Verdugo Views: Remembering the Miss Glendale Pageant

March 29, 2013|By Katherine Yamada
  • Nine candidates for the 1961 Miss Glendale contest paraded down the steps of the Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan. From the top: Chrysilla Smith, Joan Olson, Jaynee Paul, Terri Krieger, Merry Ridge, Pam Petersen, Juliann Smith (Budimir), Carolyn Castoe and Sally Ann Martin.
Nine candidates for the 1961 Miss Glendale contest paraded… (Courtesy of Special…)

For many years, the Miss Glendale Pageant was a major event in this city. The young woman who received the crown reigned as queen of the Days of Verdugos and also served as official hostess for the City of Glendale.

The contest was sponsored by the Glendale Jaycees. In 1961, with Maxwell Soss heading the committee, the contest took on a new look. Soss was assisted by Arthur Jones, Robert Peterman, Roy Otis, A. M. Christensen, Jr., Palmer "Bud" Beck and Robert Clark. They were all listed in a news clipping provided by Juliann Smith Budimir, one of the contestants, who has an album filled with newspaper articles, photos and programs from that year.

The committee advertised for entrants in the Independent and the Glendale News-Press and also posted fliers downtown. Interested women were to send in an application, with photo.

For a month or so before the pageant, the contestants had a full schedule, Budimir said. One day the Jaycees held a luncheon for several contestants, who then attended a City Council meeting. The contestants were there to present pageant tickets to council members Jack Potter, Zelma Bogue, William Howard Peters, Cal Cannon and George R. Wickham.


"Going to a council meeting was a new event for me. We went up to the dais and had our photo taken giving them the tickets," Budimir said.

Just before Daylight Saving Time began, four contestants went to the News-Press offices to pose, in swimsuits, around a huge clock to remind readers to set their own clocks one hour ahead. (By the way, that year, the time changed on Sunday, April 30.)

The women met several other times prior to the contest.

"I got to know the other contestants." Budimir noted.

At the dress rehearsal, they went through the entire presentation, including the talent performance, swimsuit appearance and formal presentation. Along the way, some contestants had withdrawn, but the night of the pageant, held in the old Glendale High auditorium, a dozen young women were presented: Carolyn Jeanette Castoe, Judy Marlene Kelwin, Theresa "Terri" Krieger, Carolyn J. Lamb, Sally Ann Martin, Joan M. OIson, Virginia E. Palmer, Jaynee E. Paul, Pamela "Pam" Petersen, Chrysilla "Cricket" Smith, Juliann Smith (Budimir) and Kathleen J. Woodburn.

The entrants were judged individually and together, both in swimsuits and in evening wear, and five were selected as finalists.

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