Roots Run Deep For Yam Queen - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Roots Run Deep For Yam Queen

For weeks, Mary Carol Despain and her father, Dennis, practiced their waltz for tonights coronation.  It's something she's been looking forward to since she was a little girl.

"I couldn't wait to run my year," says Mary Carol.

For her, being queen isn't just about the bow or the dress and train which took weeks to design.

It's the realization of a dream that began with her grandmother, Mary louis davidson.  She was the queen of the 18th Annual Yamboree.

"When I was little, she'd sit me down and tell me about all the different events in the Yamboree, and say, 'One day, you're going to get to run, and I want you to be queen," says Mary Carol.

Mary Carol's mother ran for queen in 1978. Then, her sister, Ann-Marie was crowned in 2004, but Ann-Marie's reign was clouded with sadness.  Just one week before her coronation, her grandmother died of a heart condition.

"I was crushed because I wanted her to be there, because it was a big part of her life like it was a part of mine," says Ann-Marie.

If Mary Louis were still around, Mary Helen thinks she knows exactly what she'd say.

"She would say, 'Mary Carol, I am so proud of you. You've worked so hard, and you've been the lady I wanted you to be," says Mary Helen.

There's no doubt Mary Louis would be thrilled to have both granddaughter's join her among the Yamboree royalty.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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