Home » Tips and Tricks » This Man Needed to Analysis His Heritage. Then He Discovered Out His Cousin Hosted Miss America for twenty-four Years.

This Man Needed to Analysis His Heritage. Then He Discovered Out His Cousin Hosted Miss America for twenty-four Years.

Monday, September 19th 2016. | Tips and Tricks

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A couple of years in the past, spurred on by a budding curiosity in family tree and incipient previous age, I began looking for details about my mom’s maternal household. I gave up when I discovered sufficient flip-of-the-century ladies referred to as Mollie Jacobson, my grandmother’s identify, to fill a tenement block.

However one twig of my mother’s household tree that I did know has sparked muted pleasure through the years. Her cousin was Bert Jacobson, whose stage identify was Bert Parks, most generally referred to as the longtime host of the Miss America pageant.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1914, Bert hosted the Miss America telecast from 1955 to 1979, the competitors’s golden age. In these days, nobody cared that the skills of the 50-some beauties ranged from baton twirling to baton dropping. A contestant who wished for world peace was seen as a patriot, not a cliché.

Watching the pageant on TV was an enormous deal for many households, and naturally in our home it was a very massive deal, although I by no means discovered it wholly satisfying. Why, I questioned, couldn’t Bert get us free tickets to Conference Corridor in Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey, and backstage passes to satisfy the contestants, ideally sporting their swimsuits?

As a child, I requested my mother for tangible proof that we have been associated to one of many nice mediocre skills of twentieth-century America. She gave me a shoebox with a Christmas card dated 1959, which featured simply his youngsters. It wasn’t even signed “to my favourite cousin.” In truth, it bugged me that Jewish Bert was even sending out Christmas playing cards.

In 1961, my mother and father went to New York to see Bert play Harold Hill in The Music Man on Broadway. They did go to him after the present, however they didn’t get him to signal their playbill.

Till just lately, the one profit I actually acquired from being Bert Park’s first cousin as soon as eliminated was that it was a useful dialog icebreaker. It saved me from having to make use of the second most fascinating reality about me, which was that my Irish terrier, Ginger, had as soon as modeled a flea collar on the native information.

However in 2013, Bert modified my life. I occurred to lookup his Wikipedia entry to verify one thing, and there within the first line was the revelatory assertion “Parks was born … to Aaron Jacobson, a Jewish service provider who had immigrated to america … from Latvia.” So my mother’s maternal household was Latvian! Bert had given me the present of my heritage.

What extra might I’ve requested of him? I can consider just one factor: He may need launched me to Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America 1965, my favourite contestant. No baton twirling for Vonda; her expertise was ventriloquism.

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