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Columns

March 3, 2014

Beauty, grooming took center stage in Oneonta in March 1964

(Continued)

Alex Shields was co-chairman of the entries committee that year, and it was reported on March 14 that a total of 27 women had entered. They were primarily from the State University College at Oneonta, Hartwick College and Oneonta High School. They were set to go through judging and screening for their talents that day, and eliminations would be announced on Sunday. Remaining contestants began preparing for the selection night ceremonies on Saturday, April 11.

To add the imaginary “drum roll” to the suspense, the Star reported on Monday, April 13, “Selection of Judith Brown as the 1964 Miss Oneonta, Saturday night at SUCO’s Alumni Hall was evidently a popular choice.”

“An Oneonta girl who became a close friend of Miss Brown’s during the competition was second in this closest of all Miss Oneonta contests.”

“Carla Delello, senior at OHS was in the running for the coveted title until the last moment. Miss Brown’s final margin was one of the narrowest recorded in the seven year history of the Miss Oneonta contest, annual highlight of the Junior Chamber of Commerce program.” Judith Brown was a SUCO freshman.

“With the 1964 crown goes a scholarship award of award of $250, various merchandise … and the right to represent Oneonta in the New York State pageant which will lead in turn to Atlantic City and the Miss America contest next fall.”

Grooming and beauty together were seen on Easter Sunday, March 29, 1964 around Oneonta. This was still a time when there were annual “parades” of people dressed their very best, intentionally observed going to and from church services or to area restaurants for Easter dinner.

The Star reported on Monday, March 30, that the very early churchgoers had sunshine and a promise of a nice day, but it quickly changed. Normal church times had people hurrying through a hard snowfall to their waiting cars, rather than walking around displaying the newest or most fashionable styles of dress.

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