Utah's first Homecoming queen takes a trip down memory lane

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SALT LAKE CITY -- On Saturday night, the University of Utah will play Louisville in the team's homecoming football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It seems only fitting that the homecoming festivities will include the welcome home of one very special queen.

Earlier this week, Margaret Price Carlston took us on a walk down memory lane. At 93 years of age, that lane was quite extensive. We began in 1936.

"Oh, I thought it was wonderful," Margaret said. "People were lovely to each other, and we had lots of fun together.

She had lots of fun leading the Women's Association and pledging to Delta Gamma.

"Oh, wonderful. We just thought that was cool. We were wonderful. The group down the street didn't have a group like ours," Margret said.

Another group Margaret belonged to was the Spurs--Utah's pep club.

"I was thinking I was something when I was in that group," she recalled.

But something else happened in November of 1936: Margaret was named Utah's very first Homecoming Queen.

"Well, I thought it was pretty nice and surprised that I made it," Margaret said.

And it was big news--published from the L.A. Times and all the way to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Closer to home, Margaret received a telegram that read: "Congratulations, darling. Love, Ken."

"He was the guy I was going with at the time," Margaret said. "But he made me his wife."

Margaret celebrated her big day with a Homecoming dance, a parade down Main Street and, of course, the football game--something Margaret didn't pay much attention to.

"Because I was thinking about everything else about myself," she said. "Who cares about the football?"

The Homecoming game was played in what was then the 20,000-seat Ute Stadium. Saturday night night, Margaret will be honored once again; this time in front of 45,000 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

We took Margaret back to the stadium--her first visit since her college days.

"Oh, it's beautiful," Margaret said. "I've never seen anything so gorgeous."

And on that day, Utah's first queen met the current queen--Erica Sellers. Now, 73 years later, Margaret Carlston will be queen once again--at least for one more day.

Margaret will be joined Saturday night by her five children. Margaret, now a widow, also has 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com


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Kathy Aiken


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