KEEPING TABS: The Twirling American Beauties will march again in Seaside parade

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 05:24 PM.

Joining her that first year to relive the past and help her celebrate her birthday were four former majorettes from Choctaw High School , plus two friends. The women practiced long and hard to take on the associates of Seaside Associated Stores, a feat not done before. But when judges announced the parade winners, a tie for first had to be declared — and the friendly rivalry was born.

The Beauties wanted first place and next year, they brought out the big guns in the form of  their "secret weapon” Benny Campbell, Alabama State Twirling Champion in 1969, who possesses the admirable talent of being able to twirl two batons at once.

The twirling champ, in his drum major hat, was enough to put them over the top. The Beauties took home the first-place prize in year two.

Following that win, the Beauties had to return to defend their title. Since then, Campbell has returned every year to help — and to join in the fun, as he will again this year.

With a little help from Miller’s friends, The Twirling American Beauties have placed first every year but one.

The faces of the Beauties have changed over the years as have the routines and costumes. Since that first year, two of the Beauties have died. The only constants have been Miller, Campbell, and Miller’s best friend of 30 years, Dixie Minatra.

Miller's fun tradition has also become a family affair as her daughter-in-law, Michele Ezell, and Michelle's three daughters have attended the parade every year to show their love and support. One year, Ezell and her daughters even joined the fun and danced with Miller.

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