Queen Alalah XXIV
Mrs. Gail White Stark remembers Arkalalah as being the most anticipated celebration of the year. The former Queen Alalah XXIV still makes it back for many of the queen coronations despite living in Moose, Wyoming. Her fondest memories include decorating floats, attending coronation programs, and of course, the parade. She simply could not wait for the drum major to appear, leading the Arkansas City High School band with the tall white fur hat and strutting with high step down Summit Street.
During Stark’s freshman year at Arkansas City Junior College, she was selected by the faculty and students to represent Arkansas City in the Miss Kansas Pageant. She won the title of Miss Kansas 1955 and participated in the Miss America Pageant.
She then returned to ACJC for her sophomore year where she was chosen Queen Alalah XXIV. Stark attended one semester at Southwestern College and then married Jack Stark. Jack and Gail moved to Yellowstone National Park to begin Jack’s career in the National Park Service. They lived in many beautiful national parks and moved their children all over the country but according to Gail they were “definitely Midwesterners at heart”. Stark’s primary vocation was raising their three children while entertaining many visitors including congressmen, senators, and vice presidents. In later years, Stark was a school secretary at Jackson Hole High School. Stark says “she will always be thankful to have grown up in Arkansas City with its good values and traditions.”