When I tell people about her appearance on the show, they always ask if she won anything. The answer is no, except that she got a consolation prize of a dozen Ship N Shore blouses, which I myself eventually wore. When I was at the Paley Center, I watched one of the shows from the 1960s that they did have available, and two of the four contestants on that evening didn't win anything, either, so maybe it wasn't such an unusual outcome. I do know my mother, a competitive person (a tennis player and golfer), was a bit bummed out about it. She said she wished she had practiced beforehand. But how? She wasn't a enthusiastic shopper, much less a comparison shopper. She also said she was disappointed she didn't really get to meet Bill Cullen. For all the chumminess he expressed to his contestants, he did not interact with them except onstage.
A second question people often ask is how she got picked to be on the show in the first place. It happened because she was in the studio audience and chosen out of that pool for an audition-interview. In fact, she chosen out of the audience on two separate occasions. The first time, she said my father was a carpenter, which was the truth. She believed that since St. Joseph had been a carpenter, this would somehow work in her favor. When she wasn't picked to be a contestant, she wondered if the rejection had had something to do with Dad being in a union. Faulty logic, to be sure, but in any case, the second time around, she said he owned a storm-window installation business, which he did, H.L. Schinto Co., which was his side job on Saturdays for many years. My Aunt Jean, who was with Mom in the audience both times, was interviewed once, but never picked as a contestant. For the record, her husband, my Uncle Cappy, had his own radio and TV repair business in Brooklyn. Both my mother and aunt were attractive. That may have had something to do with their initial attractiveness to the game-show's staff. Who knows? What I do know is that I am sad about not having seen Mom on the show in the first place and sadder still that I won't be able to see the show now or ever. Even if she hadn't known the right price of things, she had a winning smile (she was voted wearer of the "best smile" of her high school class of 1940) and probably lost gracefully.