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March 19, 2010

Shelley Menning Chiat

Shelley Sunset
Photo by Chuck Phillips

One of my absolute favorite people from my years at Chiat/Day was Mrs. Chiat herself: Mrs. Shelley Menning Chiat. She was extraordinarily kind to me, as well as many of you, and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for her. I also know that Jay was her soulmate, up until the end.

After some coaxing, I finally got her to contribute a comment to the site. She lives in Malibu. I got Chuck Phillips, who also now lives in Malibu, to contribute a photo of Shelley on the beach at sunset.

I can't think of a more beautiful contribution to the site than this:

dear steve,   it was good to get your email, your compliments are very kind.  i applaud your endless work on the website, it’s extremely generous of you to keep the c/d family together and in touch.

i too have warm and bountiful memories of almost everyone in n.y. and l.a.  jay and the agency were the heart of my life for a full quarter-century—50% of my entire life, and 100% of my adult life.  despite that long and unbroken thread, my life has always been the opposite of his in many ways—small, quiet, and for the most part private.  i’m grateful to have been a part of four generations of chiats, perhaps if i’m lucky someday it will be five.  i know that after his family, jay sustained a passion for few things; yet for him the work and the people doing it never slipped to second place.

people speak of the c/d experience changing their lives and i know the reverse is also true.  despite behaviours that may have indicated otherwise, jay cared deeply about the people in the offices.  you contributed a richness to his life that few are fortunate enough to know, and you are all to be deeply thanked and truly appreciated for that.

jay and i spent time in northern california when i lived there.  among other things, i was restoring historic properties and for several years lived in jack london’s home adjacent to his aptly named ‘beauty ranch’.  until then i had not read many of london’s works but i became more familiar with them during that time.  below is a passage attributed to him that seems to fit:

"The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smoulders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive. I am filled with dreams and mysteries. I am all sun and air and sparkle. I am vitalized, organic.  I would rather be ashes than dust, I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."

you are all a part of the sun and air and sparkle, the brilliant blaze, the superb meteor and the magnificent glow that was jay’s life.

he could not have had that, nor could he have lived his life happily, without you.

xoxo s.

March 14, 2010

Fred Rubin

Fred in 1987 at Jackson Hole

Fred in elevater.jpg

Fred Rubin was a senior partner at C/D, where he built and implemented an interactive, marketing, consulting, and creative services business, devising web strategies for America Online, Absolut Vodka, and Barnes and Noble.


For those who want to attend the funeral. Here is a note from jane, his partner:

Hi everyone, I just wanted to send you a note to share some sad news. As some of you may have already heard, after a long and courageous fight against cancer, Fred passed away yesterday shortly before 3:00pm. Both Fred and I thank you for all your kind words, prayers and thoughtfulness during these past few weeks. Fred took great comfort in knowing that he was truly loved by so many people and I am grateful to you for that.Fred's funeral services will be as follows:

Monday, 3/15, at 11:00am
Riverside-Nassau North Chapels
55 North Station Plaza
Great Neck, NY

The funeral home is right next to the LIRR Great Neck railroad station. Additionally, we will be sitting shiva Monday after the service as well as Tuesday at our home.I hope that you will be able to join us on Monday to help celebrate the wonderful man that Fred was and is. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, please forward this info to anyone else who might be interested in joining us on Monday. Thank you so very much for being a part of Fred's life and for sharing your love with him. He is the greatest man I know and his untimely death won't ever change that. I believe the heavens above are weeping right now, joining us in our deep mourning. My heart is beyond broken, as I'm sure many of yours are as well, but I take comfort in knowing that Fred will always live on in our hearts and souls. Thank you. Erica GrauPartner, Chief Operating OfficerDeutschA Lowe & Partners Company


I am very sad (for all of us) to apprise you that Fred died this afternoon around 3p.

Fred was with his beloved partner, Jane, who did everything for Fred but accompany him on wherever he's off to now.



I received this sad announcement about C/D alum, Fred Rubin:


We may, or may not, have met before. I am Fred Rubin's friend, Stephen.

I'm writing with a request.

If you're on this list it's only because I am of the understanding that you are or were either a friend or a friendly-colleague of Fred's. I'm certain that there are many of both categories not on this list, so please pass-along this request to anyone you know who may be interested --- or tell me and I'll see that they get word.

Fred is in hospice and not expected to live much longer following his lion-hearted fight for more Time with his sons.

Fred's boys, Sam, 14, and Abe, 12, who Fred cherishs, are getting the short-end when it comes to Time with Dad. I'm hoping to flesh-out more of Fred's past for them by gathering Words and Images of Fred from any source.


Or film, that you would be willing to duplicate and forward, or loan to me to scan and return?


A phrase characterizing him? An anecdote? An Appreciation? If you do contribute something here, please indicate how you first came to know Fred.

Please forward materials to me with a note about whether you want the materials returned.

There is no deadline.

If photos and remembrances of Fred appear sporadically in my life from the procrastinators among you, well, I can think of worse things. My intention, however, is to assemble and organize contributions and get them soon to Fred's boys.

Thank you.

Stephen Felter

Please send electronic materials to:

sfelter@pobox.com or dirpersp@pobox.com

Please send hardcopy materials to:

POMONA NY 10970-3319

March 09, 2010



A clever new spoof site has emerged which chronicles fictional ads that somebody should have beaten to death with a club.

I'm not at liberty to disclose who, specifically, is behind the site, but they all worked on Apple while at Chiat.

(Check out the "Beatnik Lisa" ad and follow the link to a fake Wikipedia entry for Lee Clow.)

March 03, 2010

Mike Sweeney

Howdy to newly found alum Mike Sweeney.

I worked at C/D NY '93-'95 (one year at 79 5th, one year virtual) and it was my first job out of college...such a great place to start my career. Thanks for keeping the site running. I've struck out on my own and am doing ethnographic research.

Chiat's Dais #2

Courtesy of Nancy Ullman comes the second in a series of Adweek columns that Jay wrote back in the 80s. Nancy found them in an old folder in her garage and graciously scanned them and sent them to me for posting.

Click once to see the image in a larger size and then click a SECOND time to blow it up to fit your screen.

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