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Miss West Duluth Pageant 2009

An annual tradition that goes along with the Miss West Duluth Pageant is my attempts to stir up controversy about it.

My initial objection came in 1987, when the first Miss West Duluth was a young lady from Morgan Park. It seemed to me that if the title was going to be “Miss West Duluth,” the contestants should all be from West Duluth.

I was told back then the criteria was that girls must live within the attendance boundary for Denfeld High School to be eligible. Although I thought “Miss Western Duluth” might be a more appropriate name, I was satisfied with this Denfeld rule, so I shut up about it for a few years.

Then, in 1996, a graduate of Hermantown High School was a contestant. I assumed she lived in the Denfeld area but chose to attend Hermantown, which would get around the rules enough to allow her to compete. In subsequent years I’ve noticed Proctor High School students in the list of contestants.

Give a contest an inch and it takes a mile. One of this year’s contestants is a senior at East High School, according to the Spirit Valleys Days insert in the Budgeteer News. (UPDATE: She lives in Morgan Park, according to comments to this post.)

Now, I don’t mean to fan the east/west flames here, so I’m just going to suggest we call this thing the Miss North America Pageant already and get it over with.

58 Comments

MareBee

about 10 years ago

This is hard to do but I'm going to admit it: I was one of the girls in the first Miss West Duluth Pageant. Born and raise in West Duluth. I did not win -- not that I cared -- but my sister was a Miss West Duluth Princess a few years after me.  

People complained the first year that people from Smithville and Gary were in it.

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

Living all of my school age and nearly all my high school years in Lester Park, I actually thought everything west of Mesaba Avenue was pretty much west Duluth. We'd often use "West End" and "West Duluth" interchangeably. I don't think that way anymore, but I think most people think that way.

I also think most people would say that Lester Park, and maybe even Congdon is part of Lakeside. But that's not how east-enders would call it.

Tim K

about 10 years ago

Since we don't have a Miss Duluth (that I'm aware of, anyway) it appears the only competitive venue for young women seeking a sash is the Miss West Duluth competition. I assume that this is part of Spirit Valley Days, too. That said, I think the residents of "everything west of Mesaba" are more interested in this pageant than the other areas of the Zenith City. Why don't we have a Miss Lakeside or Miss Congdon or Miss Kenwood or Miss Woodland? Maybe there is a shortage of either sashes or convertibles.

Chris

about 10 years ago

Somewhat off topic, didn't you have a run of two years or so of dating former Miss West Duluth's?  I have a vague recollection of you making some joke about only dating former winners.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

I plead the Fifth.

Barrett Chase

about 10 years ago

I just don't understand why a Duluth East student would WANT to be Miss West Duluth. Is she from West Duluth originally? Or does she just want to be in a pageant so much that she doesn't care what the title is?

Maybe she's calling attention to the fact that there are no pageant options for other neighborhoods in Duluth, like those girls in 80s afterschool specials who rock the boat by trying out for the football team.

Shane

about 10 years ago

There used to be a Miss Duluth, however, it seems the annual pageant went out of favor a few years ago.  The last time I heard the pageant was held it was at a formal wear store in a strip mall, rather than at the DECC auditorium.  Miss West Duluth is the last local holdout for the beauty pageant thing.

Jan Carlson

about 10 years ago

I am the mother of the Duluth East student! We live in West Duluth, Morgan Park to be exact. She goes to East because her sister graduated there five years ago. This is a very emotional time for all the girls. We as adults need to step up and ask ourselves if we are the real cause of the "east/west flames"? If there are questions about this, don't hesitate to ask me.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

I'm used to putting my foot in my mouth, but now I feel like I have an entire keyboard in there.

Sometimes I forget we live in a world of open enrollment.

jim carlson

about 10 years ago

I would think with all the things going wrong in the town and across the nation people could find something a little more serious to bitch about other than what school a girl goes to.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Again, mea culpa. Just keeping alive a tradition of stirring up controversy. 

jj

about 10 years ago

Ummmm seems to me that the idea of the post was to stir up controversy. It looks like it worked.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

MrsDuluthInternational3487

By the way, as of two years ago there was still some kind of "Mrs. Duluth International" pageant. I met the winner at Carmody one night.

Hailey Carlson

about 10 years ago

Hi, I am the East student who was in the pageant tonight. I am at Duluth East because my sister went there and it offeres more of the classes I am interested in taking. This is not to say I am not passionate about the West Duluth community, which Morgan Park is a part of. So, I think, since I'm in the Denfeld school district and I love West Duluth I am very much entitled to run for the title of Miss West Duluth. But, very honestly, I think you need to get over it. I live in Morgan Park, I love West Duluth and I go to East, So what? Grow up, get a life and get over it!

Hailey Carlson

about 10 years ago

I go to East because it offers more of the classes I would like to take and My sister is an East Senior High Graduate. I love West Duluth and wanted the oppertunity to show my love of it.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

I guess my first two apologies didn't actually contain the phrases "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," so maybe I should try this again.

Hailey, Jim, Jan, I'm sorry. I thought I was being clever, but instead I was being an uninformed jerk. (Although, in my defense, being an uninformed jerk is kind of in vogue.)

If you'd like me to remove this entire post, I'll do it. If you'd like it to remain as a testament to me having to eat my own words, I will honor that wish as well.

I hope the pageant was a fun experience for you and was not terribly tarnished by my silly rant.

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

Wow.  It really sounds serious, but I'm not so sure it is.  The east/west flames were started a minimum of 100 years ago, and so the kids have nothing to do with them.  I'm trying to be a part of the solution, actually Jan.

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

I bet Paul is, too.  Our solution is to make fun of these faux distinctions until they melt away and give us something else to make fun of.  But there is a general ban on making fun of kids and teens here at pdd, so I'm sure that no attack on Hailey was ever intended.  In fact, nothing against the other candidates at all, but now I kind of hope she wins.  What a great symbol of city unity.

vicarious

about 10 years ago

The NEW "Best Post Ever on PDD"?

I hope you feel terribly guilty, Mr. Lundgren, for ruining the pageant for Hailey. You, bad, bad, bad, bad man, Mr. Lundgren! Bad!

Outsider

about 10 years ago

Goodness. Some people commenting on this thread really need to lighten up.

Tomasz

about 10 years ago

I think the main problems are the Contest's geographic boundaries of residence which imply attendance to a particular high school.  Once we understand this dichotomy, most issues are resolved.

Jan, yes, I think we all agree that this is a very emotional time in any child's life.  Being a teenager can be especially difficult and emotionally trying at times.  Since the majority of PDDers also comprise a significant portion of Geek Prom attendance, I'm picturing a lot of monitor-lit nodding heads right now.  I hope that your daughter's participation in an antiquated contest whose main qualification is a vague North American "standard" for physical beauty does not add to the aforementioned difficulties.

Hailey, yes, I completely agree.  However, I must ask that you do the same: Grow up and get over it!  Instead of wasting your time on such drivel, why not do something constructive like criticizing people you know nothing about!

Chester Dark

about 10 years ago

As someone who frequently has my written communication misinterpreted, I'm getting a kick of this now-classic thread! I thought the initial post and comments by Paul were hilarious and not-so-serious but maybe because it's because I'm familiar with the style of PDD - which is seldom ever mean-spirited.

And Paul - don't let this hinder your great posts!

baci

about 10 years ago

wow this is awesome and I didn't have to do a thing.

c-freak

about 10 years ago

All I want to know is, what's her stance on opposite marriage?

eco eco

about 10 years ago

Did you date Mrs Duluth International too?

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Eco Eco, that's MRS. Duluth. She's married. I merely basked in her stardom.

Jan Carlson

about 10 years ago

Thank you everyone for all the posts on this subject...Please keep this up, do not delete...
Hailey was voted "Miss Congeniality".

DN

about 10 years ago

Looks like the possibility of vying for Ms. Congeniality has been dispatched forthwith.

-Berv

about 10 years ago

"Grow up, get a life and get over it!" was voted Miss Congeniality?!  I demand that her title be rescinded!

Chester Dark

about 10 years ago

I agree with Mrs. Carlson - do not delete!

This is one of the best PDD posts ever! It just keeps getting better!

So....please keep it up!

Oh, and congrats to Hailey (Miss Congeniality is a good thing, right?)

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

After almost 20 years, I have never been more proud to be an EHS graduate than today, as one of our own has been crowned Miss Congeniality of West Duluth for Spirit Valley days.  

In recognition of the awesomeness of this post,
I hereby suggest that starting today, the PDDers underwrite the Miss Congeniality award at the Miss West Duluth contest (in Spirit Valley).  In addition to a "pass the hat" scholarship award of loose change from everyone PDDers pockets or desk drawers (especially farglebargles), we could also give Miss Congenialty a stack of unfinished novels and tear-stained poems from our own awkward, greasy teenager-hoods.  And, if she's game, maybe Miss Congeniality could reciprocate by coming to geek prom each spring and speaking ex-cathedra (assuming Miss Congeniality has a throne or scepter of some sort) she could tell all the geeks to "Grow up, get a life, get over it!" 

But by far, my favorite aspect of this proposal will be to have Paul Lundgren on the stage singing "there she is ... Miss Congeniality ... "  But remember Paul, you're there to sing and hand out the award, not to get phone numbers, all contestants from the Ripsaw era onward are all too young for you.  

Anyway, Congratulations Hailey!  And to the rest of the fam, too.

c-freak

about 10 years ago

-Berv nailed it!

Todd Gremmels

about 10 years ago

What kinda pangent queen writes like that?

I agree with Berv and you too c-freak!!!

Power to the people!!!

peace

R. Berler

about 10 years ago

Here's Mrs. Duluth in 1988 when she worked at TWC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2N1rcLU2Yc&feature=PlayList&p=B617CC88DD484D58&index=19

Chris

about 10 years ago

Good stuff!  First off I think it goes without saying that Paul needs to take off the "very nice man" tagline from his Next Level column.  I'm also enjoying the fallout from my own earlier contribution.  All these people who know Paul so well, not knowing his past history of macking on Miss West Duluth contestants.  This thread better stick around...

-Berv

about 10 years ago

Re: Open Letter to Kimberly Holland, Director, 2009 Miss West Duluth Pangent

Dear Ms. Holland:

I am writing to request that Miss Congeniality be removed from her position and forced to learn some manners by watching all versions of VH-1's hit TV series "Flavor of Love: Charm School"

I believe that Miss Congeniality is dereliction of the following requirements found on your website, http://www.spiritvalleydays.com/Application%20for%20MWD.pdf:

- Act with respect and integrity toward fellow candidates, pangent director and the West Duluth Community
- Be a role model to young girls who could be potential candidates in future pangents
- Speak positively about the Miss West Duluth Pangent and contestants
- Be mindful of the fact the Miss West Duluth Pangent is a small hometown pangent - demanding or "Diva" attitudes are not be acceptable and will be cause for dismissal
- Any actions of pangent winners jeopardizing the integrity of the Miss West Duluth Pangent, in addition to those mentioned above, could be cause for dismissal
- Parents should be mindful this is their daughter's experience in the Miss West Duluth Pageant and let them enjoy it to the fullest

Furthermore, I do not agree with her choice of favorite foods, rock bands, movies, and movie stars.

Plus she goes to the wrong school.  I mean, what if some girl from the East side decided to attend Denfeld and enter...oh wait, nevermind.  That would never happen.

Anyways, please consider my request at your earliest convenience.  And you can thank me for not mentioning Jon Benet in this letter.  

Sincerely,

Jan Carlson

about 10 years ago

Mr. Berv???? I see you don't actually use your full name. Anyway, I though it would be of interest to you to know first off, the girls vote on their own for "Miss Congeniality" so, they voted in Hailey. Also, the meaning of congeniality: con·gen·ial [kÉ™n jnyÉ™l, kÉ™n jnee É™l]
adj 
1.  agreeable: pleasant and suitable to somebody's character or taste or to a situation  
 2.  kindred or similar: compatible in tastes, interests, attitudes, or backgrounds  
3.  friendly: having an outgoing pleasant character 
Her congenial nature makes her well-loved in the town.  

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

SECONDLY:

I can not believe you would bring up Jon Bennet Ramsey in this blog. It has nothing to do with what is mentioned here.

Also BERV and everyone else giving negative feedback...I would like you to keep in mind, this is a 16 year old you are critizing for wanting to show her support for her community.
   I think it is time to put this to a close as the only one being hurt by this nonsense is the aforementioned teen.
Thank you to everyone who supports the Duluth community as a whole.
Jan Carlson

Hailey Carlson

about 10 years ago

I really think people need to realize we are all a part of DULUTH and this divide you have made is the problem. My spontaneous question was about the East/West rivalry and you know what this blog has made clear? The children are not the problem. It is the adults who think what school you go to and what neighborhood you live define who you are. Enough is enough. The students of East, Denfeld, Central, Hermantown, Proctor, Harbor City and so on can all get along just fine. Yet here you guys sit complaining about a sixteen year old girl who just wanted to represent her community in a positive way, All I wanted to do was show how great it is to live out here and to be a role model and the adults of DULUTH have decided that is not okay because I go to a different school. What if I were home schooled? Would you all get upset because I am not a Hunter? Or would you be content because I am not Greyhound? 
Is it that you don't like my school? Or do you not like me for going to my school? Please think about where the true dichotomy is being dirived from? The kids, or the Adults? Who here is setting a better example of being a united community? The kids, or the adults? Just something to think about.

eco eco

about 10 years ago

Hunting deer is bad enough, but hunting greyhounds? That's just wrong.

Tim K

about 10 years ago

This is getting a little reminiscent of the "kitty bonsai" episode from some years back.

-Berv

about 10 years ago

Mrs. Carlson:

Please re-read my comment.  I specifically did NOT mention Jon Bennet Ramsey.  Shame on you for bringing this discussion to a new low.  Long Live WEST Duluth! (not east).  Inclusive of Norton Park.  That's by the zoo I think.  I like the prairie dogs there.

huitz

about 10 years ago

Somebody mentioned not raining down on kids and women, or something to that effect?

The attachment of a teen pageant to a social voice is a bit off, though, Ms. young Carlson.  I applaud your efforts, and I hope something sparks inspiration in others.

With that said, "congenial" basically means "going with the flow".  And that's the way I live, so I'm guilty too.

huitz

about 10 years ago

Umm, just reread my post.  I'm not very good at sarcasm, because I didn't see it there, but that's what I was going for :>

Ramos

about 10 years ago

I hate it when pageant contestants pretend they're from Morgan Park. It's so dishonest.

Hailey Carlson

about 10 years ago

-BERV, give it up. You're mistaken to think you're helping at all. You're adding air to the flames of this rivalry. The rivalry which the children care nothing about and I agree, Long Live West Duluth. I love this great community of ours! It is beautiful and most of the people out here are magnificent. However, I am not saying East Duluth is a bad area. They have great people and many great aspects. Of course, it is obvious I love West Duluth since when the Red Plan took our hosue we decided to saty in West Duluth by moving to Morgan Park (Where we really do live Ramos, I'm not sure what you meant by your comment but we do live in Morgan Park) rather than moving to the East End so I would be closer to my school. 
I really think all of you need to stop and think. You're flipping out at sixteen year old for being in a pageant. I am within all the requirements of the pageant I just go to East.
Move on, and please stop attacking me!
Thank You.

oldknifey

about 10 years ago

I know that it would be fair to mention the policy: Do not feed the trolls, but I also can't help wondering how so many people in this community became trolls.

huitz

about 10 years ago

Hailey, many of us are not attacking you personally.  I'm poking fun, for example, at the system of pageantry.  But you have to see it for what it is.  Think about it.

Wait a second, am I being spoofed? :>

huitz

about 10 years ago

oldknifey, it's funny how easily we start calling people trolls/troglodytes/etc.

I, for one, see nothing wrong with a heated, though at times, pointless, discussion.  I love it!

-Berv

about 10 years ago

I hope to see all interested parties at the next City Council meeting.  This must never be allowed to happen again!!! I will fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to!  What if Diana Ross was on the Supreme Court? And she ordered a Supreme pizza there?

Chester Dark

about 10 years ago

yeah, when I was 16 I thought everyone was attacking me all the time too. Then I realized the world didn't revolve around me. But then, I've never been in a beauty pageant so maybe it's different with that experience.

Jan Carlson

about 10 years ago

As much as we have asked to put this to rest, it seems it is not going to happen...once again, let me point out, Hailey is 16. Chester Dark, as much I would like to believe this is not an "attack" on Hailey personnally, if you have read this blog from the beginning you will see it is specifically about her. She, however, does not feel attacked. She wants to have her opinion heard on the "Duluth as a WHOLE city" heard. She dislikes the way it is segregated to East/West and the different areas. She is proud to live where she does and go to school where she does. I support her wholly on this issue.
As far as my opinion on it; how many of you were raised in one area and now live in another? How many live in one area and work in another? The questions can continue on, but I think the meaning is clear at this point. In this time of the economic challenges we all face, I think we need to look to our neighbors of all ends of town and give support to all. We do not need to let "team" rivalry stand in our way.
By the way, all of Hailey's friends, East and West, do not care where she goes to school or which team she roots for in the games.
I realize pageantry is a ridiculous thing to be argueing about here, it has turned into something more. I do want to point out, besides showing support for her community, the winner of the pageant also gets a college scholarship. These are not only beautiful girls, but they are very smart young ladies.

-Berv

about 10 years ago

Someday I hope a giant earthquake opens up and swallows all neighborhood traitors and everything east of Mesaba avenue. Except for Hacienda, I like their burritos.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Berv, don't let being a Billings Park cake eater go to your head. The rest of Superior will rise up against you some day.

sbuchanan

about 10 years ago

Attaboy Paul. Mission accomplished.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Four years later, the mission has indeed been accomplished. From the July 28 Budgeteer News:

A new rule in the application process was added in 2013. "Now, applicants have to attend Denfeld High School. Denfeld is such a huge part of West Duluth," said (Miss West Duluth 2007 and pageant co-coordinator Kayla) Moore. "A loyalty to Denfeld is like a loyalty to West Duluth."
Amen.

BadCat!

about 6 years ago

What about kids that live in West Duluth, but go to alternatives schools (Harbor City, Marshall)? Are they out just because they don't attend public school? Seems odd...

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Those kids have chosen an alternative to West Duluth. They can be Miss Alternative West Duluth.

Controversy smack!

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