CORPORATIONS: Tillie's Unpunctured Romance

In Manhattan's elegant St. Regis Hotel last week, a waiter carried two tomatoes on a tray into the suite of Mrs. Tillie Lewis of Stockton, Calif. She was aghast at the bill ($1). "You tell Vincent Astor,"* said Mrs. Lewis as she signed the check, "that these tomatoes cost him no more than 5¢ apiece, that's 1,000% profit." Said the waiter: "I guess you know your tomatoes."

The waiter didn't know it, but he was indulging in an understatement. In her late 40s, Brooklyn-born Tillie Lewis likes to say she is the world's tomato queen and one of the nation's...

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