I saw Kurt Vonnegut studying a chessboard setup on the side of a building near 48th Street. (A flag signified it was Black’s move. Kurt seemed completely focused on it.)I saw Andy Warhol twice in NYC (The first time it was uptown and he was getting into a car or maybe a taxicab. The second time he was in the Flatiron district downtown having dinner with a group of maybe 15 people. I couldn’t resist saying to a person at the opposite end of the long table, “You know that guy has been famous more than 15 minutes,” to which he responded without a beat, “I should say so.” Sadly Andy Warhol died just a couple of weeks after that in a hospital in what should have been a fairly routine thing involving his Gall Bladder. He died on February 22, 1987 at the age of 58.
I met Gloria Steinem and Ralph Nader on the same day at the University of Miami. I think the student activities committee scheduled them on the same day by mistake. Yet, they were both gracious and together attracted a moderate mid-day luncheon crowd. I remember flirting with Gloria with a smart ass comment like, “We must do lunch again.” She smiled and agreed with a smirk.I saw the great Jimmy Brown at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. He retired from Football in 1964 so I must have been 8 or 9 years old. I just remember watching how many people it seemed to take to tackle him. Such power. And in that old stadium, I remember watching Jim Brown running passed one of those great beams that would interrupt your line of sight. Just one of those things you got used to along with the smell of cigar smoke and bourbon from a nearby flask on a chilly Lake Erie effect day.
I had the pleasure of pitching new business with Alex Bogusky and Chuck Porter. We pitched the South Florida Mercedes Benz Dealer Group and won. We pitched Grand Bay Residences developer Martin Margulies and won. We pitched the Gulfstream Horse Race Track (and didn’t want to win unless they were willing to promote the sport instead of the side-show events the marketing guy wanted to feature). We pitched Empire Toys, the makers of a Big Wheel plastic tricycle. (We didn’t win).
I saw Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen and others at a rally in Cleveland (after a Cleveland Browns football game against the Baltimore Ravens). It was just a few days before Barack Obama became president of the United States. Obama and the Boss were on a big screen downtown and the crowd was such that – I never saw them live (other than on the screen) but they were there. Obama was elected President just about a week later.