Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reprint: Pecan Festival Queen May be a Dandy Gig


I have quite a few Celia stories over here at the Dew and came across this one today. (November, 07) I love a good Celia article. This one struck close to my heart as I was once Moonpie Queen, Fried Pickle Princess or some such thing so I can relate to her stress level with all this pressure.

Thought I might remind ya'll how funny she is since she has a new book coming out in the next month or so.  Don't you just want a whole book of funny?

(Dew will have a review on August 15th!)
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CELIA RIVENBARK
Myrtle Beach Online

Hons, I'm as jumpy as a hen on a hot griddle as I prepare to be North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival Queen this week.

When first contacted, I really thought they were kidding. After all, I'm not 19, my thighs got more dimples than Jeff Probst and I can actually find Rwanda on a map.

But the Pecan Queen is different. This festival prefers its queen to be "seasoned," someone who knows her way around the kitchen and can honestly celebrate the fabulousness of the South's most famous nut. I mean other than Newt Gingrich. (Oops, that was political, wasn't it? The opinions of the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival Queen in no way represent the opinions of the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival or any of its entities, either past or present, fresh or frozen.)

In preparation for the big weekend, I've memorized many pecan facts. Did you know, for example, that there are more than 1,000 varieties of pecans? Personally I only recognize one: The Kind That Goes in My Stomach.

I adore pecans, and I am not just saying that because there is a fairly good chance that I will be given several big bags of shelled nuts if I do a good job as queen. For those of you who don't understand the significance of this, you need to know that, particularly in the South, the street value of shelled pecans just before the holidays is roughly that of crack cocaine. Do not confuse the two. It is almost impossible to make a decent Crack Cocaine Tassie, I am told.

Also, my research reveals that the word "pecan" is a Native American word from the Algonquin language which, literally translated, means "This is gonna make Stuckey's a lot of wampum some day." Would the Pecan Harvest Festival Queen lie to you?

Riding on the float, surrounded by a collection of fresh-scrubbed Pecan Belles in antebellum costume will, no doubt, be the highlight of the weekend. I have only ridden in a parade once before, a literary festival in East Texas, where the float was simply a flatbed truck labeled "AUTHORS" and filled with a bunch of us sitting on hay bales. Young children cried and hid behind their mother's skirts in fear that we would force them to conjugate something so it wasn't a big hit.

Back in Pecanland, the other highlight will be presiding over the Moo Doo Contest, which pits locals against one another in predicting which square of pasture grass which cow will poop in. I just hope Michael Vick doesn't show up and try kill the losing cow, y'all.

ONLINE | To read past Celia Rivenbark columns, go to her page at MyrtleBeachOnline.com.

Contact CELIA RIVENBARK at celiariven@aol.com or visit www.celiarivenbark.com

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