Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Florida's 'Queen of the Conch' gets surprise marriage proposal

Mary Lou Smith is known as the Queen of the Conch. The 70-year-old has been joyously blasting the large pink shell at weddings and parties on Key West, Florida, for nearly two decades and has won the island's annual conch-blowing contest several times.

But Smith's shell talent inspired a particularly special moment this week when, shortly after she won this year's women's division contest, her beau, Rick Race, 73, jumped onstage, got down on one knee, and proposed. It took Smith a moment to gather her thoughts. "I didn't know what to say, so I blew the conch," she told the News Herald. "Then, I said yes."