The promotional tour for the release of my book No Crown Required took me back to my home state of Ohio. From my hometown of Warren, my parents’ hometown of Ravenna through central Ohio all the way down to Cincinnati, friends, and fans showed up for me. They showed up because they resonate with my passion for raising our daughters up to be a force for good in the world. The message to me was to keep writing and speaking out about the issues our daughters face and how we can heal what is wounded, stop the bullying and lay the groundwork for our daughters to be confident, courageous and compassionate women.
One exceptional stop was in Columbus, Ohio, home of The Ohio State University, my alma mater. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional it would be for me to step back onto that campus thirty years later as a published author.
It prompted me to share a flashback I wrote in my book about my send off to Miss America.
Flashback Ohio Stadium Half time show
"I couldn’t wrap my head around the news. The day I left for Atlantic City was an Ohio State University football game. Someone had pulled some surprising strings to give me the best send-off ever. I get chills thinking about it because as a huge fan of “The Best Damn Band in the Land” I was going to get the gift of a lifetime.
When I was a student at Ohio State University, I used to go to their skull sessions before the game to hear them warm up. Then, at half time, The Ohio State University Marching Band would make their entrance through the tunnel into the stadium in such a dramatic way to a crazed crowd of 90,000 screaming students, fans, rivals and alumni. Pure magic. They would always surprise and delight the masses with brilliant formations and their sound was so tight and can only be described as “perfection.”
The band just completed the script Ohio formation. The announcer introduced “our very own Miss Ohio.” I was escorted in my scarlet red business suit with huge 80’s hair and shoulder pads on to the field where I led the stadium in singing our beloved alma mater.
I had never been on the field before and looking up at the sea of Scarlet and Gray, I had yet another moment on this journey of knowing this wasn’t about me. I was going to represent my State and my school and I had thousands of people cheering me on. I was their Miss Ohio and I wanted to make them proud.
That day I was a girl who was heading to the “Big Show” on a private plane after what would be one of the most humbling experiences in my life." - No Crown Required
As I was boarding the plane to return to Los Angeles, a video popped up on my radar. It was the halftime show for The Ohio State University game that occurred at Ohio Stadium during my stay. The Best Damn Band in the Land was featuring music by the rock band, Queen.
Coincidence? I think not. (wink, wink) I had to take a screen shot! (See below)
While there is no crown required, I have grown into the queen of my own domain. And my heart is full of the Buckeye Nation pride I felt as student and representative of the great state of Ohio.
Thank you, Ohio! I promise to do my best to make you proud.