Maryline Blackburn knew Sarah Palin before she became a household name in Alaska or the rest of the world. The two met in 1984 during the Miss Alaska pageant. Blackburn eventually won while Sarah Heath took second runner-up honors and was voted Miss Congeniality by her peers.
Diane Osbourne was a local pageant coach who worked with all of the girls prior to the big competition. She remembers Sarah Heath as a soft spoken 20 year old who was unobtrusive and seemed to lack the 'go get-em' attitude of most contestants. She admitted to being very surprised, shocked actually, by how well Sarah performed on stage.
According the Sarah's mother, she wasn't a high heels kind of girl and found the swimsuit competition painful. Maryline Blackburn has a different recollection. "She was a very sweet young lady who everybody liked. She had a look of determination, kind of a sizing people up even behind the smile."
In any case, Sarah Palin has come a long way from Wasilla, Alaska all those years ago. The governor of Alaska has hit the biggest stage of all, some twenty-five years later. That's quite a leap.
UPDATE: April 29, 2010...Maryline Blackburn is setting her sights on a political title. The Democrat announced today that she is challenging the Republican incumbent Rich Golick for his seat on the Georgia House of Representatives.
The former Miss Alaska moved to Georgia shortly after her reign and went on to a career as a singer and actress.
Check out our photo gallery and recent video footage of Maryline below. We ask you...does this woman seem like a good fit as a politician?