2007 Winner: Larry Austin
For nine years, Larry Austin stood outside Sloppy Joe’s and listened as the name of the newest Papa was announced. 2007 was the one year he didn’t know the announcement was being made and that was the year his name was called. Thankfully, someone else heard it and told him.
He had been warned that his life would be crazy for a while. When he and his wife, Cari, arrived back home, congratulations came pouring in from family and friends who saw him interviewed on Fox TV news or read of his win in their major newspapers. The local affiliate of Fox News invited Larry to their studio for a live interview and the CBS affiliate sent a crew to his home for a taped interview. Although he always felt nervous about getting on stage and speaking to a crowd of a couple hundred people at Sloppy Joe’s, Larry was completely at ease being interviewed for television shows that would be seen by thousands.
Speaking of his win, Larry said, “When I was told that I won, it really didn’t hit me until I started towards the stage and saw all the smiling Papas looking at me and waving me up. I WON! And Larry has now joined the ranks of those smiling Papas.