Interactive news, reviews, gossip, musings, activities, photos, mysteries, histories, stories, truths, lies & video tapes from & for graduates of the Kirkwood (MO) High School fabulous class of 1965. Email us anything you would like to share to leslieatkhs65dotcom. See photos at www.khs65.com - comment here or on the website to make yourself heard! FIND US ~ www.khs65.com ~ www.khs65.org ~ FACEBOOK KHS65 ~ http://khs65blog.com ~ KHS65 MAKE IT A HABIT!
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Missing Jim Olson, creative talent, runner, funny man and good friend, gone way too soon.
I received a great gift from Jim last summer, in fact on July 4th, '16, and I am going to share some of it with you. I won't finish this post right now, but will come back to it until it's complete. It's going to be a big job, he wrote me a diary of sorts, 7 1/2 pages typed single space.
Some of you know his sports fame, either because you remember his accolades on the track team at KHS or because you actually read stuff I publish and have seen my 2009 post about his being inducted into the first class of KHS Sports Hall of Fame. If you haven't read that post please go to the 2009 post list on this blog and scroll down to it. Then for photos and more information, go to www.khs65.com, my photo site, and click the 2009 album for many photos of the HOF ceremony evening...there is more there than just Jim! I was honored to be his date for the evening, along with Maxine Lyons, Fred's widow, and there is news of other classmates in that album and several photos. Jim really did try to be humble in his acceptance talk, but he was really basking in being recognized. We had a great night!
Jim and I didn't know one another at KHS. Back in 1988 I had changed jobs within McDonnell Douglas, the computer biz founded by John McDonell, and I was going to Santa Ana, CA to my new boss' office for the sign up with Personnel, meet the other folks with whom I'd be working and to do some training. In those days, email was in its infancy and the internet not yet well-known but I was doing my "newsyletters" to the KHS65 members for whom I had email addresses. I had begun my database right after we worked so hard to gather the addresses for our 1975 10th reunion and I had Jim's contact information. I knew he worked for Grey Advertising in Huntington Beach, but his office was up in Cypress, not far from my boss' office, our Santa Ana service office, and a fun restaurant across the street called Crazyhorse where we hung out often. I also knew Cypress wasn't far up the interstate so I called him and told him I would be in town and would he like to meet and "talk KHS"...we met for a long lunch and instantly bonded. We became very good friends, and no, not a romance! Over the next few years we saw one another in CA or here for one reason or other when we were in the same place at the same time. We had lunch the day of our 50th reunion in 2015, and we visited that night. We talked on the phone - he always called me on the holidays and on my birthday, or sent me a card. He always made my day with his calls. He normally called when he and Jim (Speed) Herb were lunching together to see if there was any Kirkwood news they should know. Sometimes he shared KHS news with me!
Jim was an incredibly creative guy...a dog which never let go of that chew rag...a perfectionist in many ways...but mostly he was a creative guy who found himself fighting the typical battles of creative folks working in the midst of business tycoons, finance guys who didn't "get" the cost of creativity, and likely couldn't understand much of the creativity anyway, and the always present bosses who were jealous of the creative genius' salary.
My first memory of Jim's long list of advertisements is when there began to be a lot of flak about all the paper trash McDonald's fast food created, do you remember that? His slogan "Put Litter in its Place" was everywhere before long. The trash cans at McDonalds were white, tall with a swinging door and on the face was a rectangular green sign with white lettering. I wanted to begin this post (which will end up with Jim's own words telling the stories of his almost 30 top "All Time Favorites" - his own ads) with the McDonald's ad because it is a great example of Jim's ability to pack a huge punch in a few words. In looking on the internet for a photo of one such trash can, I found this video, his slogan in an Aussie ad for McDonalds, and I do not know if he produced the ad, but we know he wrote the slogan, and no, it's not on his own All Time Favorites list. Check it out here:
In researching the "Put litter in its place" ad, I found this on eBay and purchased it! A nice reminder for my bulletin board of "souvenirs" of my life. I'll wear it at our next KHS65 "do" and see if anyone knows why!