IF ONLY….

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Eventually you reach the point where most of your life is behind you. You have to exert considerable imagination to keep the days from being repetitive. What’s coming down the pike is at best not likely to be particularly exciting, at worst not advisable to think about too much.  That’s when some of us who are crossing over into old age may be tempted to amuse ourselves by wondering what sort of life we might have had if we’d played our cards differently.

Bill is a big one for this kind of fantasy. If only he hadn’t done thus and so.  If only he’d listened to M. If only he’d chosen a different career path, a different wife, a different country in which to settle. Right now he’s mourning the fact he never applied for dual citizenship and a Swiss passport at the time he was married to a Swiss national, had just become the father of a Swiss-born son, and was practicing medicine in Geneva. When he becomes especially disgusted with the domestic and international news, he so yearns to live in Geneva again! What he would do about me if he could take off for Geneva we don’t discuss, because it’s a pipe dream.  Not only would he likely find lots to dislike about present-day Geneva. He doesn’t have the passport, or the social benefits Switzerland affords its citizens.  Becoming Swiss was the road not taken.

He’s tried playing this game with my history, too. He thinks younger me, the one he never knew, had an unnecessarily hard time, beginning with college. “You’d have had a much better life if you’d gone to Radcliffe,” he declares.  In this scenario, he gives me a happier, more flirtatious four college years than the ones I lived through.  He also has me engaged to a Harvard man by the time I graduate, preferably someone who will go on to become well-fixed and famous.  I will then have the money, leisure and connections to develop my talents, whatever they might have been, instead of having had to “settle” for less than optimal husband material and then having to slog away at earning a living in various jobs/industries/professions while being married to men less meritorious, in his view, than I deserved.  When he talks like this, he almost sounds like my mother.

Does he really believe I could have attracted the likes of, let’s say, John Updike, who actually was at Harvard during the years I attended college? Maybe he does. (He overestimates my abilities in almost every area.) He’d be wrong. Or if not completely wrong, if John Updike had been fool enough to fall for insecure, emotionally immature me — then we almost certainly would have divorced each other pretty soon, as both of us did, with other people, in our actual real lives. Besides, would twenty-year-old John Updike, fresh from Shillington, Pennsylvania, have been attractive to irrationally picky me? Bill doesn’t factor in questions like that when he’s spinning straw into gold.

Mind you, he’s no dummy. He’s not a believer in the actual possibility of these alternate reality fairy tales.  Maybe it’s a holdover from all those years of doing psychiatric talk therapy with patients.  He just enjoys speculating. But count me out of the “if only” game. I don’t want to waste time on trips to la-la land. (We are ying and yang about that.) In my view, most of us played the cards we were dealt as best we could, often after careful consideration, although sometimes also driven by irrational impulses of which we were at the time unaware. If in retrospect, it seems there might have been preferable alternatives, they weren’t real alternatives.

For the record, I enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College — the school Bill believes I would have done better not to attend — at a time when the last few World War II vets, beneficiaries of the GI Bill, were graduating. It would be about twenty years before the college again became co-ed. I nonetheless accepted its offer, despite the absence of men, like a wallflower being asked to dance.

Sarah Lawrence in 1948 was a twenty-year-old college, slightly north of New York City, which for its first couple of years seems to have functioned as a two-year holding pen for young ladies waiting to become wives of future lawyers, doctors and financiers. But in the early 1930s it somehow managed to transform itself into an experimental four-year adventure in learning to learn for oneself. Alas, in 1948 I was a highly conventional young person of seventeen who wanted to be like everyone else. I would have felt perfectly comfortable with a conventional college education. Experimental adventures in learning for oneself sounded absolutely terrifying. I knew how to memorize, to do extremely well on examinations, and to compose in fluent, dutiful prose any number of well-organized but boring thoughts on set topics.

This was absolutely not what Sarah Lawrence was about. There were no exams, and no memorizing, except for vocabulary in foreign language courses, of which there were few.  There were no textbooks; one read source material.  Small classes met for an hour and a half around a conference table, but only once a week. In addition, there was an independent term-long project associated with the class subject matter on which each student worked by herself and on which she reported every other week to the course professor in a private conference in his or her office. The project was supposed to culminate at term’s end in a long paper called a “contract.” There were also no grades, and therefore no conventional way of knowing how well you were doing. Every semester, you received a paragraph or so of commentary on your work from the professor of each course, assessed in terms of your ability and potential. (The office kept grade equivalents of these reports, in the event you needed to apply to graduate school afterwards, but you never saw them while you were an undergraduate. You weren’t supposed to be working for grades.)

You’d think someone whose modus operandi had hitherto been to claw her way to the top of her classes might not be ideal raw material for this educational experiment. But based on my academic record and completion of a sixteen-page application consisting of thirty-two questions about myself, each to be answered on half a blank page, I was offered a full scholarship.  It was probably a mistake in judgment on the college’s part. They may have thought they could shake up the way my mind worked. As for me, I didn’t question their motives. Despite some apprehension about the novel educational environment into which I was about to plunge myself — would I be able to keep the scholarship being the principal fear — I had no hesitation in saying yes, yes, yes.  Sauve qui peut.

The situation at home which drove my acceptance was as follows:

(1)  Radcliffe, where I did really want to go (because it was the sister school of Harvard), did not give me a scholarship and didn’t even admit me, probably because there was no point in wasting an admission on someone who needed financial aid and wasn’t going to get it.  I was “wait-listed,” a polite way of saying, “Sorry.” Did being Jewish have something to do with that? Some might have said yes, although you probably couldn’t have gotten anyone in the Admissions Office to admit it. A girl from my high school with the exact same grades as mine, but who wore a cross around her neck and sang in her church choir, was admitted — with financial aid from the Radcliffe Club of New York. I had no cross or church choir membership, although I did then play classical piano fairly well. I also remember sinking fast with the ladies from the Radcliffe Club at their tea for applicants during our high-school senior year. I was entirely inexperienced at gracefully holding a teacup and saucer, plus a cookie, plus my handbag, while trying to balance on rarely worn cuban heels and searching for subjects about which to converse with the several minimally polite Radcliffe Club members in their forties and fifties circulating the room to check me out.  Bill’s reveries about my going to Radcliffe might have made allowances for these circumstances; he himself had to go to medical school abroad — in Geneva, to be specific — because Jewish boys had such a hard time getting into medical schools here at home.

(2)  Vassar, my second choice, did make an offer but provided no aid.  The Admissions Office there informed my parents that if they could swing the first year and I did well, there might be a scholarship for the second year. Tuition and board that year was $1200. My father earned $5000 a year (before taxes) when he was working, thanks to Local 802 of the AFL Musicians’ Union.  But a hotel musician had no guarantee of a steady job, could be let go on two weeks notice, and frequently was. So my parents banked half of every paycheck that came in, and managed on the other half.  $1200 would have just about cleaned out the savings account. My father was reluctantly willing, my mother less so. She believed a woman’s economic security lay in finding a husband with a good job, not in acquiring fancy higher education that might lead to who knew what. As for me, I was afraid of wiping my father out and then finding that Vassar’s conditional second-year scholarship did not come through, leaving me without any alternative after the first year.

(3) There was also a fallback school, where I didn’t even have to apply. It was Hunter College, to which the high school for girls I attended was attached, both administratively and geographically.  A diploma from Hunter College High School automatically entitled you to a place in the freshman class of Hunter College. Moreover, because it was a city school, it was free, or almost free.  I could have gone on living at home, in the tiny room at the end of the short hall behind the kitchen which I had occupied since I was eleven, and taken the subway from Kew Gardens into Manhattan and back every day, just as I had done all through high school. I’m sure I would have received a good, if conventional, college education in some subject of my choice, probably English, and then gone on to teach it, perhaps at Hunter. Maybe I might also have met someone to marry, although I wasn’t sure where. I would also have had to go on spending too much time alone in the small apartment with my by-then depressed and menopausal mother, since my father frequently had to take out-of-town jobs. This future so much didn’t make my heart beat faster I wanted to cry whenever I thought of it.

(4)  Finally, there was Sarah Lawrence. The high-school college guidance counselor had suggested applying to at least three schools if I wanted to try to avoid enrolling at Hunter. It would have been prudent for all three to be in New York State, because there was a good chance I would win a New York State Regents scholarship in the competitive statewide examinations held midway through the last year of high school, and thereby receive $300 a year for each of four years of attendance at a New York institution of higher education.  True, Radcliffe was in Massachusetts.  But even the guidance counselor thought I should give Radcliffe a shot.  However, Vassar was in New York State. Now I needed another.  Skidmore?  Barnard? NYU?  What about this one, with the pretty light blue catalogue cover?  It offered courses described in expansive terms that had nothing to do with specific subjects — “The Individual in History,” “Classical and Christian Civilization,” “Renaissance and Reformation” — and therefore sounded grown-up and sophisticated.   “Why not? What’s the harm?” I thought, with my mind focussed on Radcliffe.  I listed Sarah Lawrence as my third choice on the SATs.  The catalogue cover was really very attractive.

And that, dear friends and dear Bill, is the story of how I became a Sarah Lawrence girl rather than a Radcliffe girl (or, for that matter, a Vassar girl).  There really was no choice; “if only” never entered into it.  What came afterwards may not have been the easier ride Bill might have wanted for me if he could have rearranged things his way, or the opportunity for a rich choice of well-heeled husbands that was undoubtedly my mother’s dashed hope.  But when I look back, it seems to me I wouldn’t have become whoever I am had I been able to follow a hypothetically easier road.  At Sarah Lawrence, I did (with angst) eventually learn to learn for myself, to connect disparate facts in a new way, and thus equipped, was later able to survive and even somewhat prosper in what was then still really a man’s world. Yes, it was sometimes lonely.  Yes, I was sometimes envious. But with time it became evident that no road is really easy. Better to learn to tough it out early, while you’re still resilient and can roll with the punches. There’s also a bonus.  In your later years, you can always blog about it, and it won’t be boring.

 

 

AD BIZ FOLLIES (#4)

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19th century Majarahah's bed of solid sterling silver.

19th century Majarahah’s bed of solid sterling silver.

[For earlier posts about my adventures in late 1950’s-early 1960’s advertising, see “How My Life as a Mad Woman Began,” and “Ad Biz Follies (#1), (#2) and (#3.)]

During the nearly three years Ed and I had been in New York, I had no discretionary money at all.  We did own a joint savings account, consisting mainly of the sale proceeds of my many college and graduate school books and also of the good used furniture my parents had given us for beginning married life. But we had agreed neither of us would touch that money.  Moreover, I wasn’t entirely sure where we had stashed the bankbook. As for my salary, once I began paid work at Gilbert Advertising in January 1958, I used to hand over all of it, less five dollars a week for transportation to and from work. At first it never occurred to me not to. After all, Ed had been managing the money and paying the bills since we married. And we barely squeaked by as it was.

In the beginning, of course, he’d been working too, so the money he managed came from both of us. But now, although I had become the only breadwinner, he remained the money manager. Every Saturday, he would hand back thirty dollars just before I trundled the shopping cart off to the A&P for the weekly marketing; unfortunately, it all went on necessities, almost down to the penny.

Then things at home became increasingly unpleasant.  (More detail might darken this light-hearted account of advertising nonsense were we to tiptoe down that path so we won’t, at least not here.)  I may still have clung to the belief marriage was supposed to be forever, but I did finally acknowledge to myself I needed some ready cash Ed didn’t know about.  Not necessarily to do anything with.  Just in case.  Unfortunately, my relaxed months at Harold M. Mitchell, Inc. Advertising for $6,500 a year (see #3 in this series) provided no wiggle room for putting something aside.

I was therefore pleased to receive a whispered call at work from an employment agent at Jerry Fields, the mega guru of “creative” placements in Madison Avenue’s ad world. (The term “creative” in the ad-speak of the time meant copywriters and art directors, and was not necessarily descriptive of the quality of their product.) The agent had heard of something for me at a place called Leber & Katz.  More later. “Heard of something?” What did that mean?

A second whispered call soon came from an excited Judy F., formerly with Jerry Fields but now branching out on her own. There was a perfect opening for me at Leber & Katz! She had Lester Leber on the other line and could she make an appointment for me to to interview with him that very evening? Innocent little girl.  (Me, not Judy F.)  Even if Lester Leber had turned me down, I would have been in trouble.  He didn’t. I lied about the salary Harold was paying me — I was beginning to learn how things were done — and Lester offered $8,500.  When could I start? How could I refuse?

You’d think I’d been Edward Snowden. Jerry Fields himself was on the line the very next day.  He didn’t whisper. How could I violate the basic rule of agency placements when he had been so good to me?  (I’d never met or spoken with him.)  He mentioned trust.  Honor.  Principle.  It didn’t quite get to “You’ll never work in this town again!” but came close. What he was really upset about, of course, was the commission for the placement.  Leber & Katz was going to pay Judy F. for sending me to them, even though their name had first been mentioned to me by a Jerry Fields agent.

I apologized. I pleaded. I said I was new to New York and its ways. I pointed out timidly that the Jerry Fields agent hadn’t actually gotten me an interview. I even asked if I should turn down the job offer.  No, no, he didn’t want that. (God forbid Leber & Katz should hear of behind-the-scenes scuffling by employment agents.)  The upshot was a stern warning. I must never, ever, do such a thing again. And then came what I didn’t realize might have been a warning of another kind:  Jerry Fields himself wished me good luck at L&K. Did he know something I didn’t?

What he knew, or suspected, was that Leber & Katz did not yet have any need for me at all.  Once I arrived at their (to me) sumptuous Madison Avenue premises in a building with a Longchamps restaurant on the ground floor, I too was at a loss as to why I had been hired.  Was it because they felt they should fill the one empty office remaining along the square perimeter surrounding a luxurious conference room and, on the other side, an impressive paste-up department?  Was it because they had grandiose plans for growth and needed to present themselves as a place with two art directors, two account executives and two copywriters, even though the second copywriter was simply waiting around for something substantive to do?  Or was it that Lester — the copywriter at the firm — had been to Columbia College and thought on meeting me that if all went well for the agency a well-educated young lady like me might be a good fit?

The firm certainly did go on to become very large indeed.  Shortly after we parted company, Lester and his partner Stanley Katz “exchanged” their third partner, the man who managed the office and who I knew as Norman, for Onofrio Paccione, a high-powered art person from Grey Advertising known throughout the industry as “Patch,” a tough guy to work for. They then became, for a time, Leber Katz Paccione.  Subsequently, as their billings grew (and Patch departed, perhaps for greener fields) — they were Leber Katz Partners, with billings reported to be as high as $550 million by 1986, at which time they merged with (or were gobbled up by) Foote Cone & Belding Communications in Chicago and were known thereafter as FCB/Leber Katz Partners.  Musical chairs on a multi-million-dollar scale. But I was not involved in any of that. Just thought you’d like to know where they were headed.

The fact is that when I arrived in late June 1960 I had nothing much to do in my new place of employment.  There was still some fashion copy to write for ads already photographed, freeing up Lester to join Stanley in chasing the big packaged goods accounts that would eventually disentangle them from fashion sold in department stores and enable profits to metastasize. But it didn’t take me long to produce the minimal verbiage required to accompany gorgeous photos or to explain, briefly, why a consumer should want to buy something for which she had no real need. As in:

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WHOEVER YOU ARE, be unscrupulous. Connive. Pretend to the wealth of a princess with Marvellissimo, Marvella’s precisely simulated pearls of genuine brilliance. Who’d suspect such cunning — from a lovely charmer like you? Triple-strand necklace, with stone-set clasp of semi-precious Carnelian, Lapis, or Jade Quartz, $22.50. Ta-da, ta-da, ta-da, etc. At the finest stores.

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The Understanding Mother knows that “Littlest Angel,” the bra that expands as a girl develops, belongs in her daughter’s wardrobe. A beTween ager may still be “flat on top” but need the emotional reassurance of a bra. Teenform helps you say, “Mother understands.” TEENFORM, Specialists For The Formative Years.

I spent a lot of time trying to read Proust in the women’s bathroom with my feet up so no one looking for me could recognize my shoes by peering beneath the door of the toilet stall. That seemed better than sitting in my office with the door open doodling on a pad, or reading Proust openly, even with a pencil in my hand.

There was also some time-consuming flirting with Stanley.  He was then thirty-nine, a husband and father of three or four, and owner in fee simple of a nice suburban home in West Orange, New Jersey. He was also the partner who would invite me to sessions in the conference room to plan strategy for presentations to big-name potential clients. I had very little to contribute to these pow-wows, other than to look interested (and perhaps attractive to Stanley), take notes and pass the centerpiece platter of fruit around the table.

After one of these meetings, I found on my desk the next morning a line drawing in pencil, initialed SK, of a male figure reclining on a chaise longue with a female figure feeding him grapes from a bunch dangling from her hand over his mouth.  I knew the reclining figure was supposed to be Stanley by the round eyeglasses. Also it was slightly plump (as he was). The female figure wore a suit like mine the day before.  If I’d had more work to do, I might have tabled a response in favor of more pressing matters.  As it was, I impulsively scrawled, “Yes!” on the drawing, folded it into an envelope and, since he was out of the office, handed it back, sealed, to his secretary.

I still don’t know if she opened it before putting it on his desk. The next drawing that appeared in my office was of an open-mouthed baby’s face;  the baby had one tuft of hair coming up off its head, one tooth in its mouth, and one tear on its cheek.  Block-printed beneath the face was a single word, “Sorry.”  After that, Stanley scrupulously avoided me. No more invitations to strategy pow-wows. (Had I made him feel like such a baby?) And since we had no business reason to be together, I guess that pretty much took care of temptation for him. As for me, I hadn’t really been tempted in the first place, except that the flirting had been something interesting to do. Roundish, owl-eyed and with thinning yellow hair  — even if relatively powerful — wasn’t exactly my type. So you might say there was no harm done. You’d be wrong.

Popular wisdom to not mess around in the office wouldn’t have survived as long as it has if there weren’t more than a kernel of truth in it.  When Norman, the third partner, decided at the beginning of 1961 that I had not been a cost-effective investment since Lester didn’t really need me, only Stanley could have saved me.  Of course, he didn’t. But — as Parolles, the messenger, declared in All’s Well That Ends Well — I am there before my legs.

Despite such tomfoolery, my “employment” at Leber & Katz accomplished two very important things for me, neither connected with career advancement.

(1)  With my first L&K weekly pay envelope, I opened a savings account in my own name at a bank near the office. All it took was $25.  I could hide this much money from Ed by “explaining” that the rate of social security withholding was much higher at my new salary than it had been before. As he himself had never earned $8,500 a year, he believed me.  Thus, every week after that, while matters continued to go south at home, I was able to put away another $25.  By November of 1960, I would have $500 all my own.  Enough finally to flee.

(2) I met Serge, the manager of Christofle Silver, a new Leber & Katz account that arrived at the agency in August 1960. The Christofle showroom was on the third floor of a townhouse at 55 East 57th Street that already housed Limoges china on the ground floor and Porthault linens on the second. The company had therefore come to L&K on the recommendation of the manager of Limoges, for which Lester managed some minimal advertising.

Neither Stanley nor Lester spoke French.  I still could. (Much better than I do now.)  There was therefore no question in their minds that I should be at the initial meeting with the daughter and son of the owner, both soon to return to France, and with Serge, who would remain in New York. (This was before the line drawings of grapes and the one-tooth baby.) My presence probably wasn’t necessary as Serge, at least, was perfectly bilingual (with a charming French lilt), having recently acquired a degree from the London School of Economics.

Born in Paris and therefore thoroughly French, he nevertheless had Polish grandparents and was a Polish Baron, a title of absolutely no use anywhere except to get last minute reservations at posh New York restaurants. He was therefore a problem to the Leber & Katz guys from the start. Lester thoughtfully called him “Sergei,” in honor of his Polish ancestry.  Norman called him “Surge,” because Norman recognized no language but English.  I pronounced his name the French way and became his favorite. There was also a quasi-private exchange of Shakespeare quotations across the conference table that had nothing to do with what the others were discussing but indicated to each of us that (a) we were both better educated than the others and (b) we both thought advertising was pretty silly.  He insisted I be the copywriter on the account.

I’ve already written about Serge — although not extensively — as if he were fiction.  (He is Andre de Renski in “Those Were the Days,” which is listed on the Fiction Page to the left. I should probably write more about him; I remember enough for a novella.) Serge sometimes does seem like fiction when I think of him now, but he was quite real, and still is.  (According to Wikipedia, he remains alive and relatively well in France; he has written several French novels and now translates American he-man novels into French.)  But what was significant about him then in terms of this particular story is that based on his request, Lester and Stanley turned him over to me. An art director named Art Rothenberg and I handled all the Christofle advertising as long as I was at the agency, and I alone was able to extract from him the overdue checks for services rendered.  So in a way Serge kept me busy enough to prevent being let go by Norman until I had enough money to leave Ed — which was very important.  That he courted me and I thought he might serve as a temporary stepping stone between husbands was also a factor in  my decision to leave when I did, but is still another story.

So now we come to the bed at the top of the page.  It was a sterling silver bed made by Christofle for an Indian maharajah in the mid-nineteenth century. Both Serge and his employers back in France wanted it in their inaugural ad in America.  It was bad, bad American advertising (whatever its appeal had it run in France), but it was unusual.  In fact, Christofle liked it so much it continued to appear even after I had parted company with Lester and Stanley.  Here’s the ad, in all its glory, torn from the pages of the Times in 1961:

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A PLEASURE IN THE HOME

The prolix and troublingly coy copy read:

We trust you do not covet the unusual object below. It is not for sale. An Indian Maharajah commissioned it from us in the nineteenth century, and — as far as we know — passed it on to an heir. All that remains to us is its photograph, which we show you with some trepidation.

For, you see, we do not know you Americans very well, having arrived in your country only recently. In France we take such follies philosophically, with lifted eyebrow. But here, will you be shocked, or (as we hope) interested to learn that this so-called bed was wrought entirely of sterling silver.  One thousand pounds of it, including the ladies.

When one reposed upon it, the ladies waved their fans while a music box concealed beneath the springs released the latest Offenbach can-cans from Paris into the Eastern night. (Who could sleep with such distractions?)

As we say, however, to each man his pleasure. And, since 1839, Christofle has been giving unalloyed pleasure to maharajahs, emperors, kings and people who wish to feel like kings. If it is really your pleasure that we make you another such bed, we shall do so.

A last word about the bed. We do take a certain bizarre satisfaction in having created it. For one must admit that it is unique — until such time as somebody orders another. And to be unique is highly characteristic of Christofle.

Is Christofle only for those persons on a maharajah’s annual stipend? By no means. On the next page you see a recent creation in which we take genuine pride. It is called “Duo” and it was designed for us by the noted Finnish artist, Tapio Wirkala. The six pieces are all of heavy silver plate. (Actually they contain more silver than many settings of sterling silver.)

There is now in America hollowware and flatware by Christofle in vermeil, gilded, sterling, and heavy silver plate patterns — all within the reach of every purse. (See below for names of the purveyors.) These lovely things will not be one-of-a-klind, bed-type possessions. But they will be a peerless pleasure, none the less.

And that is because, among the foremost silversmiths of the world, the name of Christofle itself is renowned as one of a kind. Those beautiful objets d’art which proudly bear this name are without parallel, anywhere. They are, quite simply, beyond compare.

A brochure containing illustrations and descriptions of the complete Christofle collection is available on request. Please enclose 25 cents to cover mailing expenses. Christofle Silver, Inc., Ffty-Five East Fifty-Seventh Street, New York 22, N.Y.

CHRISTOFLE  Official Table Service to the Court of Kings

It goes without saying Art and I eventually talked Serge into doing something a bit more modern:

GOUT: the French word for taste

GOUT: the French word for taste

There was also a small space campaign for The New Yorker, captioned “eat, drink, and be very, very…with Christofle silver, official service to the courts of kings:”

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Art used to take me along on the photography shoots for this campaign, which helped kill even more time. One of these shoots involved a delicious-looking roast chicken on a Christofle silver platter.  To keep the chicken looking truly appetizing after its long hours under hot lights, it had been generously sprayed with lacquer and was therefore inedible.  You hang around, you learn.

In January 1961, Norman let me go.  (I had already left Ed in November, and was now on my own, with a legal separation to protect me from his appearing on my doorstep.) Norman said in my next job I should try to work harder.  Norman said I was being fired for cause, so I wouldn’t be able to collect unemployment insurance. (And the agency wouldn’t have to pay its share of it.)  I did try to defend myself; I’d done everything I’d been asked to do. Was it my fault all I’d been asked was to babysit Serge?

Spine stiffened by Stanley’s vote to get rid of me, Norman wasn’t buying any of that. He yielded just enough to concede they would give me good references if anyone asked.  Norman didn’t know it, but his head would soon roll too — because the renowned Paccione was about to join up as third partner.

Dear readers, surely you’ve had enough.  After I had spent four subsequent months at a stop-gap place much like Harold Mitchell, Inc. (but called Herrick Associates  — the associates being Mrs. Herrick, daughter Herrick and son Herrick), Jerry Fields himself rescued me.  By annoying him when I’d let Judy F. place me in a job, I had implanted myself firmly in his mind.  He personally found me the last two agency spots that concluded my “ad biz” career. I spent two and a half years at each of them, my salary slowly climbing with each jump, waddling out of the last job married again and eight months pregnant. So you could say all these follies you’ve been reading about had served a purpose (other than maybe moving merchandise), at least for me.

But I would be remiss to conclude this series without showing you how the Leber & Katz rise to riches began in 1961, soon after I left.  Unlike the ads for Serge, these print ads of theirs introducing Lowenbrau beer to the American public were really good examples of the genre. Although I wasn’t there to see for myself, I’m sure Lester and Stanley owed the successful Lowenbrau presentation and subsequent ad campaign to Patch.  There may have been some professional back-stabbing and blood-letting beforehand.  But hey, that’s how the ad-biz cookie crumbles. The rest was beer-advertising and Leber Katz Partners history:

WHEN THEY RUN OUT OF LOWENBRAU…ORDER CHAMPAGNE.

IF THEY RUN OUT OF LOWENBRAU…ORDER CHAMPAGNE.

NOW THAT YOU'VE SEEN THE LIGHT….TRY THE DARK

NOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN THE LIGHT….TRY THE DARK.

My song is sung.  Salut!