J’den Cox hung from a tree, handcuffed and harnessed in. The timer was ticking. Unfortunately for his older brothers’ satisfaction, Cox’s expertise in escaping these situations had increased tenfold. He broke the metal bracelet and got away, to the displeased looks of his elders. They liked to instill toughness early, but Cox was showing them up.
Growing up, Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty did not practice her runway walk in heels or drown her curls in hairspray behind pageant doors. Instead, she sprinted down soccer elds with her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail and par- ticipated in 4H, a local leadership organization.
Dustin and Britton Colquitt glance at their phones to find those words before each game; a message fueled by faith and sent by their mother. The saying serves as a constant reminder of who they’re playing for. It’s not the crowd of thousands of people, but a one-man audience, watching their one-man show.
She entered her hometown for the first time in weeks with a new title to her name. Leaving her crown and sash behind, she picked up a selfie stick instead.