Oyster queen

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CRC’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Oyster Easter, is coming up Saturday 1-5 p.m. at Travellers Rest (tickets are available at the door).  but I thought you might like to know that the reason I am in the nonprofit world is that I was once the Oyster Queen.

Back in the day, Oyster Easter was held at a llama farm, don’t ask me why. Four “prominent” women are selected to run for queen (and four men for king, but this is the chicks blog so we’ll leave them for another day). At the time, I was in the newspaper business, which in no way qualified me as “prominent” but did ensure media coverage for the event.

So the idea is that you can lie, cheat and steal your way to the title by collecting the most oyster shells (now the royalty raise money and the shells are just used for a tie-breaker). I came with two eager assistants to steal gather shells and an enforcer to guard my pile. Well, here’s where it got interesting. One of my competitors, who will remain nameless but is very well-known in Nashville, attempted to bring in a truckload of oyster shells from Memphis. From Memphis! This is strictly against the rules and I immediately launched a very vocal protest along with the other two candidates.

You don’t like to see things get nasty at a party. It is all in fun. However, when you get four Type A women in a competition for anything it can get rough. Well, the long and the short of it was the truckload of shells from Memphis was removed from the property. The offending candidate could never catch up with me and I won the coveted title of Oyster Queen. I have a plastic crown with a painted oyster shell duct-taped to it to prove it.

Because of that triumph, I was asked to join the board of the Community Resource Center and a few years later, when the executive director slot opened up, I was asked to take it. And I did. Best move I ever made. All because of some bags of oyster shells.

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