My second (and last) three Martini Lunch

Glenn and Rick set up a booth at the Bayshore Inn. I forget the reason for the conference but important people from all over the country attended. Focus actually made a lot of sales during the week long event and we were soon shipping big prints to many spots in western Canada.

Another Startup design.

I got a call from an Edmonton construction firm saying they were interested in some murals and would be sending a representative to Vancouver. About a week later a young  guy in suit and tie appeared at the office. (Everybody wore ties back then) He was actually my age or even a little younger. Anyway I took him to lunch in a fancy restaurant on Georgia street. You guessed it. I ordered Martinis.

“There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth–
I think that perhaps it’s the gin. ”

In those days the standard practice in advertising agencies and architectural  firms was to do all important work before a two hour lunch. Most offices were useless in the afternoon. Not Focus though so this taking a client to lunch was new to me. We had nibbles and another Martini while we got down to business. He told me that his firm was building a ten story Medical building in Edmonton and they wanted to put a mural on every floor. And the size? Huge. Twenty feet wide by about eight feet high! He was satisfied with our work so I gave him some prices and he agreed. We celebrated with another Martini and called it a day. (Had to, as we both were getting a little drunk).

He went back to Alberta and we got to work. Fortunately the large office space downstairs became available and Glen and a couple of workers transformed it into a huge darkroom. The Edmonton firm supplied the negatives and the downstairs room was big enough that we could project them on the full sized wall.  Glenn and a helper did the work while myself and Rick handled the usual Focus work. As they did each mural they had to put it in a light tight box, bring it upstairs where they could develop it.

Downstairs mural making room.

All ten murals were done and we sent them off to Alberta. I advised the clients that mounting them would be tricky. Would they like our experienced wallpaper hangers to handle the job? No thanks, we have plenty of wallpaper hangers in town. OK, I sent them a very detailed description of the process needed to mount them.

A few weeks later I got a stressful call from them. The murals were tearing themselves apart. I thought impossible! They said that they’d followed my instructions and wanted to know ‘what the hell’! Turns out the murals were mounted on light steel panels which which began to distort as the murals dried. There’s a lot of strength in murals that size and the steel just couldn’t handle it. They told me they were going to sue!Luckily nothing came of it as we weren’t  responsible for the mounting. Also we were lucky that we didn’t send our ‘experts’ as I’m not sure they would have recognized the danger of mounting on steel.

One thought on “My second (and last) three Martini Lunch”

  1. Love these tales of working in the heyday of martini lunches and also love all the detail of working in such a large photographic medium.

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