'It's the most wonderful day I've ever had,' says runner-up in Mr. and Ms. Golden Years contest

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 6 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

"My daughter said: 'Mother, don't you think that's a bit much?' and I said: 'They like it, they're asking for it,'" Stilson told Burcombe before helping to crown this year's winner.

The contestants were asked questions about what advice they would give to young people today, who they would take to lunch if they could ask anyone and what they liked about where they're living now. The responses ran the gamut from humorous to sweet. 

Robert Gamble said he'd like to take Burcombe to the moon for lunch. David "Dee" Stevens, said he would take his wife.

"She's not alive today, but she's the only one I'd ask," he said. "First, I'd take her where she'd like to go, then I'd try my best to make it pleasant."

"She sounds like a mighty fine woman," Burcombe said. 

"Mightier than that," he responded. "She was the best." 

Elinora Green said she would have an entire banquet "where we could all sit and visit about all the fun times we had when we were young." And as for her advice for the youth?

"They ought to take every opportunity to do everything in their life they can," she said. "Life is short."

Mr. Golden Years 2011, Wayne Taylor, 82, guessed at how the conversation would go when he told his six children the news.

"What do I think they'll say? ... Why?" he said.

He said he was told about the pageant about a week ago.

"I was scared to death," he said. "I always end up in something like this."

He didn't expect to win and was "flabbergasted" when he did.

"I didn't think I would," he said, noting he felt both silly and excited to have been proven wrong.

But Hugh Gates summed up the sentiments of most contestants.

"I had a lot of fun," he said. "I met a lot of people. It serves a useful purpose because it involves so many people. And it shows the talent enthusiasm for something relatively new. ... We just eat this up." 

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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