WELLINGTON – Contestants for the Senior Citizens Day King and Queen Contest garnered a few laughs from the audience as WOBL-AM 1320 disc jockey Jeff Vietzen, master of ceremonies, questioned each of them.
Trone Hall, 65, who was nominated by the Oberlin Manor Apartments, told Vietzen he enjoyed playing saxophone in his younger days.
“As soon as I buy me some more teeth, I’m gonna get back into it, too,” he said to a round of laughs.
The contest took on a serious note when Violet Smith, 89, sang after Vietzen coaxed her into giving him an example of one of her favorite songs.
But it was John Stuart and Charlotte King who took the crowns.
The contestants were judged on their personality and humor, community and fair involvement, poise and appearance.
King, a sprightly 99-year-old, was accompanied by her good friend, Mary Lou, who said there was no one more deserving of the honor.
“She’s a very nice person. Very personable. She’s pretty, too,” Mary Lou said.
King lives at Amherst Manor but she was born on the east side of Lorain in 1914. The family moved to Elyria three years later.
In 1933, King met her husband at a Halloween party when she was a teenager, and the two were married for 71 years. King said her husband passed away five years ago. They had two children together.
King said she was shocked that she was picked by the panel of judges – Wellington Fire Lt. Bill Brown, Lorain-Medina Rural Electric director of communications Terry Mazzone, and former web editor of The Chronicle-Telegram, Rona Proudfoot, who is now a social media producer at WKYC- Channel 3.
“It took my breath away,” King said, smiling.
Four women and four men were nominated by local organizations to take part in the King and Queen contest, so Herb and Marge Stockard were surprised when their friend, Stuart, was picked. The two began excitedly calling Lorain County Office on Aging’s Meals on Wheel Program.
“They were really excited,” Marge said after (Stockard) made the call.
She, her husband, Herb, and Stuart volunteer at Meals on Wheels, and the organization had nominated Stuart.
“He’s just a great, friendly, down-to-earth guy,” Marge said of Stuart. “He’s just a nice guy.”
Stuart, who turns 83 in a few days, lives in Avon Lake. He told the judges that, years ago, he enjoyed camping and going on cruises with his family. Now, he is active in church activities and with a local Alzheimer’s group.
Stuart said it was the first time he has been to the Lorain County Fair or any fair for that matter.
“Now I think it’s great,” said Stuart, when asked about his first fair experience.
The Senior Day King and Queen Contest was sponsored by the Lorain County Office on Aging, Hospice of the Western Reserve and EMH Home Care Agency. Senior citizens received free admission to the fair until 3 p.m. Thursday.