I was art director at Albert Frank-Guenther Law for 20 years (1958−78) and at MacFarland Advertising before that. From ’78 until retirement in ’88 I was art director at CRS Advertising, a Charles Schwab agency. I free lanced part time for about five years after retirement. Albert Frank-Guenther Law was a New York agency with five offices around the country. It was the second oldest ad agency in the U.S., founded in 1872, J. Walter Thompson being the oldest. AFGL no longer exists. Foote Cone & Belding bought the agency in 1977, closed the S.F. office in 1978, eventually selling it to former AFGL executives, who later sold it to a British agency and after merging lost its identity.
A few memories from my years at AFGL: we were located at 425 Bush St. on the 3rd floor — we had most of the floor while a competitor, Doremas Advertising occupied the rest. P&H art was on the 4th floor and P&H typographers were on the 5th as I recall. I worked frequently with Tom Hall and Chet Patterson and with their type shop. Our manager until the mid 60s was Lucrecia Kemper, an eccentric 6’ 2” lady who wore enormous hats and had a reserved table at the Palace Hotel, where she dined everyday with clients. During the holidays she invited the staff to join her — what a treat! She had worked on the United Nations formation in 1945, handling PR and knew everybody in town. She knew beans about advertising and once told Harvey Ward, a new client and amateur golf champion, that he had to pay less attention to golf and more to business (I was there and almost fell off my chair). Sadly she became senile and the two VPs took over management — Richard Cruikshank and Richard Kreuzer. She kept her title, office and secretary for a few more years till she retired. In the early 60s AFGL was asked by Bank of America (a client) to put on our payroll a fellow from Cuba. Tony had been the ambassador to Spain under Batista and had fled during the revolution; through contacts at the bank he went to work for us as a courier, sharing an office with me. He was the best dressed and best groomed employee in the office. Tony left us before we moved in 1968 to spiffier offices on Sutter St., in the remodeled old White House building.
Before I joined the agency Dick Kreuzer was handling art and production and getting more involved in account handling. The agency hired Eulalie Fuller as production manager shortly before I joined. We had several copywriters/AEs over time — Eddy Bennett, Bob Connolly, Bob Johnston, Larry Larson, Ralph Grady and Bill Robin. Other production managers who came and went included: Alice Wells, Jane McKenzie, John Madden and Shawn Miller. I was the only art director. Some of the free lance artists and photographers I worked with back then: Bob Thorsen, Bob Tamura, Ed Gross, Al Joe, Lon Fox, Lowell Herrero, Bayne Kihneman, Nick Carter, Ted Castle, and many I can’t remember. Our branch office usually employed about 20 – 24 people and when we closed there were about 15 of us.
In the early 70s we had a tiny client named Charles Schwab & Co. Mr. Cruikshank who was by then sole manager advised Dick Kreuzer, the AE, to get rid of that client — it was too small and required too much time. He was right, but Dick K. was even more right — he saw the growth potential. When Foote Cone closed the AFGL office in 1978 Chuck Schwab asked Dick K. to open an agency to serve his account, he did and asked me to join him, which I did. Boy, were we smart! It proved to be an exciting and rewarding 10 years. Dick Kreuzer moved to Oregon after he retired in 1987…my wife and I visited him and his wife there every year until his death in 2004. Dick Cruikshank passed away a couple of years after that, he was a great guy to work for. After I retired I painted watercolors and showed my work in galleries and entered shows. I’m a member of the California Watercolor Assoc. (along with Al Joe and David Broad) and served on its board for many years. I’m not active with the Association anymore and don’t enter many shows, but I occasionally get a commission to paint a landscape or portrait. I enjoy painting plein air, especially when traveling to Alaska and Washington to visit two of my sons and grandkids, or on vacation trips. Last October I traveled with three sons (no wives) to France where I enjoyed painting in Honfleur on the Normandy coast.
I still keep in touch with Vicky Quattro and Eulalie Fuller Glaser from AFGL. On a personal note, in addition to three sons I have one daughter and a five year old grandson living here in Walnut Creek. Two of my sons each have two children, ages 10 to 16. I don’t have any work samples handy from the AFGL days…some are probably packed in the attic but I have no desire to get up there.
I’d never get a job in advertising these days, nor would I want one. Everything is so high tech now and from my “Old Geezer” point of view the quality of the ads do not compare with the golden days of advertising — the 1960s. I’ve never made the picnic because we’re either traveling or it’s my wife’s birthday, maybe I’ll make it this year. My regards to the Old Geezers who might remember me.
(Dee) Wayne White 2/1/12