Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Show is UP: RIP Miss America '43

I was really thrown when I learned yesterday that former Vegas headliner Jean Bartel, the groundbreaking Miss America 1943, died on Sunday at 87. I had interviewed her for my column only six weeks ago! We had a lovely, insightful conversation, so I thought I'd play it on this week's show in her memory. Enjoy. As always, you can click on the date below to get it to play or right-click on it to download it to listen at your leisure. Or, of course, subscribe for free in iTunes or Zune. -sf

March 7: There She Was, Miss America

Less than two months ago, Miss America 1943 Jean Bartel was in Las Vegas for the pageant’s 90th anniversary celebration. She was the oldest living winner of the pageant and she had played the Strip as a singer at Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo back in the day. Steve interviewed her for his Jan. 19 column for the Las Vegas Weekly, and she sounded hale and hearty then. But on March 6, she died at the age of 87, so we remember her by playing Bartel’s final interview. In it, she offers her recollections as a groundbreaking Miss America who led the charge to create the scholarship program that is now its hallmark. Bartel also was the first Miss America to go to college, sold the most bonds in 1943 to support the World War II and even helped the US with some espionage work during the Cold War. During this conversation, she tells of hanging out with Danny Thomas at the Flamingo, reveals that her crown is on display at the Smithsonian and recalls Beth Myerson, Vanessa Williams and many other former beauty queens.In Banter: A Provo adventure, a word about cousin Paul Stanley, Ruffin doubts on the Cosmo, Caesars takes Fontainbleau’s castoff show and more.

Links to Stuff Discussed:

Steve’s Jean Bartel column and her LA Times obituary
Follow Rod Schiffman on Twitter
Caesars Palace is turning a tower over to Nobu
Watch Phil Ruffin's 3/7 appearance on Sam Shad's Nevada Newsmakers program
The latest on Charlie Palmer’s hotel in downtown Vegas
Terry Fator’s gay puppet debuts on George Lopez show
VegasHappensHere.Com on the similarities between Fator’s cougar puppet and Lucy the Slut from Avenue Q
Steve’s Vegas pool reviewfor the LA Times
Report from Reuters on suicide at Cosmopolitan
Chuck Monster’s Vegas Tripping rant about his latest Cosmo misery
VegasHappensHere.Com, AOL News and the Las Vegas Weekly about the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Trop
MGM Resorts’ press release extending health benefits for transgender care
VegasHappensHere.Com on the Vdara Kwik-E-Mart
Absinthe show opening March 21 outside Caesars
Steve’s AFP piece on Teresa Scanlan’s Miss America 2011 triumph