Lulu author interviewed star Joan Crawford at Thanksgiving 1969

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November 24, 2015 by dontbringlulubook

joan crawford

Woman’s Hour – New York shopping feature.

Insert 1 SLEIGH BELLS AND SANTA MESSAGE

‘Nobody kills Santa,’ said the President of one of New York’s largest stores. And he added ‘And I don’t think the income surtax can do it either’. He was right. The great shopping spree begins here after Thanksgiving Day. And Thanksgiving Day was late this year which left a meagre 22 days for the cash registers to ring out. Faced with that challenge, New Yorkers have responded as never before.

The commercial competition has been intense and every store has had an angle. One of the most fashionable came up with the idea of a ‘Men Only’ night and this gave me the chance to find out what the male  New Yorker is buying for the female.

INSERT 2

IN: “WELL I BOUGHT SOME LINGERIE…….”

OUT: ….TO DRY LINGERIE ON.”

Well, Americans have their own distinctive pronunciation of ‘aluminum’ – but one thing they do share with us is the clash of opinion over the delights or otherwise of the Christmas shopping rush.

INSERT 3

IN ” I THINK IT’S GREAT FUN”

OUT ” … EXPRESSED ON THE AIR”.

As always, toys for the kids have had top priority, and orders at one large manufacturer jumped by a third this season. Doing and talking toys were high on the popularity list. Dolls that do everything -well, almost. And toys with a built-in voice, human or animal. It was unbelievable, the number of grown-ups I saw standing with a toy telephone talking to Mickey Mouse. Maybe they have something in common – after all, he is forty years old this year.

One toy we thought we could do without is the ‘Pie-Face’ game. This comes with a plastic cover to go over the head and shoulders, with just the face showing. Then it’s the case of Sock-It-To-Me using the plateful of mock foam pie that’s provided. Who said ‘It’s Just What I Wanted.’

The newspaper small ads give a good rundown of the kind of present

that’s described as ‘unusual’. There’s the gold top for the

toothpaste, for people who don’t put the top back on. This is 24-carat

gold plate, complete with the owner’s initial. Then there’s the Catnip

bar. This is a special carpet-covered scratching post to keep the cat’s

claws off the furniture. It’s treated with a cat’s favourite scent – catnip!

The big novelty success has been a thing called the Motion Teaser.

This is literally the swinging present. It has five steel balls attached

like necklaces to a wooden frame and they move in a soothing

rhythmic pattern which demonstrate – so they say – Sir Isaac’s Newton

Laws of Motion. Prince Dadruddin Aga Khan sat in a store window

here absolutely absorbed by this toy for all ages, and then bought

twenty. And among the New York shopping crowds I did spot another

celebrity.

INSERT 4

IN” Miss Joan Crawford.

It is a tiring business and, on top of that, sometimes you’re not quite

sure that the gift you buy is right for the recipient. But the Americans,

ever resourceful, have the answer to that one.

The stores call it “Many Happy Returns” and a top executive at a store

in Manhattan explained what happens.

INSERT 5

IN “AT TEN O CLOCK IN THE MORNING…”

OUT ” …CAUGHT IN THE TOASTER.”

But that’s after Christmas. Right now, it’s time to take home the

turkey, so ‘Have a Happy’, as they say here. This is Doris Onions in

New York, now back to Marjorie Anderson in London.

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