Home > Welcome Lane > Troop Welcome Celebrates First Birthday

Jack Gordon




The Seattle Daily Times

May 3, 1952


Welcome Lane Celebrates Birthday

Kay Stevens welcomes Corp. George Robideaux to Seattle's

Post-Intelligencer photo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: Kay Stevens, song-stress who has greeted thousands of veterans re­turning here from Korea with songs and smiles, had a special birthday-anniversary-greeting hug for Corp. George E. Robideaux, San Fernando, Calif., today. Robideaux became 23, and Welcome Lane became 1 year old. Jack Gordon, master of ceremonies for Greater Seattle, Inc., seemed to enjoy the greeting as much as did Robideaux. (See Page 16 for more photographs.)



Birthday congratulations and a round robin of good will popped and crackled at the Port of Embarkation and all up and down Second Avenue this morning with the arrival of rotation aboard the navy transport Howze.

This was the first birthday of Welcome Lane, the high-hearted greeting device which was cooked up by Greater Seattle, Inc., and joined in with all the gay abandon and great glee that this city can give out with when it's of a mind to.

It was of a mind to today.

Fireboats gushed white arcs in the harbor. Whistles tootled like apoplectic robots. The pretty Barclay Girls pranced up and down the dock.

28 Washingtonians Aboard

Confetti was tossed around like snowflakes, and flowers were tossed around like, confetti.

Aboard the Howze were more than 3,000 Army troops, including 28 Washingtonians, nine of them from Seattle.

But, for once, the arrivals had to share the real glory with Seattle itself. A giant cake, baked aboard the Military Sea Transport Service's 89th ship to reach Seattle, was cut in Second Avenue and distributed to scores of loyalists who for a year have been helping make Welcome Lane a giant success whose fame has reached the length and the breadth of the land.

Dancers Yearn for Leggings

Between beauties, birthdays and bakery goods, it was quite a clambake. Dancers from the Barclay Studio, wearing aqua-colored capes and caps, strutted in a fine display of military precision, flashing their shapely limbs encased in fishnet stockings.

The girls confided privately that leather leggings would have been better suited to the weather this brisk, raw day in May.

Perhaps the proudest man on the scene was William Leaser, 816% Hiawatha Place, cook aboard the Howze, who whipped up the dainty, colorful cake as a tribute to Greater Seattle—and all Seattle—on the first anniversary of the whoop-de-do.

Sharing honors as birthday celebrants were five men aboard the Howze who also were celebrating birthdays today.

Incoming celebrators were Corp. Jeorge E. Robideaux, 23, San Fernando, Calif.; Pfc. William F. kle, 24, Hammondsville, Ohio; Sergt. Clarence W. Newton, 24, Birmingham, Ala.; Sergt. Guerdon L. Miller, 24, Keokuk, Iowa; Master Sergt. Robert F. Knight, 30, Hicksville, Ohio.

Seattle was proud and happy to share honors In a giant Welcome Lane stretching up and down Second Avenue and dotted by three bands and brightly-clad clusters of young women who carried armloads of flowers for the returning heroes as they have tossed posies for the past 12 months.

An early slice of the cake was shared by Joann Pedoll, L. A. Williams, a tower of support in greater Seattle, Inc., and Betty Broughall.

Hasn't Missed One Parade

Joann and Betty, employes in banks on the Welcome Lane route, provided a neat contrast to dramatize Welcome Lane's year-long celebration for returning troops.

"I haven't missed a parade," said Joann, "and I've stood in a lot of rain."

"This is my first time out," said Betty, "and I hope to keep right on cheering soldiers after today."

For Seattle it was a great party—for the troops who rolled in busses [sic] like ships parting waves of color in a giant sea of many hues and many smiles, the returnees headed for Fort Lawton for processing and then the greatest present at birthday time or any time—home and fireside.





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