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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Miss America.” I was very big about this and said that I didn't mind at all. Miss America that year was Miss Marilyn VanDerVere, who has been in television ever since--I think she's with Bell Telephone at the moment. She is an enchanting girl.

We walked into the convention hall and the lights all went out and a great big spotlight was thrown on us and we took our places. When I spoke, I said, “Two things occurred tonight that I never thought would happen to me in my life...first, that I'd be speaking to 3,000 of the leading surgeons in America at one time, and two, that I'd walk down the whole hall of this great convention hall with the spotlight on me and the certainty that not one man in the hall was looking at me.”

Anyway, as a result of meeting all of the people connected with the Miss America pageant, the next week I was called and asked if I would be a judge that fall--and would Phyllis be a judge too. I accepted for both of us because I knew this was going to be great fun. I persuaded Moss Hart and Kitty to be on the board of judges too. That was the first time that I met Mitch Miller. He was on the board of judges, too, along with Dick Pope, who is the head of Cyprus Gardens down in Florida.

We went to Atlantic City expecting a ball, and didn't realize how hard we were going to work down there. Once you get into the swing of a Miss America contest, you get carried away with the importance of it. To the girl that

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