That fiction came to life at the Miss Western Week Pageant in Beeville last Saturday when Teresa Olivares Trevino was crowned this year’s Miss Western Week, wearing a dress with years of history behind it.
Teresa’s grandmother, Mary Olivares, designed the gown in 1958 to wear while competing in the Ladies Auxiliary competition.
“I was about 20 years old,” she remembers, “I designed the dress on my own without a pattern and asked my aunt, Chila, to make it for me.”
Sure enough, Mary was crowned queen of the Ladies Auxiliary contest that year.
Mary never got rid of the dress after the competition. She married the late Lazaro Olivares and began a family, keeping the dress tucked away safely.
When her daughter, Dorothy, turned 17 years old, the dress was a perfect fit for her high school prom.
After dancing the night away, the dress went back into safekeeping for future use.
This year, 17-year-old Teresa Olivares Trevino decided to compete in her first pageant, Beeville’s Miss Western Week 2013.
A favorite part of the pageant for many of the girls is dressing up. Teresa would need an active wear outfit, a western wear outfit and a ball gown.
Instead of running from store to store trying on dresses, Teresa had a specific dress in mind; the one her mother and her grandmother had worn before her for special events in their lives, similar to the pageant for Teresa.
Teresa’s grandmother was excited and surprised when Teresa told her she wanted to wear the dress.
“Most girls would love to get a brand new dress,” she said, “but it was important to Teresa for her to wear mine.”
Teresa not only competed in the Miss Western week competition, but she won, wearing her grandmother’s dress.
“We have now passed this dress down to the third generation of our family,” Mary said.
The family has no plans of getting rid of the special dress. Mary said she gave the dress to Teresa so she can hold on to it, and maybe someday it will be worn again.
If you believe in good luck charms, the dress may be exactly that.
Teresa also took home the Miss Congeniality award, a top program book sales award and an Overall Most Cooperative award.
“This was Teresa’s first time entering a pageant,” her grandmother said. “So we were so surprised and excited when she took home all these awards.”
From one county queen to another, the charm of the dress is undeniable.
Lindsey Shaffer is the regional editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 119, or at regional@mySouTex.com.