THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER OF CRAWFORD

“Joan Crawford Visits Southern Illinois” by The Southern Illinoisan - September 29th, 1969


 “There she is”…”Oh, I see her” tumbling from the crowd as Joan Crawford radiant in the morning sun stepped upon the platform. Miss Crawford, dressed in a subdued gray suit and matching hat moved gracefully across the stage, waving, smiling at the more than 400 people who had come to the dedication ceremonies of the new Pepsi-Cola plant west of Marion.
     Harry Crisp Sr. president of the Marion Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Harry Crisp Jr., vice president and general manager, James B. Sommerall, president and chief executive officerof Pepsi-Cola, Paul Powell, Illinois secretary of state and other Pepsi-Cola officials attended the ceremonies at the plant on Old Rt. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Enter Real Fan
     The Crisps, Sommerall and Miss Crawford, a member of the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola Co. and Frito-Lay Inc., popped the cap off the Pepsi bottle with a giant golden bottle opener to officially dedicate the plant.
Following the ceremony, a member of the crowd surged forward climbing over television cables and beverage cases to mount the stage where Miss Crawford chatted.

     Cuddled within her arms, the woman carried an aging scrapbook filled with Miss Crawford’s pictures.
Miss Crawford, with a golden red hair flying in the breeze, looked through the book Mrs. Gladys Halterman of Jonesboro, recalling gala moments of the past.
     Miss Crawford embraced the graying lady who had been a fan for over 40 years.
Mrs. Halterman ripped her stockings enroute to the stage, but after talking with Miss Crawford, she exclaimed “Oh, it was worth it.”

Opening Ceremonies
     The plant occupies approximately 20 acres and serves 26 counties in Southern Illinois.
About 180 people are employed. The plant produces seven flavors of soft drink beverages.

     Following the dedication service a tour of the new plant was conducted. At 11 a.m. a public open house with free beverages and Frito-Lay products was held. Public tours also were conducted.
Ceremonies at the plant began Friday with a news conference at 1:30 p.m. with Miss Crawford, the Crisps, and Sommerall.

     The Pepsi officials came into the conference room with Miss Crawford leading the way.
When Miss Crawford slipped into a cushioned chair, she discovered the gray suit fell below her knee. She made the necessary adjustments.
     Talking of her entrance into the business world after her husband’s death, Miss Crawford said she had no difficulty in transition from her movie career into the business world.

‘Delicious’
     Miss Crawford said she found it “delicious” being the only woman on the board of directors.
But in spite of Miss Crawford’s business life, the conference discussion kept returning to Miss Crawford, the movie star.
     Miss Crawford talked of her latest movie “Trog.” Filmed in London, the movie is Miss Crawford’s 84th.
In the film Miss Crawford stars as a lady scientist who captures a half-man ape and “trans him like a human. “
“Society screams and yells but society is the real monster.” She said.

     In discussing obscurity in movies, Miss Crawford blamed foreign producers for the greatest violations.
The veteran movie star said “Sex is a personal and beautiful thing” and she doesn’t get any kicks from seeing it published on film.

     Getting back to the business for a moment, Miss Crawford said more and more doors are opening in the business world for women but it can still be rough. 
​Speaking, however, for herself, she said “Oh, I don’t know, I haven’t had any problem.”


Photos from the Marion Pepsi-Cola plant dedication (Joan with fan Gladys Halterman. With the Crisp executives)
Collectables from the Marion Pepsi-Cola plant dedication

​© All original Joan Crawford research and original text herein is property of Webmaster Bryan Johnson and is copyright protected by the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Copyright © Bryan Johnson
Pepsi-Cola | September 20th, 1969 Marion, Illinois Pepsi-Cola Plant Dedication