For more than 20 years, Joyce Allen has been entering items in county fairs in Arkansas, Florida, and now Osage County, Oklahoma.
Allen made her debut with the Osage County Fair in 2012 and chalked up an impressive array of 34 awards which included 21 Blue Ribbons. This year, Allen upped her entries to 51 and scored a winner in each one with 31 Blue Ribbons, 15 Reds and 5 White. This multi-talented woman submitted entries in baking, gardening, canning, crafts, sewing, oil painting and photography.
Allen’s husband, Paul, was so impressed with his wife’s accomplishments that he created two web sites for her. The first is entitled "MawMaw at Large" (http.//mawmawatlarge.com/press/) which allows Allen to share her activities and an occasional opinion. From there, Paul created a link called "My Fair Lady." Allen said, "For years, the only identity I had was ‘the Sax player’s wife, or as mother of one of our four daughters. As much as I loved these roles, I wanted to do something that let me be me."
If Allen’s trophies for the past two years are any indication of success, she has truly found herself. She shares her love of cooking by giving most of her creations to friends and neighbors and is always willing and ready to offer a word of encouragement or helping hand. Most recently Allen stepped down after a five-year stint as President of the American Legion Post No. 198 Women’s Auxiliary.
"Although Paul has retired three times," said Allen, "We are not ready to quit. Our philosophy is we want to live until we die. We don’t want to sit down and wait for it!"