Glen Rock, N.J., July 6, 1948 (By Wireless) – Hawaii as the coming 49th state was the theme Monday of Glen Rock’s lively and colorful Independence Day pageant and celebration.
This pleasant New Jersey town turned out thousands of residents to see the ceremony and enjoy a big family carnival.
Thousands more motored from nearby towns and villages. Two featured speakers talked about the mid-Pacific territory and statehood.
They were Robert L. Ripley, famed Believe It or Not cartoonist and a recent Honolulu visitor; and Riley H. Allen, editor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
They were present as guests of Glen Rock’s active and energetic Independence Day association. This was the 10th annual pageant staged by the association, and its largest to date.
Charles E. King, noted Hawaii song writer, now a resident of New York, brought down a troupe of Hawaiians from the big city, decorated a truck and he and his troupe stole the show so far as attention in the parade was concerned.
Queen of the visiting troupe was comely Lokelani Putnam. Another Hawaiian was Johnny Kaonohi Pineapple, star of the Johnny Pineapple radio show and a World War II veteran who came back from Germany with medals and honors. He, too, lives in New York.
It was through the efforts of Charles King with the local committee that authentic Hawaiian pageantry was added to the moving tableaus that included Revolutionary War scenes and pantomimes.
All this Hawaiian atmosphere for Glen Rock’s annual patriotic pageant started when John Brogan, foreign manager for King Features Sydnicate, was in Hawaii a few months ago. He liked the islands, and became an enthusiastic supporter of statehood.
He boosted Hawaii
Returning to New York, he talked Hawaii and statehood emphatically. He lives near Glen Rock and talked about Hawaii to Charles F. (Chuck) Buhlman, president of the Independence Day association.
He wrote to Editor Allen about the celebration and the editor wrote to his longtime friend, Charlie King, in New York. And then Mr. King began his preparations to put Hawaii on the pageant map of New Jersey.
While the Honolulu editor was attending a party given for him in New York by Mr. Ripley, the invitation came from Glen Rock for both to take part in the Glen Rock celebration.
So Mr. Ripley drove Mr. Allen over from New York early Monday, both wearing leis, and they were in the speakers’ stand with Chairman Buhlman, Mayor Frederick A. Demarest and the other officials and guests.
The parade, in several well organized sections, passed on three sides of the spacious grounds of Glen Rock’s Central school, and the carnival was staged on the grounds.
An estimated 8,000 persons attended. There was a “Hawaiian Hut” and many other attractions.
The annual pageant and carnival is self-supporting. It’s a big family affair. The women and girls of the borough contribute much of the materials and most of the labor is volunteer.
Borough Mayor Demarest is vice president of the Biddle Purchasing Co., 280 Broadway, New York. He told Mr. Allen that his firm does a lot of business with Lewers & Cooke and Davies & Co.
Several young men of Glen Rock who served in Hawaii during World War II introduced themselves. They said they’d like to go back to the islands.
Bob Ripley was a big attraction during their brief stay at Glen Rock. Hundreds recognized him. Youngsters swarmed around him or autographs, which he gave with unvarying patience and courtesy.
Incidentally ‘Rip’ likes Hawaii so much he hopes to go out for a longer stay than his one-day stops when, aboard the President Cleveland, he went to the Orient and returned, earlier this year. (All here from Honolulu Star-Bulletin July 6, 1948.)
Glen Rock was settled around a large glacial boulder in a small valley (glen), from which it gets its name. (A plaque was added in 1921 honoring Glen Rock’s WWI veterans and casualties.)