Miss America 1958 Marilyn Van Derbur
According to the book,
Marilyn Van Derbur was literally drafted into the Miss University of
Colorado Pageant by her sorority sisters when she was called out of a
meeting for a long distance phone call. Marilyn nearly panicked. After she reluctantly agreed
to go through with it, the girls inquired what Marilyn intended to do
for her talent. "Talent?!", Marilyn gasped. "What in the
world would I do for talent?! "You'll think of something," her
sorority sisters giggled as they rushed off. Marilyn ended up
deciding to memorize one piece - a simple medley of "Tea for Two" and
"Tenderly" on the organ - an instrument she had never played.
"It was the only piece I I knew by heart - but I could do it backwards
In 2003, Miss America 1958, Marilyn Van Derbur, publishes "Miss America By Day", her account of growing up as a victim of sexual abuse. The revelation that a tremendously respected former Miss America had been the victim of incest is met with a huge outpouring of public sympathy - and a flood of contact from women across the country with similar stories. Overnight, Van Derbur becomes an advocate on the issue and an inspirational model of hope for sexual abuse survivors worldwide.
Derbur sexual abuse prevention website (Parental guidance is
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