Above / Pictured more than a decade ago at an annual “Old Timers Party” in New York City, Jerry Della Femina and Ron Travisano are creative men who began building a wonderful place to work on Madison Avenue back in the late 1960s. July 22 is Jerry’s birthday, even if you take away 15 years. (PN File Photo)
UPDATE, July 22, 2018 / Today brings back fond memories of my first real creative job in Manhattan with wonderful folks from New York and New Jersey as we send cheers and best wishes for another happy birthday to Jerry Della Femina.
Note… Just this past week we also were informed that Della Femina, always an imaginative and insightful individual, pulled his humor and thought-provoking opinion column that had been running in a Long Island publication every week for 23 years. —PN
Original Post, July 22, 2013 / In his weekly column last Wednesday, PN Publisher’s former employer, (m)ad man Jerry Della Femina, reminded loyal readers about his birthday on July 22.
“I’m having a birthday next Monday,” he wrote in Jerry’s Ink as co-publisher of the The Independent, a regional weekly newspaper based in East Hampton, New York. “I don’t like birthdays. But I guess they’re necessary because it’s God’s way of telling you you’re still alive.”
The man of many memorable words went on with a witty rant about age, happiness in general with smart technology, and the specific way he is happiest celebrating his birthday. He wrote he will “find the biggest glass in the house, fill it to the top with McCallan Scotch and take it to bed, where I will ponder tomorrow, which, as the cliché goes, is naturally going to be the first day of the rest of my life.”
What he failed to communicate when he wrote his column was the possibility that the Royal baby could arrive on his birthday.
During the early, early morning of July 22, many of us Americans awakened to news flashes that the affectionately watched “Great Kate Wait” is coming to an end. The Duchess had gone into labor and shortly after 6AM in Paddington, she was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, accompanied by Prince William. Followers in Britain and the around the world have joined crowds in London outside Buckingham Palace and at the hospital to wait for the historic announcement from the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband.
Folks can find the news about the future king online.
Back in Naperville, I wonder if this creative man— known as the “Madman of Madison Avenue” in the early days of his boutique advertising agency, a name now often credited as being the inspiration for the popular award-winning television series, Mad Men—will address the shared birthday in his next column.
Coincidentally , in June, my Daily Herald column featured a photo of a Della Femina birthday cake, one of many special-occasion cakes I had baked for the wonderful folks at Della Femina, Travisano & Partners when I worked there in the 1970s.
At right / In the early 1970s, Jerry’s ad agency surprised him with a luau birthday party on the 14th floor of the 17-story Standard Brands Building located at 625 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Your PN editor designed the cake in his likeness.
Harry and Mary rhyme with Jerry
Today I’m imagining Kate and William could name a baby boy Harry, rhyming with Jerry. Or they could name a baby girl Mary.
One thing I know for certain. Whatever name Kate and William choose, their child will be named after Jerry Della Femina.
As my now 90-year-old dad used to jest to all of us youngsters, girl or boy, “Yes, you were named after Thomas Jefferson—because you weren’t named before him.”
Here’s to a healthy and happy baby in Great Britain and to all newborns welcomed to the world on this day.
And with much appreciation, here are best wishes for another bunch of birthdays to Jerry Della Femina, a man of caring ways and thoughtful inspiration for many creative types that goes way beyond Mad Men.
Editor’s Note: While royalties are on our mind… To further locally connect with the New York agency behind many ad campaigns, one of Della Femina, Travisano’s most memorable campaigns comes with a jingle that everyone seems to know. Not only featured in commercials and in movies, the jingle has been making its rounds on the Wrigley Field organ this 2013 season. “Meow Meow Meow Meow… Meow Meow Meow Meow… Meow Meow Meow Meow… Meow Meow Meow!”
Royal baby boy is born!
At 2:33PM CT on July 22, a news release stated that an 8-pound, 6-ounce baby boy had been born at 4:24PM London time, four hours earlier after eight hours of labor. Proud parents are the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William. News reports suggested the child will use Cambridge as his last name, but a first name was not announced at the time of birth in the Daily Mail.
George continues to be the top pick by the odds makers for the royal baby boy’s first name. We’re still pulling for Harry.
Editor’s Note / A day after his birth on July 22, 2013, Prince George’s full name was announced, proving again that Royal tradition leaves little room for rhyming creativity or the “most popular baby names of the year” when naming a baby in line to the throne.
Story last updated / July 22, 2018