The Time Miss Michigan Lost Her Crown For Driving After Dark
This weekend a new Miss Michigan was supposed to have been crowned in Muskegon, to go on to compete at Miss America. That won't happen. In fact, the Miss America pageant has also been canceled for this year, which will give the organizers more time to fight amongst themselves about how to move forward with a beauty pageant that apparently wants to be America's Got Talent, or something - but not a beauty pageant. (Why, yes - I did host a few local pageants in my day and have an opinion) Miss America will return next December 2021, but we may all be living on Mars by then. So - the current Miss Michigan, Mallory Rivard of Bay City, gets to be Miss Michigan for a bonus year.
A few years back, the folks at MLive took a look at stories about Miss Michigans of the past and shared the story of the only Miss Michigan to be stripped of her crown. It happened in 1966 to Dearborn's Gayle Chancey.
One night in 1966, after being crowned Miss Michigan, Gayle decided to drive home to Dearborn from Muskegon. She started for home in her official pageant car (probably with "Miss Michigan" in big letters on both doors), on what? A three or four hour drive? But she never made it home that night. (Don't be scared) She made it home at 11 a.m. the next morning. And when she walked in she found out she was in big trouble. During the night there had been an all-night, statewide search for Gayle by the Michigan State Police. She explained that she'd run into a lot of fog and decided to stop in Lansing and spend the night with a friend. Pageant Director Jack C. Bushong was not impressed. He ended up taking her crown away, saying she had broken two rules: Violations of the rule against driving an official car unchaperoned after dark and failing to notify her parents as to her whereabouts.
Wow. If that's what really happened - that's pretty harsh. And even if she just wanted to have some fun with some friends in Lansing - that's still pretty harsh.