stores and county roads for directions, not GPS devices. Pageant Director Pam Isley called it the “Pretty, Pretty Princess Day,” a day that allows senior women to display their talents, talents they may not have showcased in a long time.
Sally Beth Vick, the 2010 Ms. Senior Alabama, was the master of ceremonies and told jokes between contestants’ talents. She quipped about trips to the chiropractor, cataracts and how gravity is not all that helpful to seniors’ bodies.
“It’s a wonderful experience for these women,” said Vick, who called the contestants “rockin’ grannies.”
Morris resident Heidi Manley won the 11-woman pageant and was also named Ms. Congeniality. Manley performed a monologue to the instrumental background music “Sailing.”
Manley, born in Germany, has three children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. She retired in 2004 with a master’s in childhood education and special training in cosmetology. She said she had a desire to come to the U.S. for education. She spent her career as a teacher.
“They blessed my life,” Manley said of her students.
Kimberly resident Sherry Buell, who has three children and three grandchildren, was named the pageant’s first runner-up. She performed “The Rose” by Amanda McBroom. Buell said her philosophy of life is to above all love God and your neighbors more than yourself.
Guntersville resident Saundra Clayton, who has taught oil painting for 37 years, was second runner-up. She said during the on-stage philosophy of life portion of the pageant that she hopes others say she had a heart too good to die.
“I always believe I should treat others how I would like to be treated,” Clayton said.
Rebecca Rowe, also from Guntersville, was named third runner-up. She tap danced to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and said her philosophy is to be comfortable and relaxed with everyone and everything in her life. She is a cancer survivor.
“Each day, be glad,” she said.
Manley will participate in the Ms. Senior Alabama Pageant on Aug. 3 at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Manley said life is a gift, a celebration and an opportunity that she was given by God. She said she hopes she taught her students to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal,” she said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.