by the first ever Miss Silver Queen - Grete Gansauer
“Your Miss Silver Queen 2013,” Pete the MC announced, “is Grete Gansauer!” The words pierced my ears like the dangle-y earrings I inserted (for the first time in over ten years) hours before. I was in disbelief; Pete actually pronounced my name correctly…and I was being crowned the inaugural Miss Silver Queen! An agape smile overcame my face, my eyes widened and the tears began to surface. All I dreamed of over the last few hours of competition was culminating in one miracle moment. It was finally happening.
Miss Silver Queen!
Just one week earlier, I opened my Facebook notifications with low expectations. “Crested Butte Mountain Resort invited you to their event The First Ever SILVER QUEEN PAGEANT,” it read. “Me,” I thought, “receiving an official invite to a beauty pageant!” Flattered and intrigued, I clicked the invitation and perused the event details. There was to be a home-made swimwear dual slalom ski race, eveningwear mechanical bull riding, a final interview question and a talent portion. Remembering that I had not shown skin since Labor Day, an ounce of self-doubt plagued my thoughts and I grimaced at my Aryan skin tone. But before the negativity could multiply, I clicked the “Going” button. “If Honey Boo-Boo can do it, so can I.”
And so the first week of February began with a call to my mother. I opened the conversation: “I am entering a beauty pageant and I need you to ship me my flute.” Through her immediate outburst of laughter, I could sense a shimmer of pride. That hopeful pride soon turned into motherly support as we began to discuss the logistics of my flute’s resurrection in the talent competition. “Do you even remember how to play?” she voiced amidst her growing enthusiasm for the endeavor, “And you, who gets chilled in a heated house, are going to ski in a bikini?”
“I guess so,” I replied sheepishly. Truth is, the thought of standing onstage and stumbling through an old Mozart sonata didn’t scare me half as much as baring it all during the swimwear competition.
Bikini Ski Racing!
Determination overcame fear the following Saturday afternoon. Standing atop the race course in my skimpy “C.B. Booty Patrol” mock ski patrol uniform, I recalled each sewing stitch, each pricked finger, and each frustrating tangle of thread that went into that costume. I felt at ease though. “I can do this. I can ski,” I assured myself just before I began to skate out of the gate. After making many more turns than I instinctually would have in that distance, I crossed the finish line just ahead of my opponent to be greeted by cheering midriff fans and a photo op with a couple of CB ski patrollers. “Whew,” I thought behind my photograph grin, “One down.”
Crested Butte Booty Patrol
I rushed back to home base to slip into my metallic blue fishnet evening gown for the next phase. And after hijacking the bathroom to beautify myself, I made way for the bull pen. Hair curled, lips glossed, and eyes shadowed, I sprang onto my next obstacle: the mechanical bull. Perhaps an unusual encounter for Miss America, but we do things a little differently here in Crested Butte! Focused on each erratic buck and spin, I squeezed my thighs together with enough force to anger an actual bull. Roars of the crowd grew dim. A feeling of intense concentration came over me; something that does not come often to blonde pageant girls such as myself. I grew dizzy. After surpassing the minimum time, I was tossed forward and welcomed my demise when my baby-koala-cling finally failed me. I stumbled out of the ring to many high-fives with other pageant girls, eventually snaking my way through the swarm of onlookers to the place where I had cached my flute.
Evening Gown Bull Riding
I repeated the melody of my chosen talent piece over and over in my head, though meditation became harder as the Rihanna beats bumped louder in Butte 66. It was becoming evident that I was going to have the dorkiest talent. The competition was stiff, these girls were bringing the heat and the crowd was enthused. The rumble of conversation in the room was only interrupted by jovial bursts of cheers following particularly impressive feats of talent. After juggling, ‘synchronized swimming’, a ukulele rendition of Abba, and many other unique abilities, it was my turn to take the stage.
“And for my talent,” I smirked into the microphone, expecting either blank stares or laughter, “I’ll be bringing some Mozart in da house.” To my surprise, the announcement was met with a boom of claps and shouts, which would continue through my solo. Just a flash later, I was holding the final note of my piece for a crowd that was much more appeased with Mozart that I imagined they would be. Blushing, I curtsied and stepped off the stage.
My nerves settled just in time to be stirred again by the declaration of the winners. Pete went through the second and first runners up, Hailey and Ayla, both of whom phenomenal competitors. Losing hope, I listened attentively to Pete’s drawn-out preamble nonetheless. I began to reassure myself that win or lose, my first pageant experience was a positive one. ‘Losing’ in this type of friendly competition would be no loss at all, however—the girly giggling and chit-chat with other contestants was well worth the free entry. But being crowned as a poised, polite and graceful lady of Crested Butte would be an unparalleled honor. I would have the opportunity to represent Crested Butte as the Silver Queen wherever I went, even in future pageants, I daydreamed. As hopes gathered in my head, I snapped out of my wishful trance when Pete finally dispelled the tension: “Your Miss Silver Queen 2013 is Grete Gansauer.”
About the blogger: Grete Gansauer is a recent graduate as a forestry major from CSU in Fort Collins. She is from Evergreen, Co, but has lived in CB since this December. An avid skier, mountain biker, rafting guide, and hiker, she swears CB is the best place in the world to be an outdoor enthusiast. You may see her around CB doing any of the activities she loves. She’ll identify herself by laughing so hard she squeaks. Say hi!