Queen With the Common Touch
SISTERSVILLE – There was a telling moment about Autumn Carter’s personality on Saturday after the West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival Parade. As the festival’s queen, a storied title with a long history, Carter is among the most recognized members of royalty in the state.
But Carter is no ordinary queen and that showed when she was at the city park with some kids playing with a hula hoop. She was wearing a lovely white gown, sash and tiara.
“I was just sitting with the kids and they were all waiting for me to say something. After I asked all their names and what their favorite parts of the game area were, I asked what they wanted to do and they wanted to have a hula hoop contest. I hula-hooped and played soccer with the kids along with letting them all try on my crown,” said Carter, 18, a student at Marshal University.
That’s just the kind of person queen Carter is; down-to-earth and someone of whom Tyler County can take pride.
“My story into the pageant world may not be as common as others,” said Carter of Frankford. “I was not the little girl who watched in awe as the Miss USA pageant was on television. In fact, I don’t think that I even watched the pageants on television until I started competing. I was more the tomboy type in jeans and boots and was more into the farm life than I was into glamor.”
Carter said her pageant life happened by accident.
“A local pageant director and her daughter talked me into my first pageant,” she said. “They needed entries and decided I was a good candidate. My mom wasn’t even in town for the pageant. So with my bridesmaid’s dress and a friend of my mother, I headed off to my first pageant. And who would of ever thought – I won! And all of this by just being me!”
Over the past few years, Carter has held the following titles: Miss Teen River City, WV Dandelion Festival Teen, WV Sweetheart Festival Queen, Lewis County Fair Queen and this year-WV Oil and Gas Festival Queen.
Being a queen has been fun for this young woman who has judged a car contest and wrestled in a pageant dress.
“Some of the highlights I’ve had as pageant royalty include Irish road bowling and a rubber ducky race at the Ronceverte River Festival and the veterans brunch and fishing tournament at the WV Dandelion Festival,” she said. “Last year as the Lewis County Fair Queen was the most out-of-the-box experience I’ve had as queen. I was able to help judge a car show, be a part of the BBQ eating contest, and even ride through the mud bog with one of the locals, Devin Bohan. No one knew how to react when they saw their fair queen jump out of the truck into the mud to hook it up when we got stuck. I even mud wrestled in a pageant dress to top off the night of the mud bog.”
Carter said she enjoyed her time in Tyler County during the festival.
“This past weekend in Sistersville has been a truly phenomenal experience,” she said. “The luncheon for the Oil and Gas Man of the Year, Donald Supcoe, was such a great experience to be a part of. The parade was a sight to see with all the different floats and bands.”
Saturday afternoon, Carter said she was able to see many of the engine exhibits from around the state as well as surrounding states.
“I learned so much about them from the hardworking men and women that keep them running. The children’s games were enjoyable and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to join in their fun and games for the day,” she said. “I was even able to participate in the corn hole tournament. We ended the evening with some very nice entertainment. The day was a great success!”
Carter said though she has been “a full-fledged pageant girl” for the past five years, she is not your typical beauty queen.
“Aside from pageants, I help out on the family farm, driving tractors and working cattle,” she said. I spend most of my free time showing horses.”
Carter said she doesn’t drive a “girly” car, but a Ford F350. She would rather go hunting or fishing instead of to the mall. In high school, Carter was a member of the FFA and JROTC, where she served as our battalion’s S-1 and also the rifle team captain.
“The leadership position that I held in JROTC greatly expanded my public speaking ability and has allowed me to be the person I am today,” she said.
Carter graduated from Greenbrier East High School with 33 college credit hours, completed one year of undergraduate classes at Marshall University, and now have started pharmacy school at Marshall University.
“I haven’t reached my 19th birthday yet! That happens this Sunday!” she said. “I truly have lived a blessed life up to this point. And stay tuned, the best is yet to come!”
Carter had kind words to one of Tyler County’s finest queens and a well-known pageant director.
“Last but not least, I would like to say thank you to my pageant director, Kelly Simms, and all of her family,” she said. “They have welcomed me with open arms and have truly been a pleasure to work with thus far. Thank you to all of the board members, and thank you to all the people of Sistersville, for providing such a wonderful experience for me to be a part of. I am very honored to be able to represent the WV Oil and Gas Festival.”