Brandy Drake Teen Miss Georgia Forestry 1999 crowned Teen Miss GA USA
In Memory of Sydney Ridings
Wesleyan College

Beside stone wall

A maid in the shade

Brandy Drake was crowned Miss Georgia Teen USA in October 2000, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The leaves on the Southern hardwoods were turning a dozen shades of red and gold, but the pine needles were as green as ever.

Maybe you don't care what was going on outside that day. The pageant was held indoors, after all. But we could hardly write a story about Brandy Drake without mentioning trees. Forests are her family's business.

With Smokey Bear
Town and gown
All photos courtesy of Brandy Drake
In swimsuit
"My dad owns a tree farm," she says. "It's a major industry all over the state."

It has also been a major industry in her pageant career. As a teen forestry queen, she traveled to small Georgia towns from the crest of Appalachia to the edge of the Okefenokee, advocating trees as a renewable resource.

Skiing accident
Hugging a tree after a skiing accident.
Wearing her crown But trees are not this young beauty's passion. "I'm a clothes fanatic," she admits, "a shoe fanatic." She's considering a career in the fashion business, and she hopes her pageant success leads to more modeling opportunities.

Or she might choose the field of emergency medicine. She's very bright. She will turn 18 during the Miss Teen USA Pageant, but she has already qualified to enroll in college as a sophomore.

And again, her career might turn out to be something completely different. "I have 20 million options," she sighs with grateful wonderment. When you're a nationally known beauty queen, opportunity almost grows on . . .

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