In 1952, Nancy won the Batesville ‘Centennial Queen’ title.
”It was not a beauty queen win. We had a pageant at a football field and they were selling tickets to the pageant - they used the community platform, how Batesville was founded and the wood-working. So, whoever sold the most tickets to the pageant wins the title. It was between my junior and senior year in high school. My best friend, Barb Biehl, and I sold the tickets together, and we won. So that’s how I became the ‘Centennial Queen.’
One company came in as the sponsor and they gave me a gown to wear, a robe with fur on it and a crown. There was a dinner function one night and the governor came from Indianapolis.
At the pageant, the women would wear old fashion clothes and the men grew their beard as they had a beard contest. Then we had a big parade in town and I was standing on the float with my court around me, basically they’re the other girls who sold ticket too. I wore a dress that looked like a wedding gown; it had a long train and I remember my younger sister and her friends helped carrying the train. I had to give a short speech at the pageants, which went on for 3-4 nights. Maybe just, ‘Welcome to Batesville,’ or something along those lines.
Anyway, the main prize was a trip to New York City. So Barb and I went to New York City for one week, on a train, by ourselves. All the local stores gave me something to take to the trip - the millinery shop gave me a hat, the dress shop gave me a suit and some store gave me a luggage.
My best memory from the trip was the Stork Club in Manhattan. I had kept books for Kennedy Dry Company in Batesville, so when we were in New York City, a representative from the company took us to the Stork Club for lunch - it was very prestigious but I didn’t see anybody I know. Before we left on the trip, a girl’s father had told us, ‘Be sure you don’t eat your peas with a knife.’ Well, one of the dishes we ordered has peas on it. Barb and I had the giggles when we saw those peas on the plate! It was so much fun!”