Ms. Mississippi Senior America: Jessica Lacour wins crown

Published 2:33 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jessica Lacour of Carriere will reign as Ms. Mississippi Senior America of 2007. She will represent Mississippi at the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Las Vegas on November 5-6. This pageant is the world’s first to give honor to the women who have reached the Age of Elegance. She won $875 which will help with her trip expenses.

First runner up is Janice Nelson Robbins of Brandon.

Each contestant was judged in four areas of their life: talent, 30 points; philosophy of life, 20 points; evening gown and poise, 20 points; and interviews, 30 points.

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Lacour dazzled the audience and the judges with her rendition of Mae West as Mae South.

“Most of y’all have heard of Mae West. Well,” she drawled, “meet Mae South.” She sashayed along the boards of the Senior Center’s main room, flaunting a cigarette holder and wearing a fabulous, feathered hat in the best of Mae West style.

“I’ve got a lot of what I’ve got. And what I’ve got is all mine,” she stopped and twirled. “I assure you, I can cure you. If your’ feeling blue come up an see me sometime.”

Each contestant was allowed two minutes and 45 seconds for their talent. Demonstrated gifts show that talent does not diminish with age, and sometimes enhance with it. Each of the ladies were talented in different areas.

Robbins painted an iris in the allotted time which is shown in the photo above. This was a remarkable achievement in such a short amount of time. She displayed an eye for balance, tension, and color contrast. You can see her talent in various galleries and at the Arts League annual show.

Sharon Jones, who earned her doctorate in sociology at the age of 60, shared some facts about her book, “Sixty, so what?” which will be on the bookshelves in October.

“Sixty year old women don’t have to wear sensible shoes, if we fall, we’ll look good going down,” she told the audience. “It’s all in your attitude. All about what you know you can do.” She explained her book. “Clean out your closet, most people go in and take everything out. I tell you, ‘Don’t do that. We don’t have time.’ Just go in and straighten it up. So you can say no matter what your age, so what.”

Carol Goldman shared some beautiful craftsmanship with her sewing and crochet. She grew up learning the skills from her mother and grandmother.

“I love making memories. After I grew up, I continued the tradition teaching my daughters,” she said. Goldman was wearing a 1906 street dress, and displayed a crocheted afghan called “Mile a Minute”.

Judy Gaupp showed those in the Age of Elegance just how she keeps up with her two-year old granddaughter in her talent. She gave a comical rendition of exercising in the Age of Elegance.

“Zippity do dahh. I got such a shock when I turned on the television,” she said. “There was this short man with wild hair said we needed to get out of our chairs and get our exercise clothes on. He said we needed to burn off some fat by rocking to the oldies.” Then she burned, baby, burned off that fat for two minutes and 45 seconds.

Suzanne Shelly, 2006 Ms. Mississippi Senior America and the reigning Ms. Senior America, played a melody of hymns which she had recently played along with other songs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

“I have had lots of appearances,” she told the crowd. “It’s been a whirlwind year. I’ve met so many friendly, talented, articulate people all over the nation. It’s been such a blessing to represent Mississippi this year.”

While waiting for the tally, Gladys Hughes, the Mistress of Ceremonies, explained about the raffle to give away a football signed by Brett Favre, as a fundraiser to help with the Ms Mississippi Senior America activities. The drawing will be in October so pick up a few tickets to win that football. They are $1 apiece or $5 for six of them. You can buy yours by calling 601-799-1714.

If you are over 60 and have reached that Age of Elegance, Hughes invites you to participate in the Senior America activities for 2008. You can call her or e-mail her at