— By DAVID MAY
Billie June Cox showed Saturday night she’s still got it.
Dressed as a Weatherford High School Blue Belle for the pageant’s talent competition, Ms. Day Wealth Management twirled and stepped her way to the title of 2013 Ms. Senior Parker County queen at the 12th annual pageant before a large crowd Saturday evening at the Alkek Fine Arts Center on the Weatherford College campus.
“I am very surprised and very honored,” Cox said shortly after donning her crown and sash, setting her off on what will be a busy one year’s journey as an ambassador for Parker County.
Her talent routine and her volunteer work with school children and Weatherford Regional Medical Center shows she has the will and ability to perform the duties asked of the county’s senior queen.
Cox, a 1954 WHS graduate who went on to work for the FBI, began her talent with a short song she wrote her “senior beau” before the music kicked in and she began dancing and twirling, passing the baton between her hands, through her legs and around her back.
Looking as if she never set the baton down since her high school twirling days, the 76-year-old queen said she had practiced just two weeks, and even then she didn’t work on steps or movements with her twirls. She said she had not heard the music she would perform to until Saturday.
Cox said she was coaxed into the pageant by friend Nadeen Murphree, who asked Cox she still had her baton to “provide something really different” for the pageant.
“I never in my wildest imagination thought I would win,” she said.
Though she never showed or mentioned it Saturday, Cox throughout the evening had thoughts of her oldest son, Greg, who at the age of 55 died suddenly and unexpectedly one year ago to the day she won.
“It was good for all of us,” she said. “It took it off our minds.”
A total of eight contestants sought this year’s crown to replace the past year’s queen, Selma Johnson, who spoke her experiences over the past year and said each of the ladies on the stage were winners. The contestants were judged on evening wear, talent and interviews.
With Parker County Judge Mark Riley for the 12th year serving as emcee and The Websters providing music and entertainment, the event raises monies for Parker County Meals on Wheels and is coordinated by the Weatherford Senior Center and Parker County Committee on Aging.
Cox, like the other contestants, said she was happy to help raise money for Meals on Wheels.
“I like doing charity work,” she said. “I thought if I could make a little difference I would try.”
Serving as judges this year were Amber Browne of NOW Magazine; PCCOA president Prissy Neely; QXFM personality Michael White; county commissioner Larry Walden and county constable Joe Harris Jr.
Cox won the pageant’s evening wear title on her way to the overall title. She was also the highest ticket seller among the contestants with 1,100 sold.
Ms. Millsap Garden Club Juan Etta, who took first runner-up honors, was the talent winner thanks to her portrayal of “Maxine,” the Weatherford Democrat’s newest advice columnist. On relationships, she quipped, “Marriage is like playing bridge. At first you just need two hearts and a diamond (pointing to her ring finger). By the end you wished you had a club and a spade.”
Ms. Heart in Hand Marjorie Jamison took second runner-up honors with her humorous story of, “The Truth About Me,” which included her admission, “I just don’t look good naked anymore.”
Ms. Tackett Pharmacy JoAn Good earned third runner-up honors. Ms. Pulliam Pools Claudia Bowden was honored for raising the most money among the contestants through sales and sponsorships at $1,622.
Also competing this year were Ms. Alpha Omega Hospice Darlene Woodruff, Ms. Hudson Oaks Walmart Joyce Gilley and Ms. SBW Dozer Sybilla Vickers.
Anyone wishing to compete in the 2014 Ms. Senior Parker County pageant can contact any member of the pageant committee, call the Senior Center at 817-596-4640 or email email@example.com.