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Catalog Number WF 1391.017
Caption Children's Parade - Captain Dobbsie
Description The "Juvenile" or Children's Parade of the Marineers' Pageant was usually held on Friday, separate from the big community parade held on Saturday. It had special categories of events: best decorated bicycle, best decorated doll buggy, etc. This view is of two boys with a "boat-float" called "Captain Dobbsie, Ship of Joy." The 8-10-1939 ANACORTES AMERICAN stated that this float, "was an imitation of Captain Dobbsie." Further research revealed that the "Ship of Joy" was a popular radio show of the time. Captain Dobbsie was Hugh Barrett Dobbs, hired by radio station KPO in 1925 to do an early morning exercise program. He soon became part of the Sperry Flour Happy Hour program, which later became known as the "Ship of Joy" program. "The Ship of Joy was a mythical cruise from the 'Good Cheer Dock to the Isle of Happiness.' The program featured a ' Wishing Well Ceremony ' where the audience was asked to ' place hand over heart and send out a wish to somebody, somewhere who may be in sickness or trouble. Everybody WISH!' " The program was later taken over by Shell Oil Company, then cancelled by NBC in 1939. Dobbsie brought the program to KOMO radio in Seattle in 1939 where it was popular for many more years. Wallie Funk recalled gathering by his family's radio when he was young to listen to Captain Dobbsie. (2-2003 unrecorded interview.)

Captain Dobbsie came to Anacortes twice in 1939. The 5-4-1939 paper reported, "Full house expected at Dobbsie show," and went on to report that Dobbsie and his "happiness crew" would appear in Anacortes shortly before their departure for an Alaskan tour. Paul Luvera was chairman of the committee that sponsored Dobbsie's show, which was advertised throughout Skagit County. The 7-13-1939 paper reported, "Arrangements made Captain Dobbsie Show." Paul Luvera, Lyle Marchant, Ed Schwartz and Archie Allan went to Seattle and met with Captain Dobbsie, Captain of the Radio "Ship of Joy," and the advertising manager of Centennial flour, sponsor of the Dobbsie Show. Dobbsie was asked to lead the Marineers' Pageant Parade and have his entire troupe present to give a free show on Commercial Avenue during the Marineers' Pageant. "In return, Anacortes merchants will use a large amount of Centennial flour and advertise its points, along with other Centennial products during the pageant." Note the Centennial flour sack used as a sail on the float, as well as other Centennial products. See WF 5867 for another picture of this float.
Date 1939, August
Photographer from the BRADY, Ferd collection
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Event - Marineer Pageant
Event - Parade
Place - Anacortes, WA
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Marineers' Pageant
Children's Parade
Ship of Joy
Wishing Well Ceremony
Shell Oil Company
happiness crew
Centennial flour
flour sack sail
Object Name Negative