Costumes and strong arms at centennial contests

Sunday, October 2, 2005
Victoria Collom, 3, stood next to her grandmother, Viney Mosley, at the Common Pleas Courthouse Park gazebo Saturday. Both won first place in their age groups for best costume at the Southeast Missourian centennial celebration.

Three competitions drew crowds during the Southeast Misourian's centennial celebration.

A costume contest at the gazebo at the Commons Pleas Courthouse was the first to draw applause from bystanders.

Victoria Collom, 3, was the only entrant in the child competition of the costume contest, but that did not stop her from wooing the judges and the crowd. She won $5 in cash, a $10 gift certificate for Port Cape and a $25 gift certificate to Nick's Family Sports Pub.

"I'm a winner," Victoria said excitedly.

Her grandmother, Viney Mosley, bought her the lace dress last year because she said it was too pretty to pass up.

Mosley's own lace dress won her a $50 gift certificate to the Royal N'Orleans restaurant. That dress was made by her husband's mother, the late Jean Bell Mosley, a longtime columnist for the Southeast Missourian.

Viney Mosley saved all of mother-in-law's clothes because she likes to wear them.

"I wanted to honor her," she said.

Robert and Adell Hartle of Jackson bought period costumes -- a bright mauve dress for her, an ascot and tails for him -- in 1990 for a Travelers Protective Association state convention.

Adell Hartle said she donated her husband's outfit because she thought he would never wear it again. So he rented another ascot and tails just for Saturday.

While her dress was tailored for her, "I thought, 'What would I ever do with that?' But I am going to keep it now," Adell Hartle said.

The couple won four Cardinals baseball playoff tickets. Adell Hartle said they will take their son and his family to the game.

"This has been one of the nicest affairs I have ever been to," Adell Hartle said.

A parade of classic cars lined the blocked off streets during the celebration.

The contest recognizing the antique cars began early in the afternoon, but the work to build and maintain those cars started well before the competition.

Ora Masters of Gordonville started rebuilding classic cars when he retired in the 1980s.

The 1929 Huxster Wagon he entered in the Southeast Missourian's Centennial Celebration Antique Car competition started life as a two-door sedan. Then someone cut it down and made it into a truck. The vehicle then sat in a shed for more than 50 years before Masters came along and bought it.

Several thousand dollars and about a year later, the car was ready to hit the road. He doesn't keep track of the amount he spends on the cars because he says it is just a fun hobby to keep him busy.

"I just drive and play with them," Masters said.

He said he doesn't often enter contests often and was surprised to win $100. "I've got cars fancier than this one, but I just like it," Masters said.

After winning the Publisher's Award, Masters says he plans to get back to work restoring a 1935 Oliver tractor.

Joe James won the $200 Mayor's Award for his 1928 Ford Model A. Ruth Ellen Holdman won the President's Award and $100 for her 1934 Ford.

The final contested seemed easy enough -- throw a newspaper onto the mat of a fake front door. But of around 30 participants, only three made it to the final round.

The winner, Tyler Hedden of Cape Girardeau, has plenty of experience. As a fourth-grader in Emporia, Kan., he delivered newspaper advertisements on the weekends. Now, he said, he keeps his throwing arm in shape by lifting his 1-year-old daughter, Avery. His prize was a year's subscription to the Southeast Missourian.

Dave Ludwig of Jackson won $50 for his second-place throw.

Ludwig said he massages his throwing arm and makes sure to take his vitamins to keep his arm in the kind of shape it was in when he delivered papers back in the late 1950s.

Mark Kneer, the Southeast Missourian's circulation director, said most of the current carriers are adults. Only about 20 percent are youths, down from 30 percent when Kneer started in the business 20 years ago.

Younger paper carriers disappeared when the newspaper became a morning paper because a number of parents did not want their children out in the dark that early in the morning, he said.

ameyer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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