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Yesterday in La Crosse

Do you fondue? K-Mart shoppers got a lesson, 52 years ago

Brad Williams



In 1967, K-Mart in La Crosse was selling beef, with the help of some cheesecake.  A group of young ladies called the ‘Miss U-S Choice Girls’ was going to appear at the State Road store, to serve customers samples of beef fondue.  In a newspaper ad, K-Mart had to explain what ‘fondue’ was–a Swiss method of cooking bites of meat in boiling peanut oil for 10 seconds, and then dipping the meat in a sauce.  Fondue apparently had not caught on in America until the 1964 World’s Fair.   

The Genoa nuclear reactor was nearing completion, along Highway 35.  Dairyland Power had just hired a project engineer for the new electric plant being built by Allis-Chalmers for the Atomic Energy Commission.  

On TV each week, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ would open with its theme song, often including a verse mentioning the sponsor.  Kellogg’s cereal was one sponsor, and Winston cigarettes was another, but Winston stopped sponsoring ‘Hillbillies’ in ’67, because of a tobacco industry rule that cigarettes could not be sold on a show where nearly half the viewers were under 20 years old.  Swimmin’ pools and movie stars, but no tobacco in 1967, yesterday in La Crosse.

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