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The internet tracks down a woman who won big at a fair


Deep in southwest Virginia, there's a county fair where last month, one woman won first, second and third place for best cookies. She also swept all three awards for candy and for savory bread. In fact, she won the blue ribbon for cake, pie, brownie, sweet bread and best overall baked good. That was strawberry fudge.


She also won for canned tomatoes, canned corn, pickled peppers, sauerkraut, relish, spaghetti sauce and both jelly and jam. She even took top honors in quilt embroidery. And after the Virginia Kentucky District Fair posted these utterly dominating results to Facebook in June, you guessed it. She went viral.


JORDAN KEYES: (Singing) Have you heard of Linda Skeens? In the kitchen she a queen. VA-KY District Fair, she a blue ribbon machine, yeah.

SUMMERS: She was celebrated in a song and on Facebook comments and in plenty of memes, all of which we're wondering, who exactly is this champion chef Linda Skeens?

MASON MOUSETTE: With online dating and whatnot, I think a lot of girls are pretty good at tracking people down on the internet.

CHANG: Mason on the Mic is a radio host at HOT 93.3 in Dallas. She posted a TikTok asking her followers to help find the Linda Skeens. Now, Linda Skeens' granddaughter saw that and reached out. Using that name, Mason tracked down a phone number.


MOUSETTE: You do realize that everyone on the internet wants you to cook for them. Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner - they want you to cook it all for them.

LINDA SKEENS: I'm busy cooking for my family.

SUMMERS: Linda Skeens shared that she was diagnosed with leukemia in December, but that the treatment she's on is working and that cooking for her friends and family helps. She was flattered by the comparisons to the all-time great athletes like NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.


SKEENS: Comparing me to Dale Earnhardt Sr., I said no way I could ever be in his category. He's my hero.

CHANG: Perhaps Linda Skeens was being too humble. She admitted that last year at a different county fair, she won 40 ribbons. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.