April Fool’s Day, 1975Offices of The Merrill Anderson Company at 100 Park Avenue
The preposterous invitation was addressed to Merrill Anderson's chairman, Earl MacNeill. He raised an eyebrow and handed it to his second in command, Bud Sommer. Bud looked, smiled and handed it to me.
Back in my office I examined the mailing. Ostensibly a new afternoon newspaper was starting up. A Merrill Anderson representative and spouse were cordially invited to learn more about it. On a five-day Bermuda cruise. On the QE2. All expenses paid!
Any temptation to suspend disbelief vanished after a glance at the return address: 90 Park Avenue, the building across the street. From my office window I could see dozens of workers sitting, standing, scurrying about. Which one was the April Fool’s prankster?
Still, no harm in calling their bluff. I RSVP’d to 90 Park.
A few days later came the phone call. There had been a change in plan, a voice said. (That figured. Out with the cruise. In with a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry.)
A change in plan?