My wife Audrey and I knew G.D. and Gertrude Crain for almost 45 years. They were a wonderful twosome whose personal and company partnership was admirable. The company was the very first client of the company Bill Marsteller and I formed in 1951. Indeed, their fee helped pay our first rent bill.
It was my pleasure to fly with Gertrude to occasional meetings at the University of Illinois. It was my pleasure to work with and observe in action G.D. and Gertrude at many industry conferences. Gertrude and the Crain Foundation were early supporters of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, in Chicago, when we organized that museum in the mid-80s.
Typical of Gertrude's industry contributions was her visit, along with Rance and Keith, to the Medill School of Journalism a couple of years ago, when they shared their exper-iences and knowledge with our students.
Audrey and I will always remember Gertrude for her ever-present smile and generous spirit. She will also be remembered as a leader, a motivator and a good friend.
Richard C. Christian
Associate dean, Northwestern University
Chairman emeritus, Marsteller Inc.
Gertrude Crain was a tremendous inspiration and influence on us all. Her warmth, caring and sense of humor will not be forgotten by any of us whose lives she touched.
This story might let your readers who never had the wonderful opportunity to know her, find out just how special and gracious she was.
When I was director of the Crain Educational Division, I was the youngest department head in the company and I tried to conduct myself in the same professional and mature manner as the more senior executives. Except one particular Friday evening.
I had to work late, as did most of the Ad Age editors who were closing the weekly edition. Around 6 p.m. we decided to take a break by playing wiffle ball in the hallway outside my office. Naturally, mature adults that we were, all baseball caps were worn sideways or backwards. I chose sideways.
I stepped up to the "plate" and hit a line drive all the way down the hallway just as Mrs. Crain-leading a group of 30 or so youngsters on a tour-turned the corner. The "home run" flew right by her left ear.
As my cowardly cohorts dove
under desks, I froze on the spot, hat still askew, visions of a career going south in a hurry.
Mrs. Crain didn't flinch. She continued to lead her young charges and as she passed this frozen mess simply told the children, "Oh, kids, this is one of our more distinguished executives," at the same time giving me a smile and a wink.
All of us who have been touched by her calm, pleasant leadership will miss her.
Douglas E. Raymond
President-CEO, Retail Advertising & Marketing Association International
Retiree will miss Brady
This is not a fun day. After some 45 years as a subscriber, I have decided not to renew Ad Age. Why am I telling you? Because James Brady's column is the only thing that I have read consistently in AA for several years-no fault of the magazine, I'm the one that's obsolete.
After copy chief stints at a couple of agencies, I co-founded my first shop in February 1950, at the age of 28 1/2. Several mergers later, I became sole owner, editor and publisher of Bon Appetit, followed by Bon Voyage, and left the agency business.
For the next 15 years, it was a great ride. After that, I returned to consulting in publishing and marketing for a few old clients. About that time (mid 80s?) Brady started doing the AA column, as I recall. I have written him on many occasion to say how much I enjoyed his writing and, more to the point, to compliment his point of view. They say "nostalgia ain't what it used to be," but I'm more comfortable with memories of Harold Ross, Luce, Murrow et al. than with the modem crowd.
In addition to his columns, I have immensely enjoyed our occasional epistolary exchanges. In their absence, I hope I can look forward to another book or two from his hand.
Tell Rance Crain I'm sorry, but I'll have to cadge a copy from my local library from time to time, just to see what Brady's saying!
M. Frank Jones