MILFORD – A battle of wills took place this afternoon at the Milford Ladies’ League bake sale, leading to some harsh words, hurt feelings, and the potential for fisticuffs.
Betty Anderson, winner of the Cupcake category four years running, reportedly took exception to this year’s winning entry from Blanche Stevens.
“She uses a store bought mix and everyone knows it,” said Anderson to an associate within earshot of several attendees. She expressed disbelief that Stevens would “take home the prize with such a brazen offense” and made inquiries as to the deliberation process.
“Betty questioned the judges, is what she did,” said Gail Melondyne, past president of the judging panel and undisputed champion of the Rhubarb Pie category since its inception.
“She has made a mockery of the independence of the jury, and has placed in doubt the legitimacy of the outcome.”
Melondyne has had her own run-in with Anderson, a fracas over blintzes two years ago that led to Melondyne stepping down from her leadership role. Details are sketchy, and few League members are willing to discuss it.
For her part, Stevens looks forward to the spoils: The unwritten rule that the winner of the Cupcake category sets the bake sale agenda for the next year.
“It wasn’t originally a competition when this thing started in 1962,” said Stevens. “Somewhere in the mid-90s a few of the ladies started ramping up the pressure, and here we are.”
Several members voiced concerns under condition of anonymity that if Anderson were to win one more time she would assume the role of a despot.
“We would have a bake sale hegemony on our hands,” said one participant. “It is important that the spirit of fellowship and creativity be allowed to flourish here, and Betty must be stopped.”
While a physical conflict was averted, Anderson and Melondyne had words in the hallway outside the main hall. Several witnesses reported hearing Anderson making a threat to form a splinter bake sale group.
Stevens later reported that the tires in her car were flat, and Ladies’ League is investigating.