NO ONE RECOGNIZED the children in the July Picture from the Past.
They were Linda Lee Britton as 1955 Miss Liberty and Charles “Chuck” Dryke Jr. as Uncle Sam.
The photo was taken in 1955 in the Elks Club lodge room.
In 1954, Dick Hubbard was the general chairman for the Independence Day celebration for Port Angeles.
He had several people on his committee, including Osco Rains Sr.
As part of the celebration, Hubbard created Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam, a tradition that lasted for more than a decade.
Two children were to be chosen, and they were to serve as the host and hostess of the events of the Fourth of July.
The first two children chosen were Chuck Jr. and Christine Basom.
Mrs. Hubbard made them beautiful costumes and Mr. Hubbard took them to local events, such as parades in Sequim and Port Townsend, and on a trip to Olympia to meet Gov. Albert Rosellini.
For several years, convertibles were used for the kids to ride in the parade.
John Hubbard, Dick’s son, relates that one year, they built a wooden float on an old car.
They were only able to travel 15 mph on the way to the Sequim parade.
The kids were chosen because their parents were either friends or co-workers of Hubbard.
The first year, 1954, Port Angeles had a children’s parade that had brightly decorated bicycles, tricycles and baby buggies.
They were followed by kids in both comic and patriotic costumes.
The addition of the two young people was such a success, they kept the tradition going through 1969, when Hubbard retired from the chairmanship.
However, he continued to manage the fireworks displays for the next few years.
There were at least two sets of beautiful costumes that Mrs. Hubbard designed and created.
In 1955, Chuck Jr., age 7, and Linda Lee, age 4, were chosen as Uncle Sam and Miss Liberty.
Linda’s parents were Mr. and Mrs. Roy Britton.
Mr. and Mrs Charles Dryke were Chuck’s parents.
The selectees in the following years were: 1957, Richard Hinzpeter and Sheila Ann Pendley; 1958, Steven Earl Register and Pamela Kay Luvaas; 1959, Steven Earl Register and Cheryl Ann Nielson; 1961, Kenneth Tobias and Barbara Johnston; and 1965, Debbie Schmitt and Ricky Ackenhausen.
Ellen Dryke, Sequim, commented about her elder brother Chuck Jr.’s reign.
He served two years in 1954 and 1955, with a different girl each year.
He was just 6 years of age in 1954.
Their father worked for the city of Port Angeles at the time.
Cheryl Nielson wrote that she and Steve Register were Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam in 1959.
She took over for Pam Luvaas when Pam was out of town.
Nielson said she stepped in at the last moment after Luvaas did most of the publicity work.
Nielson remembered the beautiful Miss Liberty costume.
It was a stunning bright-red, white and blue and made of a rich “satiny” material.
She made a speech to a packed house at Civic Field.
She also remembers being on a float and waving at the crowd the way her mother taught her: just like the queen of England does.
Both Luvaas and Nielson were in Mrs. Paddock’s class, which taught acrobatics, baton, tap and ballet.
The two of them took their show on the road and performed for a variety of audiences.
Both were just 8 or 9 years of age.
They received gift certificates from Reidels Department Store for their performances.
After a review of John Hubbard’s photo collection of some of the kids selected, Cindy Schlaffman identified 1954 Miss Liberty as Christine Basom.
Dean Lovell identified Steve Register and Cheryl Nielson.
Carole Myers and Cathy Brewer also remembered the kids who were chosen for 1959.
Nielson lives in Olympia and Steve Register died in 2009.
Pam Luvaas Lovell lives in the Seattle area, as does Dryke Jr.
The reign of Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam was a fun tradition that lasted for a few years and was a great experience for the young people involved.
Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at email@example.com.