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.