Saturday, September 16, 2017

Alone Amongst Them


To better see the sky
The people thronged into the street
I stood amongst them
Gazing at my feet
The light shone down upon them
And basking in its grace
Thousands danced to the singing of a million lips
I stood along amongst them
Gazing at my finger tips
So while led onto while
And I stood among them so
Their faces yearning toward the light
My head still hanging low
And then one day the light went out
The crush of people died
Raising my eyes to the heavens I wept
The ground firmly beneath my feet
For I along amongst them
Could stand upon the street


© 1977 by David P Drimer and published in Ibis Yearbook

Photo: In front of the Ashe Administration Building at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL --- left to right unknown student (background), Wes Morgan and Dave Drimer 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Marketing Marketing

The premiere organization in Saint Louis for advancing the study and practice of marketing as a professional discipline is the American Marketing Association. Membership in the Saint Louis chapter is a powerful way to join forces in thought leadership and get connected with more than 30,000 individuals who work, teach and study marketing.

This is an age of dramatic shifts in the professional practice of what used to be summarized in broad terms as managing the 4Ps (Product, Promotion, Price and Place) with Madison Avenue advertising guiding post-war industrial age manufacturers. The goal was to convince mass market consumers with a unique selling proposition. The battle often was among brands seeking to differentiate and win market share. Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said: “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife”.
       
Marketers today must be digital savvy, read metrics and have a comfort level with big data. Today’s marketer must be entrepreneurial in a region that is now much less about being home to Fortune 500 headquarters and more about being tech incubator for ventures that are likely to radically reinvent business segments. And they will need to be successful swimming in a sea of social media turbulence.

Change is good. But it is happening faster than ever. You need to be plugged in. Here’s how:
Programming – a moveable feast of topics that serve up take-away nuggets that will serve you and your company in everything from insights to practical applications. Programs range from monthly topical luncheons to special interest groups to networking opportunities. Be a part of the conversation.

Thought Leadership – AMA is proud of its place as the world’s largest association of marketers. AMA.ORG is a gateway to a wealth of information. The resource is even more powerful if you are member. AMA hosts annual conferences that are outstanding opportunities for professional development.  It takes effort to be the smartest in the room.

Marketing Leadership – Wisdom doesn’t live exclusively in major metropolitan areas, ivy league classrooms or in giant corporate boardrooms. Declare yourself a marketing leader by participating in AMA Saint Louis chapter programs and events. (Visit ama-stl.org for details). Join AMA and connect with 30,000 marketers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and around the world. (See details at ama.org)


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Punchline


So, Saint Peter says: there are no lawyers in heaven!
Most seasoned lawyers recognize this as the punchline of any number of jokes about their profession. They typically change the subject and move on to some other conversation suitable to a cocktail gathering. It is likely the lawyer doesn’t like to be the butt of such humor but they know it is an occupational hazard. 

The skeleton didn’t go to the prom because … He had no body to dance with! The bartender says to the horse: Why the long face? The bartender, upon seeing a priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into the bar says: What is this some kind of joke?   

A joke is only as good as its punchline. It’s torture listening to a yarn that takes way too long to get there. Some people just don’t have the dramatic or wordsmithing skills to make that journey worthwhile. The payoff ends up being more a grown than the desired smile.  This is an age of social media and tweets with no time to savor the journey. It's tougher than ever to hold attention with details of a story. The would-be impromptu comedian might not want to venture the risk of dying once they have taken the stage. You can avoid performance anxiety and still get a chuckle while keeping come classic comedy alive by simply keeping the punchlines in your pocket.

So the economist looks at the canned stew and tells his colleges (of two other professions): First, assume a can opener… 

Wow, for a fat girl, you sure don’t sweat much.

When she sits around the house… She sits around the house.

The blond saw a sign that read - Airport left… so she went home.

Read the directions on the box (How you make Elephant Jello). Time to get a new fence. (What time is it when an Elephant sits on your fence?) You don’t get down from an elephant, you get down from a duck.

He threw the alarm clock out the window because he wanted to see time fly.  A newspaper…is black & white and red all over (Does anybody even know what a newspaper is anymore?) The snail knocks on the door and says: What did you do that for? (Snail is referring to being kicked to the curb two weeks prior.) So the golfer in the lightning storm says: Even God can’t hit a 2-iron.

Your momma is so ugly that when she walks into a bank, they turn off the security cameras

She is so ugly, she walked into a haunted house and came out with a paycheck



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ansel Elgort is Baby Driver


Actor Ansel Elgort is the title character in the action thriller Baby Driver(2017) which was directed and written by Edgar Wright. My brother thinks this actor is going to be a big star. He was star in  The Fault in Our Stars (2014). In this movie, Elgort’s character, because of a longstanding debt to
criminal named Doc played by Kevin Spacey, has one last heist to complete. He wants “to head west… in a car I can’t afford with a plan I don’t have” with a love interest/waitress, Debora played by Lily James. Heist mates Buddy, Darling and Bats played by Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzales and Jamie Foxx (respectively) are not going to make that easy. Edgar Wright stitches together wildly inventive scenes with a soundtrack that seems to be one of the obsessive hero deejaying his own life. Baby Driver is a Sony Pictures release of a TriStar Pictures, MRC presentation of a Working Title, Big Talk Pictures production.

Son of famed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort and Grethe Barrett Holby, an opera director. His siblings are photographer Sophie Elgort and filmmaker Warren Elgort. Ansel's paternal grandfather, Harry Elgort, was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while Ansel's paternal grandmother, Sophie Didimamoff, was born in New York, to parents from Russia. Ansel's maternal grandfather, Warren Barrett Holby, was a prominent Westchester real estate developer, and had English, Scots Irish/Northern Irish, and German ancestry. Ansel's maternal grandmother, Aase Grethe, was Norwegian; during World War II, she served in the Resistance for the Norwegian Government in exile, and helped save Jews in Norway from the Holocaust. Because of these activities, Aase Grethe was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis (from 1943 to 1944).

“I got into movies watching old films my dad had, the old Elia Kazan movies. It was those old movies, actually, that really got me started. Marlon Brando, Paul Newman - straight-up legends” says the 23 year old Actor, Ansel Elgort.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017


On Monday, August 21, 2017, the U.S. will be treated to a total eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will be visible -- weather permitting -- across all of North America. The entire continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Anyone within a 70-milewide path that stretches through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse. During those brief moments -- when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for about two minutes -- day will turn into night, making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. Birds will fly to their nighttime roosts. Nocturnal insects such as cicadas and crickets will buzz and chirp. This is truly one of nature’s most wondrous experiences.

The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection (e.g. cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. Do not look at your hands, but at the shadow of your hands on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse).

• The last total eclipse in the United States occurred on February 26, 1979. The last total eclipse that crossed the entire continent occurred on June 8, 1918.The last time a total solar eclipse occurred exclusively in the U.S. was in 1778.

• Experiencing a total solar eclipse where you live happens on average about once in 375 years.

• 12.2 million Americans live in the path of the total eclipse. Of course, with visitors, that number will be much higher on August 21!

• About 200 million people (a little less than 2⁄3 the nation's population) live within one day's drive of the path of this total eclipse. In addition, millions of Americans will be able to view a partial eclipse, weather permitting.

• Carbondale, Illinois will experience the longest eclipse duration, clocking in at two minutes, 43 seconds, beginning at 1:20 p.m. CDT.



Eclipse Seeker glasses can be purchased via http://eclipseseeker.com/buy-big.html




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

AMA GOLF 2017


Golfers with golf towels from Sneller Creative featuring AMA logo are Ted Ruzicka, Derek Sauer, Brian Barnett, John W, Probst, Tim Nenninger, John Fortner, Mark Bretz, Dave Cox, Bob Mogley, Wes Morgan, Randy Niederer, Bob Mogley,Tom Shaughnessy,  Perry Drake, John Grizzell   

I started organizing the annual golf outing for the American Marketing Association twenty years ago when the chapter president at the time told me it was just too much trouble to successfully run such an event. Well, she was right (at first). That first year, I had a handful of friends and associates show up at my chosen venue – the 9-hole municipal facility in Creve Coeur. We had two foursomes. The second year was kind of hard to measure as the weather prevented all except my group (which was a threesome by the time the weather cleared enough to finish).

Over the years, we gained some traction with as many as 40+ golfers. We had cash and in-kind sponsorships from the likes of Geile-Leon Marketing Communications, Creatives on Call, iDream Solutions, MarketVolt, Xtreme Exhibits, Bender Graphics, Kent Precision Foods, DiCom Media, Sandbox Creative, Group 360, Kolbeco and Anheuser-Busch. We had teams comprised of personnel from Enterprise-rent-a-car, Sante Fitness, The St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Thermadyne, Adamson Advertising, Wamhoff Financial & Accounting and The University of Missouri/Saint Louis.

We created a traveling trophy for the low-net score winner. The winners of that prestigious award included some pretty fine golfers such as Tom Shaughnessy, Dave Cox, Mike Malloy, Marco Tocco, Steve Pona, Tim Nenninger, and Creve Coeur city councilman Ted Ruzicka (this year’s winner). Some players made cameos and others made multiple appearances like Perry Drake, Pat Hawn, Bob Mastis, Bob Mogley, Dan Diveley, Jeff Kirtley, Rowdy Jones, Bethany Kellogg, John Grizzell, John Lewington, Annie McBride, Michelle Yates, Tony Tatar, Mark Bretz, Randy Neiderer, Jim Stewart, Mary Sawyer, Jon Fulmer, Doug Walters, Jim Nagel, DeVere Shoop, Wes Morgan (naturally) and many others.

This year we lowered the cost and relied on word-of-mouth communication almost exclusively. Tim Brinks at Creve Coeur Golf Course treated us well with a package that included cart, greens fees, lunch and attendance prizes (all for $25.00 per person). Despite weather projections for a high probability of rain on our Monday date, the skies were clear and the course was looking better than ever.

Congratulations to our low-net winner Ted Ruzicka, our long-drive champion John W. Probst, closest to the pin on hole #9 Randy Niederer. Special thanks to Jeff Snell and Sneller Creative for the golf towels, UMSL for the swag-bags and eclipseeker.com for the Eclipse Viewing glasses. We will be looking skyward as we anticipate a total eclipse of the sun in our region on August 21. Marketing (Sheesh).   

   
 



Monday, June 5, 2017

Laumeier Sculpture Park - 100 Years in the Making


Tour Strategy June, 2017

In 2017, we celebrate 40 years since the beginning of Laumeier Sculpture Park. Four decades are really a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. This place has been influenced by events and circumstances of more than one hundred years. It was one hundred years ago that Roland L. Kahle, department manager of the Rigen Stove Co, built the estate house here in Sunset Hills. Meanwhile, Ernest Hemmingway was about to graduate from High School in a Chicago suburb and he was about to begin his career as a writer in Kansas City. The artist, Ernest Trova wouldn’t be born for ten years. Babe Ruth was playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox. Marcel Duchamp submitted his now famous readymade (a porcelain urinal) as a work of art in New York while Picasso and Braque were laying the foundation for Cubism in France. 100 years influenced movements/styles such as Futurism, Dada, Constructivism, Minimalism and Conceptualism.  Along the way artists and writers shaped the conversations about what is and what is not art. The United States became the center of the post WWII art world as critics like Clement Greenberg described Abstract Expressionism and Jackson Pollock took center stage.

Around 1968, Wayne Kennedy, the Director of St. Louis County Parks and Recreation, convinced the widow Matilda Laumeier to bequeath her property in Sunset Hills. (Kennedy died in 2017 at age 93). Trova’s gift of 40 works of sculpture to the County put the real estate gift on a course to becoming an historic celebration of monumental contemporary art. (Trova died in 2009 at age 82). We’ve come a long way in four decades but we’ve only managed to capture the slightest essence of why we keep coming back. These unassuming 105 park-like acres in the St. Louis Region are home to between 60 – 80 works on view at any given time. There are art camps, tours, art fairs, food trucks, picnics and dogs to walk (they come and go). But as all that is happening, the feeling of stability remains. It is a familiar place in the middle of the U.S. It is a celebration of world class art in our own backyard.   



I have been a docent tour guide at Laumeier for five years. I estimate that I have conducted 100 or more tours of the place. On this Sunday June 4, 2017 I led a tour of 22 people. The group included family groups, young and old art fans, local visitors and out-of-towners. 90 minutes into the tour I was convinced, more than ever, that our sculpture park is a treasure. It is ever changing and evolving. It has something to offer everyone who comes to visit. It rewards me personally over and over again. 



U ME UM by Terry Allen, 1998 (neon light/fiberglass)

Eye by Tony Tasset, 2007 (fiberglass, resin, oil, paint, steel)

Man with a Briefcase by Jonathon Barofsky at #2968443, 1986
(in foreground) and The Way by Alexander Liberman, 1972-1980 (18 salvaged steel oil tanks)