From The Man Who Inspired The TV Series “Mad Men”.

I read Jerry Della Femina’s recent post on Facebook and had myself a good laugh. In fact. I found myself laughing out loud. You are just the right age to enjoy it too. While I work full time, I can identify with what he wrote here. I’m not sure if it’s because I live in Miami Beach.

I probably would feel the same way in the middle of Manhattan. Jerry was one of the most successful advertising executives in the world. We had the pleasure of sharing several accounts together. He even secured a few new pieces of business for HWH PR. Eliot and I even got to party, multiple times, at his beach house in East Hampton. He also owns a gorgeous brownstone just two blocks from where we lived in NYC.

Jerry, take it away.


By Jerry Della Femina

Lately, just about everyone I know has been asking me the same question:”Hey Jerry, you’re looking good. When are you going to retire?

This frightens me because I’m thinking they are saying to themselves, “God, Jerry looks terrible. I hope he retires so that he can enjoy his last few days in Florida, so at least when he is ready for his ‘dirt nap,’ he’ll go to meet his maker with a nice healthy-looking tan.”

My answer is I will NEVER retire and I must point to the piece below titled “Don’t Retire,” which was sent to me a few years ago by my old (and best) partner Ron Travisano. I find it hilarious. If the person who wrote it steps forward, I will be happy to give him or her credit. It’s so funny because it’s so true.”Don’t Retire.”

For those of you contemplating retirement, I would like to share my retirement experiences with you, which I hope will be helpful. Fifteen years ago, my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida’s southeast coast.

The last time we saw our grandkids was on Grandchildren’s Day, when they were dragged down by their parents. We were living in the Delray/Boca/Boynton Golf, Spa, Bath, and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-a-hachee. (There are 3000 lakes in Florida; only three are real.)

Our new community has so many interesting things for us to do. Back by popular demand, the feisty Hip Replacement Tappers Club will be tap dancing to the “Flight of the Bumblebee.” It promises to be quite a production, with lots of singing and dancing. This year, I am not in the cast but will be standing by with the defibrillator volunteers.

Our biggest retirement concern was time management. What were we going to do all day? Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem. Your days will be eaten up by simple daily activities. Just getting out of your car takes 15 minutes.

Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes. It takes a half-hour on the checkout line in Walmart, and one hour to return the item the next day.

Then, of course, there are the visits to the doctor and dentist offices. Let me take you through a typical day. We get up at 5 AM, have a quick breakfast, and join the early morning Walk and Talk Club.There are about 30 of us and, rain or shine, we walk around the streets, all talking at once.

Every development has some late risers who stay in bed until 6 AM. After a nimble walk, avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower, and change for the next activity. My wife goes directly to the pool for her underwater Pilates class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.

I put on my “Ask me about my Grandchildren” T-shirt, my mid-calf shorts, my socks and sandals, and go to the clubhouse lobby for a nice nap.Before you know it, it’s time for lunch. We’re usually back home by 2 PM to get ready for dinner. People start lining up for the early bird at about 3 PM, but we get there by 3:45 because we are late eaters.

The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve. You can take home enough food for the next day’s lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, Sweet’N Low packets and mints.

At 5:30 we’re home, ready to watch the 6:00 news. By 6:30, we’re fast asleep. Then, we get up and make five or six trips to the bathroom during the night, and it’s time to get up and start a new day all over again.Doctor-related activities will eat up most of your retirement time.

I enjoy reading old magazines in sub-zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I don’t mind. Calling for test results also helps the days fly by. It takes at least half an hour just getting through the doctor’s phone menu. Then, there is the hold time until you are connected to the right party. Sometimes they forget you are holding, and the whole office goes to lunch.

Many of the receptionists are quite rude. They keep you standing at that dopey little closed glass window, totally ignoring you. After a half-hour I ignore the “Do not tap on the window” sign, and tap on the window. This always drives them nuts.If you do, they put down their Egg McMuffin or their copy of the Enquirer and fling open the window, ready for a fight. I lie, explaining I tapped on the window accidentally because I have Parkinson’s.

They claim they are required to keep the window closed because of the privacy law, but I don’t believe it. Are they afraid if I were to overhear that Sol Lipshitz has hemorrhoids I would blackmail him or sell the information to a foreign government? In Florida, everyone has hemorrhoids!

Should one find they still have time on their hands, volunteering provides a rewarding opportunity to help the less fortunate. Florida has the largest concentration of seniors under five feet and they need our help. I myself am a volunteer for “The Vertically Challenged Over 80.”Food shopping is a problem for short seniors, or “bottom feeders,” as we call them, because they can’t reach the items on the upper shelves.

There are many foods they have never tasted. Whenever I see one of them struggling to reach a jar of gefilte fish, I rush over to lend a hand. After shopping, most seniors can’t remember where they parked their cars. They wander the parking lot for hours looking for their car while their food defrosts.Lastly, it’s important to choose a development with an impressive name. Italian names are very popular in Florida.

They convey … world traveler, uppity sophistication, and wealth. Where would you rather live … Murray’s Condos or the Lakes of Venice? There is no difference. They are both owned by Murray, who happens to be a cheap bastard! The Italian names appeal to those name-dropping, phony snowbirds who are out to impress their friends up north.

I once heard someone say, “We spend our summers in the Catskills, but we winter at Villa Borghese in Delray Beach.”I have been to Villa Borghese. There are 1200 Jews and two Italians!

I hope this material has been of some help to you future retirees. If I can be of any further assistance, please look me up when you’re in Florida. I live in The Leaning Condos of Pisa in Boynton Beach.

Wikipedia ……Jerry Della Femina (born 1936) is an American advertising executive and restaurateur. Starting from a poor Italian background in Brooklyn, he eventually became chairman of Della Femina Travisano & Partners, an agency which he founded with Ron Travisano in the 1960s. Over the next two decades they grew the company into a major advertising house that was billing $250 million per year and had 300 employees and offices in both New York and Los Angeles.

Della Femina is known for his larger-than-life personality and colorful language, and was referred to as a “‘Madman’ of Madison Avenue”. In 1970, he wrote a book about the advertising industry, humorously titled, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War. The book became a best-seller, described by The Guardian as “one of the defining books about advertising”, and eventually inspired the television series Mad Men. Jerry is married to TV personality Judy Licht.

Jae Sweeny-Lardner 2001 – 2018

This is Jae.

These words below come from our friends Cris Sweeny and Claire Lardner of Miami who lost their youngest daughter Jae last Wednesday. Eliot and I are are proud owners of paintings from older sister Sage. We know this beautiful family because Sage and Jae, are goddaughters of our close friends Gail and Dawn.

Some of my readers are probably cringing that I am posting Jae’s story on my blog. Her mothers posted it on Facebook today. They are anxious to share their story with others and for everyone to always remember Jae. Their candor is to be admired and respected.

Jae’s godparents , Randy, Dawn, Gail and Ron.

This is an essay Jae wrote earlier this year.


I just want to escape

this physical world and blend

into the universe

Flow through the abyss

of space as pure energy

And experience what it is like

to finally live

Where everything is blurry

Filled with feelings you can’t describe

But they have a certain feel to them

they’re like ink

dropped in a glass of water

Or the color of a sunset

similar to an exhale

coming from your mouth

and blind smiles into the dark

I want to become

whispered promises to the stars

From those longing another

I don’t want to be someone

or something

I just want to be

The Rev. Martha Shiverick of the Riviera Presbyterian Church, Miami, told the hundreds of folks who showed up this past Sunday to honor Jae at the Celebration of Life service, “Don’t Ask, ‘What If?’ There are no ‘What Ifs’ in a situation like this.”

The World We Live In

Chuck Todd, host of Meet The Press, brought up a topic this morning that we are all somewhat aware of, but don’t do much about.

There are four plus companies who now control our lives. Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon definitely dictate how we get online, how we shop, how we communicate, and how we get our information.

Amazon alone is worth more than 15 of the best known retailers combined. Two thirds of adults in the United States have Facebook accounts . Half of those folks get their world and local information from that platform.

If you watch the video that I have attached, you will learn more about the current state of affairs. Ten years ago, life was very different. I don’t think any of us could have predicted the way the world now works.

Where are we going in the next 10?

You Will Soon Be Able To Leave Your Shoes And Coats On

Getty Image

I have good news for people who hate taking their shoes and coats off when passing through airport security checks. Several British technology companies are working on dedicated shoe and coat scanners that specifically scan for explosive materials. Hopefully, these machines will find their way to airports everywhere.

Security Screen Technologies in Derbyshire and Scanna MSc in London have computers that analyze scan images and can immediately pick up hazardous components. Other British initiatives include screening cargo and super sensitive for explosives by filtering gas from containers.

Some airports need this technology more than others. Not every airport has the Transportation Security Administration, TSA. Security lines take 30 to 60 minutes. This takes the joy out of travel.

Read more about this on

Amazon Alexa Plays Board Games

This is going to be fun. Alexa is going to be capable of playing board games with you.

The first one is a geography game, called “When In Rome,” from  Sensible Objects.

It’s going to be very “futuristic” playing with a robot. Alexa will teach us the rules, keep track of the score, and guide us through the game.

Everyone sits around a world map. Each player has a “home city” where he or she starts. As you enter each new city, Alexa asks you questions about the area: food, people, topography, weather, customs, etc.

The person with the highest points wins. The game will be available this summer at $29.95. Stay tuned for many more voice-augmented tabletop games.

The future is now.

Audi Takes The Lead On Making Toll Payments

Image: Audi

One of the strangest things I had to get used to when we moved to Miami from New York City was calling the electronic toll collection program, the SunPass. In New York it’s known as E-Z Pass.

Now I may not have to remember any name at all if car makers follow Audi’s lead. Audi is integrating a toll payment system on some of its models so that the devices automatically pay the road tolls.

Audi explains that “the Integrated Toll Module (ITM) is a toll transponder built into the vehicle’s rearview mirror. The technology is compatible with existing tolling agencies nationwide, which can be linked with a driver’s new or current account.”

I think this is all pretty cool.

If You Had All The Money In The World

What would you wish for?

Ellen DeGeneres obviously makes a lot of money. She can buy anything she wants. I recently read a story that she still felt like there was something missing. Her wife, Portia de Rossi, figured out what was causing Ellen’s aching heart and then found a cure. She presented it to her on her birthday. Please watch the video.

In Other News …………..

The new three story slide at Aventura Mall.

If you love Ceviche, eat here at Aventura Mall.


In the last few days, three different friends sent me photos of our home on Miami Beach.

Steve Greenberg took this photo with his IPhone X when his flight took off from MIA to NY.

Steve Greenberg took this photo with his IPhone X when his flight took off from MIA to NY

Richie Grand found this photo at the Coconut Grove Art Festival

Andrew Preston took this photo from his boat.

Thank you to all three.

The Students Take Over

I’m in a much better mood today. For the first time in over a year, I think this country may actually have a chance to get out of the mess it has been in under the Trump administration. The students are going to save us.

I very much want to be a part of the March 24th nationwide demonstration. I want to be there when every politician, who gets funded by the NRA, gets called out, then kicked out.

I am so sick of certain people, on the other side of the aisle, telling me guns don’t kill people, people do. These now former friends make me feel like I’m living in the twilight zone. Trump now says he is willing to talk about instituting gun background checks. What a phony. Just weeks ago, he removed more than $12 million from the budget that was designated to improve the screening of people who buy guns.

He wanted that money for his wall and tax cuts. The rich get richer, and nothing gets trickled down to the masses. It never does. Thankfully, some sanity will be restored. I have great faith in the youth of America to save us.

I will do my best to support the students. I hope you will join me. Thank you.

My recent Facebook posts.

Bios For All Ages

Two years ago, my niece Mara told me that her then five year old was reading biographies. I was immediately fascinated. I love biographies, but it usually takes me weeks, or months, to finish a book. I learned that my grand nephew, Ari, was reading a book in one night, or a few days. I was amazed.

Mara is a librarian so I knew this was something I wanted to know more about. She gave me the information, but I tucked it away someplace and then forgot about it. Two days ago, I was at Books & Books, in Coral Gables, and noticed a section of the children’s area devoted to biographies. I realized I was staring at the biography books Mara told me about.

I know I’m not five years, old but I couldn’t help myself. I bought five books. While they are written very simply, they are filled with facts that I didn’t know about. These books are a quick read for you, and perfect to share with young ones. There are hundreds of them. I plan to read the five I bought, and keep ordering more from Amazon, or make more trips to Books & Books.

I am fascinated by biographies. They teach us so much about life. After I finish each one, I plan to send my copy to any parent or grandparent who expresses an interest in sharing it with a child.

Memo to Mara. Thank you for the heads up. These are terrific. I am so happy you shared this with me.