You’re all so young.
Chiat/Day was founded in 1968 and worked out of a fairly trashy office on Olympic Boulevard in LA. One of the founding partners was Hy Yablonka, Creative Director. I regret to inform you that I heard from Hy’s son, Mike, that Hy died this morning (Tuesday), 1/6) at around 4 a.m. Mike and his wife were at his side.
One of Hy’s wishes was to die at home, and I’m so glad his son, Mike, was able to make this happen for him.
I’ve been on the phone a lot today, not gathering facts, but just allowing myself (and others) to mourn. Many thanks to Patty Kanin, who was married to Hy for many years.
Few people know this, but it was Hy who hired Lee Clow.
Even I, who started at C/D in 1977, remember the wonderfully grumbly Hy, with this fiery red hair. Bill Moorland told me he had a barber chair in his office at Olympic Boulevard, which successfully made the transition to the Biltmore.
He had an amazing, wry sense of humor - always expressed “sotto voce” - so you could barely hear him.
He did a lot of the early Apple work, plus Nike and Honda.
He opened C/D’s San Francisco office, and he helped keep Bob Sunderland alive. Literally. Jay set up a “suicide watch” for Sunderland. (You can search this website for his story.)
You were greatly loved, Hy.
I also learned today that the great Val Maiquez died in November. When I worked at Chiat/Day. Val worked in accounting. But he had a very special talent. His accent was so thick, few people could understand him. So what was the perfect job for Val? Handling phone calls from angry vendors looking for their money, of course. Since the vendors couldn’t understand him, he saved us a lot of money. (I think it was Eve Luppert who dubbed him “Disco Bal.”)
Jay often did extremely generous things. Once he gave $100,000 (yes!) to every employee who had worked there for 10 years. Val was one of those recipients (as was I.) Jay’s kindness enabled Val to buy his own house, for himself and his lovely wife, Virginia.
Next week: Multiples of Reedys!’
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