VALLEJO, CALIF. -- "This has been so much fun, I think I will give it another shot next year," exclaimed Maude Burton, runner-up Tuesday in the My Fair Lady Pageant Beauty Contest at the Solano County Fair.
Burton, who will be 101 years old on Sept. 29, lost out to a much younger woman. Teresa Segura, an 80-year-old blind woman confined to a wheelchair, won the first annual beauty contest for residents of Vallejo-area convalescent homes.
In the best tradition of beauty contests, Segura was beside herself when she was named winner. She blurted: "Oh my God. I can't walk. I can't see. And now, I've won a beauty contest. Unbelievable! Babalu, bombs away!"
Judging was based on poise, personality and appearance.
Segura was born in the village of Montellano, Spain, and moved to Hawaii with her parents when she was 5. It was a three-month voyage by ship, she recalled. By the time she was nine she was working in sugar cane fields on Kauai.
She speaks Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and English fluently. She has survived two husbands and said now that she's a beauty queen "another man will probably come along and sweep me off my feet."
"I suppose Hollywood will be the next stop, the White House after that. I wouldn't mind sharing some jellybeans with the president," she laughed.
Each contestant was asked several questions on stage in front of more than 500 residents of the local rest homes. When her turn came Burton asked the judges to hold it a minute as she turned up her hearing aid.
The 10-piece Just for Fun band led by Harold Anderson, 84, who wears a red tam-o'shanter and plays violin, entertained.