In late 1958 Hawaii still was a United States Territory, not a state. My hula records were on a label called 49th State Records. Everyone in Hawaii had really believed that eventually Hawaii would become the the 49th state. Now Alaska was vying for that position as 49th state.
Everywhere people were discussing whether Alaska and Hawaii should become states. My school was no different, and there were debates about statehood in some of my classes.
I had never paid much attention to politics. I knew my parents had supported Adlai Stevenson during the election against Eisenhower. But I had been out of the country when Senator Joe McCarthy went on the communist witch hunts, so I didn't know much about that. When the McCarthy hearings were going on I wasn't paying attention to anything but boys, so I missed that too.
Now that I was a little older, I began paying a little more attention to what people thought about politics. Bob was my hero, I adored him, so I listened closely to everything he had to say. Bob was very conservative in his politics most of the time. He often complained about the communism he thought was prevalent in Hawaii. He didn't think Hawaii should become a state because of that supposed "communism".
Because of my respect and admiration of Bob, I became his little parrot. Every view he expressed I would repeat, as if it were my idea. Most of the time I had no idea what I was talking about.
So when my social studies class decided to debate whether Hawaii should become a state or not, I volunteered my rendition of Bob's view's on communist Hawaii. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to defend what I said. One girl in particular lashed out at me, telling me how ignorant I was for believing there was a communist in every corner. I ended up very embarrassed in front of the entire class, but I learned not to express opinions (especially politically extreme opinions) unless I knew what I was talking about and could back my argument.
In January 1959 Alaska became the 49th state. Hawaii would become the 50th state eight months later, on August 21, 1959. And to the best of my knowledge, Hawaii did not become a communist state.