I had the unique pleasure of spending two days with Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, this week. I'd interviewed her previously on the phone for fourpoints' April/May cover, and I had the sense that we were going to have fun.
For another reporting jobs, I've met and interviewed politicos like Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and T.V. personalities like Christopher Knight (aka Bobby Brady), but I was particularly looking forward to meeting Laura because even on the phone, I could tell she was just a regular girl with a fantastic story to tell.
What was most remarkable about Laura is despite her extravagant evening gowns, flawless, white bikini wearing figure, and frequent flyer miles, when I was with her, she felt like an old friend. I am a 24 year old gal from the Midwest. She is a 24 year old gal from the Midwest, and although she carries a heavy responsibility on her perfectly postured shoulders, she conducts herself sans grandeur or entitlement. We talked dating, splurging on desserts, favorite musical genres, and (in another life) what tattoos we'd get.
The fact is that she has a story to tell, and a history of hard work that led her to today, just like each one of you, and just like me. That is how I will remember her, not as Miss America 2012, but as Laura, the sea-food loving, her own hair-doing, dog-loving woman with a dream, passion, and a good sense of humor.
Written by: Erika Fifelski joined the Serendipity Media, LLC team in August 2011. Before that she wrote for a daily newspaper in Northeast Michigan. She has a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and if she had to choose, her platform would involve advocating for urban farming and food sovereignty.
As a recently recruited writer for the fourpoints team, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself to the members of the pageantry world. The exposure I had to the Miss America Organization prior to this position can be summed up by a handful of evenings spent watching the annual pageant, and a DVD copy of Miss Congeniality. But in the short weeks I've been writing, I have come into contact with contestants, volunteers, Executive Directors, and parents who are true advocates for the organization.
I got into writing because it is my heartfelt belief that everyone has a story to tell. Writing, however, can sometimes be daunting, and that's where I come in. If I can encounter someone, listen to their experiences, and craft an article that exemplifies their passion, then I have succeeded. The people I have interviewed so far for the upcoming issue of fourpoints have fierce affection for MAO, and frankly, they are making my job easy. I hope our fourpoints readers will be as inspired by them as I already am.
I still get starry eyed talking to Miss States over the phone, and my knees are weak just preparing to interview Miss America Laura Kaeppeler in the coming weeks, but to all participants in the Miss America Organization, I am truly looking forward to this opportunity to share in your joys and journeys to scholarship, success, style and service.
Erika Fifelski joined the Serendipity Media, LLC team in August 2011. Before that she wrote for a daily newspaper in Northeast Michigan. She has a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and if she had to choose, her platform would involve advocating for urban farming and food sovereignty.