In California: Practicing Swimsuit for Atlantic City

On the Betamax a replay of her first triumph unwinds in glorious technicolor. The camera zooms in on pink fingernails fluttering near pale skin as her face crumples with joy and disbelief. The weepy, departing queen struggles to fix the crown on her successor's head. As a recorded chorus serenades, "She's a miracle, she could be Miss America. . . the one that we ado-o-o-re," the winner grips her scepter and hurtles toward the runway at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

All that happened back on June 24. Watching it again only a week...

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