21.-What were the highlights of your year as Miss USA?

I loved the travel.  I had so many unique experiences.  As a 25 year old, everything was new to me.  It truly was a dream all year long.  I can't explain in detail what it was like, but I feel blessed to have been the girl who got to experience it all that year.

With Bob Hope


Competing on Family Feud, from left to right; Christy Fichtner (Miss USA 1986), Portnip Nakhirunkkanok (Thailand's Miss Universe 1988), Angela Visser (Holland's Miss Universe 1989) and Lu Parker (Miss USA 1994)


22.-Which was the saddest moment of your reign?, We never saw you shed a tear…

Not too many things make me sad.  If something bad or negative happens, I truly find the positive side of the situation.  There is always a lesson to be learned.  I cried a bit when I saw my brother in the audience after winning Miss USA.  He was flushed faced, and glowing with pride.  I realized at that moment that it was all true.


23.- We found a video where Leeza Gibbons arranged a “ blind date” between your all time “crush”, Lee. He actually confesses on live T.V. that  he has had a crush on you as well for many years. What ever happened after…!!?? Did you guys eventually live happily ever after….?

Of course not.  We were young, and silly.  I think we went skiing together in CA, and then nothing ever developed.  It was a high school/college crush for me. 

Leeza Gibbons arranged a "blind date” between all time “crush” Lee and Lu (courtesy www.youtube.com)

Note: if for any reason the video does not load, please click here



24.-What happened after you relinquished the title?

I stayed in Los Angeles, a city that I absolutely love.  After a year of dabbling in acting, an opportunity came up in Charleston, SC for me to report at the local CBS station.  I didn't want to leave Los Angeles, but I knew it was the right thing to do for my career.  I wanted to be respected for what I do as a reporter/anchor.  I moved back to Charleston for 2 years working as a reporter. 

In 1998, I was offered a weekend anchor job at the FOX affiliate in San Antonio, TX.  I spent 5 years at that station, and nearly 2 years at the CBS station in San Antonio.  In 2005, my dream of returning to Los Angeles came true.  I landed a weekend anchor gig at KTLA, Channel 5.

I have been here 3 years now.  I am a news anchor, and have had the opportunity to report on the Oscars, and the Rose Parade,  I have also interviewed celebrities like Kanye West, Bill Cosby, Willie Nelson, and Oscar de la Hoya to name a few.

25.-What motivated you to go into journalism?

I didn't know anything about journalism, but I did know that I wanted to work on camera.  I felt comfortable in front of the camera, and I really enjoy writing.  Being able to combine the two has been enjoyable and challenging.

Publicity "Great Day San Antonio" with Lu Parker



Lu Parker spits on Bill Cosby during an interview (courtesy www.youtube.com)

Note: if for any reason the video does not load, please click here


26.-Tell us something that probably the pageant fans, surely, surely, don’t know about you?

I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years.  I play golf, shoot sporting clays, and love sports.


27.-Could you tell us a little bit about your family? And if you like…could you break our hearts and tell us if you are single or married?

My family lives in SC and GA.  I have a brother who is 18 months younger than me.  I have never been married, and I have no children.  I do have a cat, and a dog.

Her parents and brother minutes after she won Miss USA 1994


28.-What motivated you to write the book, "Catching the Crown"?

I am a writer at heart.  After the pageant, I realized the last year and a half had been sort of a blur, so I started writing down some of my memories.  The memories evolved into more, and then Pageant Magazine asked me to write a short article about advice for contestants.  I realized I did have a lot to share from my experiences.


29.-After over a decade, your book's second edition is coming out next January. How do you feel about that?

I am still amazed and thrilled that young girls, and women still seek my advice.  I know I would have loved to have had a formal titleholder give me inside scoop on what to expect.  I am proud of the book, and it's a memory keepsake for me.

The second edition of her book: "Catching the Crown" is available at www.amazon.com


30.-Do you think pageants have changed for the better? Have they evolved? How does a woman in your position feel nowadays about beauty pageants?

Pageants are very beneficial in many ways.  I can say with all honesty that I would not have the career I do today if it weren't for the USA pageant.  It gave me more confidence.  It also allowed me to focus on my views, and beliefs at a young age.

I think pageants were the first real reality shows.  They are unique.  Today I view them as I always have:  As a way to learn a new skill along the journey of life.






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