|photo courtesy of Carl Corey|
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Bert Gardner was not an easy man to know and, some would argue, a harder man to like. For much of his life, Bert was a fixture in Twin Cities advertising. Possessed of an imposing frame and what drill sergeants refer to as a “command voice”, Bert strode about like a bear on its hind legs, investigating everything, raising up that or those he deemed worthy and swatting down the pretentious and the tedious. While Bert did not generally suffer fools, he was a great friend of Smugglers’ Inn. Perhaps our strange business model (to date, there are no other restaurant/ad agencies) appealed to his sense of the absurd. Maybe he just liked our clam chowder. Whatever the reason for it, we could always count on Bert for an encouraging word or a voiceover when we needed Orson Welles, but couldn’t afford the bill to re-animate his frozen corpse.
Bert was a not-untalented writer. Every year at this time, Bert would send out a CD of himself reading a Christmas story that he had penned. The stories always involved a dog and usually one or more small children. They were sappy stories with happy endings that would always leave you with a tear in your eye. Everyone loved them. We loved them.