If You Stayed On Your Side Of the River You Would Not Need A Bridge

When a person works in an advertising agency, this person has the opportunity to work with probably the most intelligent and creative group of people in an office environment. I had that opportunity: at Cargill, Wilson and Acree, a subsidiary of Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), New York.

When I was working at Cargill, in Atlanta, I started something that turned out to be more far-reaching than I had intended. Eventually, an article was written about it in Adweek.

This far-reaching act on my part was called The Wall.

I set up “The Wall” as a place where coworkers, passersby and friends could come into my office and write one or two line quotations on the large blank pieces of paper I had tacked up on my office walls.

These large drawing papers on my office walls soon grew in numbers, enough to cover my entire office. Every time I changed offices, so did The Wall.

The “quotes” were not those of famous people. But some funny anecdotes. Things that happened during the day. Things that had made everyone present laugh. The agency would talk about The Wall in terms of “having a wallie.” (Then they would come rushing into my office and scribble it down.)

The Wall was so popular among everyone, including the principals of the agency, showing it off was a part of agency tours. (Even to perspective new clients.) The Chairman would stand there and read off selected lines and everyone on the tour would laugh.

A book containing quotations from The Wall was published.

When I left the agency, The Wall was taken down and rolled up. It is now yellowing in my basement. Vibrating with good times, stress relief, brilliant creativity and sometimes things that just don’t make any sense; I am absolutely positive that those folks who were working at or associated with Cargill, Wilson and Acree during those years remember it fondly.