We gathered on a brilliant afternoon in late October, the Mad Men and Women of D'Arcy. We reconnected and remembered, traded stories, hugged and kissed, told each other how wonderful we looked, and held handshakes longer than usual.
A hundred different paths now brought us back to the large room of a micro-brewery and restaurant in the heart of Kirkwood - paths that had taken many of us to distant reaches of the country, moved some of us just a few blocks, to new jobs, different careers, or nothing more challenging than a round of golf or a flower bed. Now some of us spoke of our children's achievements or our grandchildren's talents. Most of us talked about faded campaigns, unforgettable clients, celebrations and disappointments, theme lines that once bristled with energy and originality and still called forth a spark of pride.
In each other's eyes, we were still young, unafraid of any assignment, willing to deal with tough clients, able to prove that we were the best damned ad agency anywhere in the world. But we wore name tags, just in case that name or that face was slightly out of reach. And so few were.
Advertising was a different business back then. For many of us, it was the only one we knew. For others, the younger ones there who still had plenty of hair and a youthful glow, it was still the same game, only the rules and tools had changed. In fact, the world had changed in the less than 100 years of D'Arcy. With roots that had their beginnings in 1906, the agency no longer exists except in the history books and occasional columns, where tales of Mad Men and Women are told with a flair reminiscent of great battles, heroic deeds, and wondrous achievements.
And D'Arcy still lives in one other dimension: in the hearts and memories of those of us who once worked there, and - on this one day - came together in the warmth of the love we once shared.