Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Come On Down

In the 1960s there was a fellow on TV named Jim Dooley. This Dooley was in no way related to Tom Dooley who the Kingston Trio were singing about to, “hang down your head and die,” but was rather a hunky, good-looking, suntanned pitchman for Florida tourism who stood in orange groves and urged frozen New Yorkers to, “Come on down.” It obviously worked, because Florida is full of New Yorkers eating oranges, if they don’t cause unwanted side effects with their medications. Jim said, “Come on down.” quite a lot on TV at the time.

Also in Florida in the 60s was a humdinger of a murder trial. Young Melvin Lane Powers was accused, along with his aunt, Candace (Candy) Mossler of murdering Candy’s wealthy husband, Jacques. Aside from being lovers, Melvin was Candy’s nephew. She was his mother’s sister. Air conditioning wasn’t advanced enough to cool this one off.

Through the miracles of a nifty defense, they were acquitted. Any resemblance to any other Trials of the Century is not coincidental. It’s just life.

The authorities pursued no other suspects after the pair was acquitted.

Melvin has now just passed away; Candace preceded him years ago. Also no longer with us is the columnist Dick Schaap, who then writing for the Herald Tribune, wrote that since the jury acquitted the two there must be someone still out there who did it. We weren’t safe.

Dick implored them to, “Come on down.” They never did.


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