In The News: Miss Narragansett Of Salem!
Salem News recently ran a local story about Mayor Kim Driscoll and found that she is the daughter of a former beauty queen. During the interview Mayor Driscoll mentions another Salem local, Beth Lee Baldini, is a former Miss Narragansett. Which means she was a Hi Neighbor Girl for the area. This is really cool. Here’s what they had to say.
While discussing her beauty queen mother, Driscoll indicated that pageant titles are not uncommon in Salem.
“Conrad Baldini is married to Miss Narragansett,” she said of Baldini, a longtime member of the Salem Redevelopment Authority.
Is that true? Is there a beauty queen in our midst?
“That was many years ago, unfortunately,” said a good-natured Beth Lee Baldini.
Asked if she represented Narragansett, R.I., Baldini said, “No, Narragansett beer.”
Those were the days, she said, of Miss Rheingold and Miss Narragansett.
In her role, Baldini — then Beth Lee Tobin from Lynn — would go to Fenway Park, where Narragansett was the big sponsor and “Hi Neighbor, Have a ‘Gansett” was the slogan of the day.
“I did quite a few commercials with Curt Gowdy,” she said of the legendary Red Sox broadcaster.
They replaced the Narragansett girls, she said, “with this funny little commercial.” Those, of course, were the classic 1950s animated ads featuring Mike Nichols and Elaine May.