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Once a Queen: Deloma Ensley Sherwood, 1973

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Deloma Ensley Sherwood reigned over the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in 1973. Since then she’s helped other young contenders polish their poise as a style and presentation consultant.

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Today: Deloma and her husband Kevin live in East Wenatchee. She operates Personal Image & Style, a makeover consultancy in Wenatchee, which she’s owned since 1990.

Personal: One of seven kids, Deloma was a Wenatchee High School junior and a clarinetist in Gene “Sarge” Huber’s Golden Apple Band when she fell critically ill in 1972. A combination of mononucleosis, which caused arthritic inflammation in her joints, and secondary strep infections, which attacked her brain and the valves of her heart, left her hospitalized for a week and caused her hair to fall out. A year later her hair had returned, darker and curlier, and was topped with the queen’s tiara. “I knew when I came out of that and started going back to school, I was not the same girl that went in,” she said. “Nor could I look at the world or the people around me with the same eyes.”

Princesses: Jill Penhallegon Prentice and Cami Duvauchelle Earsley

Favorite queen memory: Deloma’s Apple Blossom court portrait was the first published in color in The Wenatchee World, making it a big collectible splash. Just before the 1973 Youth Parade, she was handed a bouquet of fresh lilacs by the sixth-grade leader of an elementary school drill team. As the parade went down its route, Deloma discovered the flowers were home to “a variety of annoying bugs.” (The girl who gave her the flowers was Melissa Bitterman, who’d go on to become Apple Blossom queen herself in 1980.) Deloma’s reign came in the dionysian early ’70s, when Apple Blossom weekend became a magnet for unruly crowds. The 1972 festival was fraught with public safety problems, so local police worked hard to tamp down the chaos in 1973. Deloma recalls being sheltered by the Applarians when her float was jumped by long-haired parade gawkers in Olympia. “The Applarians were really our angel guardians and protectors,” she said.

Notable: Apple Blossom wasn’t Deloma’s last pageant experience: in 1977 she was crowned Miss Greater Wenatchee. She performed with Music Theatre of Wenatchee while attending Wenatchee Valley College, and went on to serve on the Apple Blossom festival board and co-emcee the pageant in 1987. In her stylist business, she sometimes coaches pageant contestants, including competitors in the Wenatchee and Manson Apple Blossom festivals. For a decade, Deloma kept a policy of only taking on one Apple Blossom royalty candidate as a client. In 2012, she broke that rule and worked with three contenders — all of whom made the top 10. She’ll host a series of “Style Boot Camps” at Wenatchee Valley Mall starting May 16.

Reach Jefferson Robbins at 509-664-7123 or . Follow him on Twitter at @JRobbinsWW. Contact him securely by PGP key.