Answer Man

August 15, 2014

Dine on a dime at White Castle? Evidence of ad slogan proves elusive

Answer Man

Got questions? You've come to the right place

I'm testing my recall: Did White Castle ever use "Dine on a Dime" as an advertising slogan? -- F.C., of Troy

She doesn't rule out the possibility entirely, but Deborah Cline is afraid your memory may have belly-bombed on this one.

Cline, the communications supervisor at White Castle in Columbus, Ohio, says she has done an extensive history of the company's advertising tag lines and yours never came up. "Buy 'em by the Sack" and "What You Crave" are among the most popular. She doesn't think "Dine on a Dime" ever made it.

However, early in the company's history, regional White Castles ran their own campaigns, so it's possible St. Louis (or some other city) may have used it, although the St. Louis office doesn't have a record of it, either. She also says people often confuse White Castle facts with White Tower, White Palace, et al. The only historic reference to "Dine on a Dime" I can find is a TV show on KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, so apparently no company trademarked it.

But if anyone has solid proof of such a slogan, both they and I would love to hear about it.

Do they still make school binders for left-handed students? -- C.I., of Cahokia

What's the popular saying? "If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, then only left-handed people are in their right minds."

Well, then, there must be some left-handed people still thinking about you because such an item is available.

You will have to search them out because visits to a couple of local office supply stores turned up nothing. But if you go to such Internet sites as www.lefthandedworld.com, you'll have no trouble coming up with binders specifically for lefties in black, blue and pink for $9.95.

"These quality three-ring binders are built with southpaws in mind," the website says. "The opening hinge is out of the way on the right side so this binder opens from left to right. Much more comfortable to use. This binder has 1-inch-diameter rings and will hold up to 200 sheets of any standard note paper. Includes a contoured pocket on the right side for loose papers and a black sheet lifter."

While you're there you can shop for left-handed notebooks, scissors, pens and dozens of other products from golf instruction books to left-friendly computer mice. Or just do a Google/Dogpile search for "left-handed binders."

O, say did you see?: My good friend Dr. A. Dennis Sparger, the distinguished music director of the Bach Society in St. Louis, was kind enough to share one man's fascinating myth-busting paper on the history of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Over the years, some tall tales have arisen over the origin of our nation's national anthem, and Mark Clague, an associate professor of musicology and American culture at the University of Michigan, does his best to lay a half-dozen to rest. For example, he writes, Francis Scott Key was not a prisoner on a British ship at the time nor did he likely scribble the words on the back of an envelope.

But perhaps the most fascinating "fact" remains the music behind Key's lyrics. Clague contends that Key wrote the lyrics with the music to "To Anacreon in Heaven," the anthem of a London musician's club, already in mind.

You have to understand that the melody of "Anacreon" was used for more than 80 other songs by 1820. Clague argues that Key may have first heard it through the popular American parody "Adams and Liberty," a song paying tribute to President John Adams. Key's "Star-Spangled Banner" simply became yet another tune to steal that melody.

Still, other historians argue that Key gave his "poem" to his brother-in-law, Judge Joseph H. Nicholson. They argue it was Nicholson who realized that the words fit the melody to "The Anacreontic Song."

Either way, on Sept. 20, 1814, just two weeks after Key witnessed the shelling of Fort McHenry, the song was published in the Baltimore Patriot and The American with the note that it was to be sung to "Anacreon in Heaven." Today in the Gloucester, England, Cathedral, a memorial to John Stafford Smith, who wrote the music to "Anacreon," proudly says, "He will long be remembered as composer of the tune of the National Anthem of the United States of America."

For more, see www.chorusamerica.org/singers/star-spangled-mythbusting.

Today's trivia

In what year did White Castle start punching five holes in its burgers?

Answer to Thursday's trivia: Born in Claremore, Okla., Clara Ann Fowler was raised by a family so poor, her mom and older sisters had to pick cotton as the family did without electricity. But after graduating from high school, Clara earned a spot on a 15-minute radio program on KTUL in Tulsa. The program was sponsored by the Page Milk Co., so Fowler became known as Patti Page. Just a few months later, band manager Jack Rael came to town, heard her sing and asked her to join the Jimmy Joy Band. Through the 1950s, she would crack the Top 10 20 times with such hits as "Tennessee Waltz," "Mockin' Bird Hill" and "(How Much is That) Doggie in the Window."

Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or rschlueter@bnd.com or call 618-239-2465.

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