Feb. 14, 2022

SHARE YOUR SECRETS---SAVE YOUR LIFE.

MY book--THE BEAUTY QUEEN-- begins on the final night of the 1958 Miss America Pageant and, as Miss Arkansas and a Miss America finalist, I am performing my talent. Chosen by a series of judges to be the first Miss Pine Bluff, then Miss Arkansas, I was considered the illusion of perfection---the smile, the walk, the queenly elegance, and the ability to sing well. It didn’t matter about my unhappy childhood; or that sadness sometimes shadowed my perfect smile; or that my beautiful heart was permanently scarred from abuse.

When I arrived at The Miss America Pageant, I remember disliking the stage director (he reminded me of my mother) because of the way he "barked" sleazy-sounding orders at rehearsal: “Smile, smile and keep smiling; nobody cares if you’re having a shitty day!  KEEP SMILING! STRUT YOUR STUFF!  Stick out those boobs, swing those hips---and do whatever it takes to charm every warm body sitting in those seats out there! SELL IT, BABY!  SELL THAT FACE, SELL THAT FIGURE--DON'T WASTE YOUR CHANCE--DO IT NOW! 

But forget him.  There were pleasant memories-- like the warmth of the spotlight, the endless applause, and the constant attention.

Always needy, I wanted everyone to love me. My childhood--without playmates--consisted of pretend-playtime; of hours playing dress-up and play-acting to the mirror. All my stage-worthy performances were well received--but--only by the bedroom mirror. My wonderful-fantasy world allowed me to--temporarily forget-- the abuse I’d long-endured at the hands of my mother.

I didn't write a book to gather sympathy-- nor did I write a tell-all book seeking revenge. My book shares funny revelations, tender and sweet moments, and exposes a few experiences that are a little-bit naughty. I don’t sugar-coat the serious chapters in my book---they are barefaced.  Every incident in my book is described exactly as it happened. Those who assume I've enjoyed a life of privilege (and there are many) will read the brutal facts and learn the absolute truth.

My mother controlled me with fear, threats, and sexual abuse. From childhood to my early teens, she forced me to watch her physically interact with my brother. Decades later, after becoming the first woman to complete the first-ever journey of The Great Wall of China (All The Wall), I confronted my mother. Without a word, she pulled my father’s shotgun from under the bed, aimed it in my direction and--- I left her house forever. Twenty years later, my two daughters abandoned me to inherit her estate.

For me, the expression “Once a beauty queen, always a beauty queen” proved true. Even now, slightly faded, a little fragile and totally alone, I continue to be known by many as the Beauty Queen. The glamour days of singing, TV/Radio shows, onstage performances, and note-worthy affairs have ended; the  ongoing search for a better job and a better salary, publicized firings, ongoing threats, legal controversies, near death experiences--- are now a permanent part of my past.

 My reputation was burned-at-the-stake a long time ago and--I well-remember those who provided the matches and fanned the flames. In the nineties, during the Bimbo Eruptions, the media attacked me so viciously--I returned to China.

 Adversity is a great teacher. I never aspired to be strong or a seasoned survivor yet today--that’s exactly who and what I am.  My story isn’t pretty.  But, writing about my secrets allowed me to overcome the shame and guilt I’d felt for too-many years.  Let my many judges/critics/haters determine my book’s “winners and losers.”

I will never shake the Clinton connection but it no-longer concerns me.  Now, more than ever before, I focus on my successes rather than my failures. In my youth, my face and figure attracted the attention, approval, and love I so-desperately craved. But-- like the song lyrics say-- I  regret the wasted years "looking for love-- in all the wrong places."

When I began writing, I had no plan to include Bill or Hillary in my book.  I’d never discussed the details of the long-ago affair so---why would I start now?  But, I reversed my decision to “stay quiet” after Hillary’s Henchmen began harassing me...again... in 2016, shortly after she activated her run for the Presidency. Yes--it was time to tell my side of yet-another, very-nasty story.

If the world salivated when they read about Bill wearing my black nightgown, then no one should be disappointed with “the rest of the story.”   I couldn’t overlook Hillary's involvement in my life and how she altered my ability to live-free. I detail how, in the nineties, her political machine used every tactic in their playbook to silence me. They kept digging deeper and deeper, until they reached China--and found me.

 I’ve also included some “pillow talk” you might find interesting.  Bill enjoyed discussing his fetishes and fantasies but--most of all--he liked sharing confidential information regarding his wife's interest in women.

And—speaking of Lesbians-- A well-known newspaper recently singled me out as an expert on Hillary’s lesbian affairs. I’m certainly no authority on lesbians but, as an Arkansas mayoral candidate in 1984, I did hold a press conference to deny accusations by the Democrat Candidate that I was a lesbian. Of course, those scandalous headlines dominated the evening news. One elderly woman and loyal supporter of mine-- told a news reporter: “I know for certain our Miss Arkansas is not a Lesbanese! Sally was born in a little town in Missouri!”

Believe me-- I have no allegiance to pageants, politicians, people, or the state of Arkansas. I write about my lawsuit against the cult-like Quakers, multiple near-death experiences, FBI/CIA incidents, seven months on The Great Wall, bad-girl moments, personal involvement with the disabled, notorious love affairs, even the quiet intimacy I shared with another Arkansas governor, Winthrop Rockefeller.

Despite the fact I’ve achieved the ultimate status of "ALL Grown-Up", my life remains an ongoing challenge.  With constant highs and lows, my many trials and tribulations have exposed one surprising but valuable fact: I am extremely- intelligent. While living through a good-old-boy-style divorce; accepting full responsibility of two daughters as a single parent; withstanding the intensity of constantly job-hunting---on-going money pressures--and my mother’s incessant, long-distance control---I learned to appreciate my brain. I do many things well-- including singing-- but respecting my intelligence evolved slowly--- much-like viewing my own awakening-- in slow motion.

 Due to my mother's dominance, I never felt smart or worthy of praise. Most importantly, for a young woman raised in the fifties, being PRETTY and POPULAR was more important than being SMART.  It was only when Father Time gradually took-control of my physical beauty that I appreciated- even admired- the smart person I saw "looking back at me" from the mirror.

 At the age of sixty seven, I returned to college for an advanced degree. Not only was I the oldest student in my classes, I was also the only student earning a Master’s in education who was named to the Dean’s List.  So, despite "my age", I earned my Masters and received very high marks.  I actually felt proud, knowing my educational success was based on my intelligence and not my looks.

 Please note: After my 1973 divorce, I kept my married name, Sally Miller Perdue.  In 2003, after both of my daughters’ married-- I--legally-- returned to my birth name: Myra Belle Miller.

 But, nothing really changed. Everyone still knows me as Simply-----------------------Sally.