Last night I went out for dinner and a glass with two advertising friends from the old days. We had worked together at Ally & Gargano, one of the great agencies of all time, from 1990 to 1995.
Decades have passed since then. We each, in our own way, had hard times dealing with the Ally diaspora, with the seismic changes in our industry. The trajectories of our careers had veered off uncomfortably, at least for a time. We all had set backs we had to overcome, a path to rejoin, or a path to detour from.
We met last night in a small hole-in-the-wall. I had a beer other than Pike's Ale. And we ate and talked for a few hours.
There's a line in the 1986 movie "Stand By Me" that says, "It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant."
That's certainly true in advertising, which is a small outcropping of real life. It's not through any insincerity or ill-intent. It's just that people move on, new friends emerge, old friends begin to, like old soldiers, fade away.
Sad but true.
A long time ago, a friend said to me "You have two things in this business. You have your portfolio and your reputation."
I think she was right.
But I'd add a third thing.