Answers to questions that should be asked!
1. What connection does Miss America Savvy Shields have to Fresno?
Her grandfather, who grew up in Fresno, would tell the Arkansas native about how he would someday take her to Fresno during the summer. “Up until high school, it was a mystical dream because I didn’t think it was real,” said Shields, who helped emcee the Miss California Pageant on her 22nd birthday.
2. There were seven Latinas competing for Miss California this year. Is this a record?
No. Not even close. In 2014, there were a dozen Latinas who showed up for the state pageant. One of them, Bakersfield’s Izamar Olaguez, was first runner-up.
3. A national study showed Fresno drivers are among the worst in the country. What is the solution?
Easy, get Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and other elected officials to do public service announcements explaining the rules of the road, like how a turn signal works.
4. What was the coolest talent at the Miss California Pageant?
Of the 79 contestants (including 33 Miss Outstanding Teen hopefuls), it would have been Miss Central California Outstanding Teen Violet Joy Hansen, the winner, combine ballet and opera. My favorite, however, was Miss Ventura County Amanda Rodríguez perform an energetic ‘Jarabe Tapatío.’
5. What is the best high school graduation story that didn’t get told this year?
Easy. That would be McFarland High School student speaker Alyssa Díaz, who most likely would not have been at her graduation had it not been for a lucky break. When former cross country coach Jim White saw a doctor about his heart condition, he was told he could send some students for a free heart check-up. The school’s cross country runners hesitated because they are deemed extremely healthy. During the checkup, Díaz found her heart algorithm was off. Surgery helped save her life.
6. OK, what is the second-best graduation story?
How about Mendota High School soccer star Danny Trejo, who scored 200 goals in his high school career, getting his jersey number retired? Or, how about McLane High School returning to having its graduation ceremony at its football stadium after having been moved to the Save Mart Center last year? Bonus: Parents of the McLane valedictorians were given infield seats for a closer look at the ceremony.
7. Should I bother to go see ‘Beatriz at Dinner?’
Definitely. Mexican actress Salma Hayak has not performed better since her portrayal of Frida Kahlo earned her an Oscar nomination in 2003. The give-and-take social commentary between Hayak and John Lithgow is gripping.
8. What will students in the Chicano Youth Leadership Project remember from the talk given to them by Fresno State president Joseph I. Castro?
That he also participated in the program when he was at Hanford High School, and how he would catch the bus to go to Sacramento with a bag of burritos his mother made for him.
9. What ever happened to Lorena Ochoa?
The world’s top-ranked female golfer for three years retired from the sport in 2010 to devote her time to motherhood and not the pressures of the LPGA Tour. Today, she has three children and works with her foundation to help 355 children at La Barranca Educational Center in Guadalajara. She will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in September.
10. What will happen if President Donald J. Trump builds the wall on the border with México?
Expect Mexican athletes to dominate the pole vault in future Olympics.
Juan Esparza Loera has been editor of Vida en el Valle since it started publication in August 1990.