Source: Our State

Governor Bob Scott was known for his appetite for what we now consider uncommon fare: possums. In 1970, one possum became famous in his own right: he won a beauty contest and was pardoned by Gov. Scott, but not before being slated for his next meal.

According to Our State Magazine, Slow Poke the possum won a beauty contest at the National Hollerin’ Contest. Slow Poke was frightened by the noises from the other possums at the contest that were competing for loudest yells. But Slow Poke, with his unique white coat and large size (nearly three feet according to Our State) was the prettiest possum at the pageant.

Slow Poke made the headlines and became a bit of a celebrity. The “Possum Queen” Margaret Anne Wilkes was invited to meet Governor Scott and Slow Poke was attending as well. Wilkes told Governor Scott that she had never eaten possum, to which the governor asked, “Will you eat some?”

Governor Scott planned to have Slow Poke as the main course at a future banquet, but North Carolinians across the state would not hear of it. Letters to the News & Observer lodged complaints and some people even suggested that the stunt could cost Democrats the next election.

Ultimately, Governor Scott pardoned Slow Poke and allowed him to be set free in Raven Rock State Park, near where Slow Poke was found.

Read the full story of Slow Poke the Possum from Our State Magazine.