By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – As the 71st Annual Peanut Festival approaches, many people around the area have a tendency to think back on their younger days and what it was like growing up in the Queen City of the Sand Flats.

One such person who was in a reflective state of mind was Jennifer (Johnson) Prout, the First Runner-up for the title of Miss Peanut Queen 1990. While she didn’t win the coveted title of Peanut Queen, the experience she garnered in Grapeland helped prepare her for other scholarship contests. Prout entered and won several of these contests (including Miss Watermelon Queen and Miss Texas Farm Bureau) which assisted her financially in attaining her Bachelor’s Degree from North Texas State University in Denton.

When asked about her favorite memories of growing up in Grapeland, she replied, “I had the good fortune to grow up in Grapeland. I am 43 and still have friends to this day from my childhood because there is something special about growing up in a small town.”

Prout smiled and added, “One of my favorite times of the year as I was growing up was the Peanut Festival! I remember being amazed watching the parade on Saturday morning, and as I grew up, getting to be part of it. Getting to go to the fair was the highlight of fall, and I annoyed my parents because I wanted to be out there the entire day!”

“Then,” she continued, “to finish the day, we went to the Peanut Pageant. Watching the Pageant was always exciting, but being able to be a part of the Pageant was a memory I will hold close forever. I love Grapeland, I am grateful for the impact it had on my life, and I love the memories I have of my hometown.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.