10/02/08 — Senior contest shows locals have talent

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Senior contest shows locals have talent

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 2, 2008 1:48 PM

Patsy Cline aka Barbara Wiler, belted out "Crazy" and concertgoers cheered.

Wiler and other contestants had the opportunity croon tunes during the senior citizens contest at the county fair Tuesday.

The competition was fierce and Mrs. Wiler was one of four contestants -- all vocalists. She took first place. Others competing were Michael Aycock, second; John W. Wooten, third; and Chester Hawkes, fourth.

Patsy Cline is Mrs. Wiler's favorite country singer and that's why she chose "Crazy" to perform at the contest.

"I enjoy singing her music," Mrs. Wiler said. "When asked to perform here today, I said 'sure.'"

Singing at the senior citizens contest was not a first performance for Mrs. Wiler. The 61-year-old has been singing since she was a teenager and performs frequently at nursing homes, weddings, revivals and even funerals.

Singing "makes me feel good," she said.

She had no clue she would win the senior citizens contest.

"I had some tough competitors," she said. "I thought at least a couple of the guys would have been before me because they were so good."

Whether she had won or not, Mrs. Wiler feels that she at least gave the seniors in the audience some encouragement. "They can still go out and do things no matter how old they are," she said.

Special awards were presented to audience members. These included Beatrice Dawson, oldest senior, 94; Sheila Cordell, youngest grandparent, 45; Jimmy Wooten, most recent grandparent; Emma Howell, most children, 8; Joe and Barb Haas, most grandchildren, 21; Carl Andrew, most great-grandchildren, 11; and Donald and Doris Herring, couple married the longest, 64 years.

While the judges were deciding the winners, The Goldsboro Stompers kept the action going with two dance routines. The first was "Hey Baby" to the tune of "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"

The second was a dance that's very popular today, "Cupid's Shuffle."

Blane Smith, pastor of Dudley Christian Church, provided his own brand of entertainment as emcee. When calling out numbers for door prizes, he announced that winners would receive a car and a trip to Alaska, among others.

At one point, he drew a number for 50 of his sermons. When no one claimed the prize, Smith jokingly said "maybe it's the sermons that are scaring you."

He concluded the senior citizens contest by praising those attending. "You folks are the salt of this earth," he said.