How I Got to Madison Avenue. And beyond.

As with life, this blog is developing and changing. It began with a lot of stories that occurred on my career path from Albany to Madison Avenue and back.

There were some similarities to the AMC series "Mad Men," and then I went even farther back in time with a somewhat fictionalized version of growing up in Troy's Little Italy.

And now, a new development. As my free lance advertising and marketing career winds down, I'm becoming more interested in the theatre arts that my father and his 3 brothers helped instill in me as I grew up.

As a result, I've volunteered to help promote the Theatre Institute at Sage, and now, to continue a long-interrupted desire to be behind the proscenium, I've joined the newly formed Troy Civic Theatre, and was actually fortunate enough to appear in their first production.

So, I hope you'll enjoy the new stories that will develop from this latest turn.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ego All Over My Face

I Know Who You Are

We've all heard the self-deprecating stories that famous people tell about meetings with their alleged fans. Well, those things can happen, even to the not-so-famous.

I met my late wife, Eileen, when she was working at a natural food store in Schenectady. And, naturally, I met all her friends and acquaintances after we returned from our winter elopement, and had a summer celebration. There were a lot of friends and acquaintances, since everyone who ever came into the store she worked at became one or the other.

A few years later, the ad agency I was working for was filming a commercial at various locations throughout Schenectady. This involved a crew of about five or six, a director, lighting rigs, even laying tracks for a smooth camera move around our subject.

Everywhere we went, I was introduced as the creator of the commercial, the writer, the agency man, the client. Big shot, in other words. Being vain, I enjoyed the figurative spotlight, even though the crew was lighting the president of the union who was the star of the TV spot. It happened at the courthouse, it happened at a rehabilitation house, and I fully expected it to happen when we got to our final location, the County Library.

There was a lot of downtime, so I picked up a movie book from the reference section and started reading up on some favorite people. I noticed an attractive woman who worked at the reference desk glancing at me from time to time. I tried to place her, but I didn't recognize her until after our encounter.

She finally came over to me and said, with the satisfaction of a reference librarian who has found the answer to your question in under a minute, “I know who you are.”

I puffed up, smiled and prepared myself for the kinds of compliments I'd been hearing all day. Instead, I heard her say, “You're Eileen's husband.”

I stammered out, “Yes, that's right,” and tried not to look too disappointed.

Tell her Bertha said hello.”

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