In New York: The Miss is a Hit

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Well, so much for spilled milk. Vanessa Williams thinks this achievement will give her a leg up in the career of her choice, and who is to say it will not? Next to her picture in the high school yearbook, it says, "See you on Broadway." On Friday, her last day in the city, she had already got as close to it as Rockefeller Center, where she was posing for an official photograph. There was some discussion over whether her dress was tomato colored or Chinese red, but nonetheless it was decided that it blended well with a spray of chrysanthemums that was used as background.

In a corner, Eleanor Ross, one of two traveling companions provided by the pageant, was expressing mild astonishment at the size of Miss America's bill back at the Plaza. When she learned that morning it was $265 a night, excluding tax, she thought it was $265 for both her single room and Williams' single room. Informed it was $265 each, she gasped.

On Friday afternoon, Miss America had her hair done. On Friday evening, she packed. Dresses made from material that cost $120 a yard went into this bag or that. She said she thought the pace was slowing, and that she had prayed it would. She was asked whether she had thought about spending the next four seasons trying to forswear a right held dear by commoners everywhere: the right to appear in public wearing a frown.

Showing teeth a dentist would adore, she said, "It makes me; people are delighted to see me. It snaps my energy, becoming a celebrity overnight, having people be thrilled to see me would remedy a down feeling, I think."

And then they were off, flying People Express out of Newark, headed north to Portland, Me., two passengers on a no-frills flight, dragging along a crown.

—By Gregory Jaynes

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