Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two Little Queens for a Day

Many years ago there was a radio show turned TV show called "Queen For A Day." I vaguely remember it-so vaguely that I can't remember if my cousin and I watched it or listened to it or if we watched or listened at all because it would have been summer and in the summer, we were always outside playing. I can say we were aware it existed so our mothers, aunts, or grandmother must have tuned in. The idea behind the show was that women would tell their sad, personal story. Jack Bailey was the host. He would ask each of the women what they needed the most and why each wanted to be 'Queen for a Day.' The winner was chosen by an audience clapping and an applause meter reacting. Once winning the title, the queen for that day would be draped in a sable-trimmed, red velvet robe-given a jeweled crown and placed on a velvet throne. Then she'd receive red roses before an array of prizes.
That's where our imaginations took off on a hot, humid afternoon. Back then neither of us had a swimming pool. The only time we went swimming was when one particular aunt took us across the road-down a path through the woods to a river to swim before supper. We loved it. We'd eat graham crackers all the way home but this particular day was very hot. No breeze. Just the sun beating down on hayfields and the creek where we played. We had lots of fun there but you couldn't swim in the creek. There were bloodsuckers. I remember sitting on the plank bridge complaining along with my cousin-feeling sorry for ourselves that we didn't have a pool or anyone to take us swimming. Then the light bulb went off. We could go to California. We could be contestants on 'Queen for a Day.' We would surely win. We'd tell a sad tale of how good we were-helping our parents and how so horribly hot we'd get sitting on the plank bridge in the summer heat. We discussed our plans for more than a few days. Surely our parents would let us go. Of course they'd buy us the airline tickets. Any parent would do the same for their 8 or 9 year old. We planned what we'd say to Jack Bailey. We'd ask for a pool-a big pool. Unable to decide which one of us would be the Queen, we decided there would be two Queens. Needless to say, we never made the trip. But it was fun planning it-sitting on top of that old plank bridge in the summer heat.