The Pen Story
I'm writing this Be Bold column at the end of April 2014. I get nostalgic at this time of the year because I was hired at the end of April 1982 by Preshia Humecke of The Walter Cribbins Company to file catalogs and do research for sales people.
That means I'm finishing up year 32 in the industry and beginning year 33. I think back to that first year with Cribbins and I remember a remarkable man at the helm of that company-the PPAI Legend Carl Rosenfeld. I met Mr. Rosenfeld on my very first day in the Woodland Hills office of Cribbins. He was down visiting from San Francisco and he spent about an hour with me, talking about the industry and his long history in it.
Now, Mr. Rosenfeld didn't know I'd stick with the ad specialty industry (that's what it was called back then, not promotional products, no sir!) for so many decades. I was a fresh-out-of-college kid looking to make ends meet before breaking into the film industry. But he spent that time with me and I never forgot it. I never forgot it because he told me, that afternoon, The Pen Story.
Mr. Rosenfeld (I can't bring myself to call him Carl, he was and always will be Mr. Rosenfeld) was quite famous for telling The Pen Story. It could take 10 minutes, or an hour. I got the 30 minute version. He began by pulling out a 35 plastic promotional pen from his pocket with his own self-promotion copy, and asking me how much I thought that 35 cent pen was worth? I calculated about 35 cents, give or take. And that was where he'd launch into The Pen Story, the story about each and every component of that pen: the roller ball, the ink, the spring, the barrel, the plunger.