© 2019 Bill Murphy
I’ve never wanted to be a cowboy, or a fireman, or a movie star. I learned early in life that art, especially commercial art, was my thing. In the early 1960s I was fresh out of college, and dreaming of that cushy job as as a creative illustrator, in the advertising field. In those days we had no cell phones, no Google. We had a telephone attached to a wire and a thick telephone book by the side. And… the yellow pages were profusely illustrated! It was THE job to be had.
The Yellow Page office was located upstairs over a Promos Restaurant on North State Street in Jackson, MS. That fateful day, downstairs in the restaurant, I sat across the table from the art director for an interview. He ordered coffee for us. I took my first sip, and promptly SNEEZED INTO THE CUP. There was an explosion of coffee. It went everywhere.
That embarrassing interview didn’t last long. I was not hired. That was a huge dissappointment, but it was not the end of the world.
Not even 3 years later, the vice-president of Jitney Jungle called me for an interview. They wanted to create an in-house graphic/advertising department. Was I interested? Yes, very much so. 41 years later, Jitney closed its doors. I was the first one in the ad department, and the last one to leave.
I look back now and I’m glad I sneezed in my coffee that day.
Oh, as a footnoote. After a couple of years at Jitney, I had a visitor. It was the Yellow Page Art Director and his side-kick. They wanted me! This time, I told them ‘no thanks.’
That day of the coffee explosion wasn’t the end of the world. It was the beginning!