Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Miss Lake City Nursing Home Laura Archie shows off a little sass as she sashays up to collect her crown and roses Tuesday.
By Kathy Jefcoats
LAKE CITY — No bathing beauties needed here — four women took honors at a pageant Tuesday that recognized poise, wisdom, grace and the ability to charm a roomful of people.
About 20 women lined up to participate in a contest to crown Miss Lake City Nursing Home Tuesday. Administrator in training Lisa Eppinger said the event was a way to keep the residents active and alert.
“I told them, ‘We are having a pageant,’ and they all said, ‘OK,’ ” said Eppinger. “I don’t think they’ve ever had a pageant here before but we’ve had a ball. We got them up early this morning to do hair and make-up. We’ve all had a good time.”
Maybe none more so than Lizzie Wimbush, clearly a crowd favorite. The women were escorted through the main dining room by young men dressed in suits and ties. Some contestants were wheeled in, others practically danced their way in. Wimbush, 98, was a charmer.
“I just turned 19 and I’m so proud to be here,” she joked. “I’m so proud I can walk, that I raised two boys and two girls. As long as I look up and God looks down on me, that’s a good day.”
Wimbush recently overcame mobility issues and doesn’t need a wheelchair as often.
“I even walk across the street to go to church,” she said. “I’m thankful every day I can get out of bed. And I dress myself. The girls come in and want to help me but I want to dress myself as long as I am able to.”
In addition to being named first runner-up, Wimbush took Miss Congeniality.
Nell Lundy, 89, decked out in gold and red, took the second runner-up title. Lundy grew up on a farm in Clayton County and worked for years selling vegetables at the Farmers Market in Forest Park.
Third runner-up was Mary Hendrix, 85. She told the crowd she likes to watch the Braves play, both on television and at the stadium.
“I used to sell ladies shoes,” said Hendrix.
The winner and newly-crowned Miss Lake City Nursing Home was Laura Archie, 90, who glided and swayed her way through the room to applause and laughter. She was dressed in a rosy pink suit, wore strands of beads and a smile that never left her face. A true social butterfly, Archie said she loves to read and enjoys the friendly atmosphere of the nursing home.
Among the contestants was Debra Dingler Weatherspoon, 60, who married fellow resident Earl Weatherspoon at the center on Valentine’s Day. She assured the crowd that the union is sticking.
“I just want everyone to know I am still married, very happily,” she said.
Another contestant who drew a supportive response from the audience was Mamie Cartwright, 86.
“I don’t need any beauty sleep because I’m already beautiful,” said Cartwright.