With his dignified bearing he was among the first to put forth advertising as a profession. He was utterly tireless and insisted on making every moment of every day as productive as possible. In an era of hansom cabs and horse drawn trolleys the quickest way to get around New York was the elevated train system. So when he had an appointment he often chose this speediest, if not grandest, form of transportation.
One windy day in March the Commodore found himself seated aboard the “el” when a young man carrying a sandwich boarded the train and squeezed into the seat next to him.
The sandwich board was large and bulky; two-sided and about five feet tall by three feet wide. One side promoted the virtues of a local restaurant while the other side proclaimed the benefits of painless dentistry.
As the train rattled on the young man kept glancing at the Commodore, eager to engage this distinguished gentleman in conversation. But the Commodore remained aloof.
Summoning up all his nerve the sandwich board man finally broke the ice. “ Good morning, sir,” he said. “I’m on my way to work, are you?” The commodore ack nowledged that he too was headed for his job.
“And what is your profession sir?” asked the sandwich board man
“ I am in the advertising business,” replied the commodore.
A wide smile lit the younger man;s face.
“What a coincidence," he said. "I’m in advertising, too. Ain’t it hell when the wind blows!”
My good friend Chuck Francis never tired of telling this story from the files of his Idea Bank. It cracked him up every time.