My One Year And One Month.

There are many sites and stories to be found about Melvin Belli and the two build­ings that he bought and reno­vated at 722 and 728 Mont­gomery Street in San Fran­cisco.

I recently found this booklet, written by Mr. Belli, with even more details on the purchase of the prop­erty from the previous owners to the recon­struc­tion, which noted very iffy under­pin­nings and standing water found when exca­vating for the place­ment of an elevator.

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Cover of booklet and Walkway

You can see, here, the gas street lamps from Denmark. 722 was a two story building and older than the three story 728 loca­tion. The entry walkway was placed along the adjoining walls of the two build­ings. After this row of mail­boxes, the walkway opened at the left, to the elevator and stair­case and if one walked farther, toward the Belli recep­tion office at the back of the prop­erty, one would be in a daily refreshed flower court­yard with a splashing foun­tain. This opened to the sky and gave light to all of the internal rented offices above.

Every weekday morning from March 1964 to April 1965, I would arrive early to turn my key that released the heavy latch on this New Orleans Iron Gate. I was on my way to the second floor front studio of my wonderful job, working for Butte, Herrero and Hyde, nation­ally known commer­cial artists (each with fine-​art talents, they would be even more creative at home if they had any leisure time). I have posted photos of BH&H in my earlier posts of 10-​14-​2013 and 1-​5-​2014.

My lucky day, 2-​10-​1964, brought me to this loca­tion with the big black port­folio that would-​be artist carried. Taught to work up ideas and show ones best samples — clean and flapped for a nice presen­ta­tion — my port­folio was packed with a wide variety with the hope that one or two pieces would get me a job. Here is one that I had created in my base­ment room — copy and a humorous illus­tra­tion for Fore­most Milk (which no longer exists).

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I don’t know which part of my port­folio did it, but my job started on 3-​1-​1964. To my surprise, Fore­most Milk was one of the part­ners’ steady clients. In the one-​year that I was with them, there were three Fore­most assign­ments that I watched them create. Their Fore­most Christmas “event calendar,” I have shown on my previous post on 12 – 12-​14.

The collec­tions shown, below, show the talents of Bruce Butte (designer /​art director), Lowell Herrero (humorous illus­trator) and Bill Hyde (lettering and type designer).
I am making a collec­tion of the exten­sive work that BH&H produced in just the last year of their part­ner­ship.

All of this group, I regret, are without credits to the Agen­cies, Art Direc­tors, Copy­writers Engravers or Printers because they are from my collec­tion of printed pieces of that time.

Ann Thompson

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