I haven’t seen David or talked to him in the several years since we met and discussed some possible business ventures. I remember him as smart and energetic with a strong bias for action and a long track record in marketing. During the course of our conversations, late that Fall, he told me about his family’s Thanksgiving celebrations.
At that time, his parents were in their 70s, still living in the expansive Victorian house in which David and his siblings grew up. They would return, each Thanksgiving, first on their own and then with their spouses and children. His mom would cook…. and cook… and cook for Thanksgiving and, when she served her family Thanksgiving dinner in the early afternoon, she would feed them within an inch of exploding – turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, potatoes, breads, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pies (several pies) for dessert – until they would rise from the table, groaning; loosen their belts; help her clear the table; and then retire to the living room.
There, they would snooze and watch football games as they digested their dinners. And, then, a few hours later, she would appear at the door of the living room with a platter piled high, singing out, “I’ve got sandwiches.”
As David told the story, he sang “I’ve got sandwiches” as his mother would sing it, the pitch in her voice rising to emphasize the “sand” in “sandwiches” and then falling for the “…wiches”, with the expectation that her family members would eat them.
As I said, I haven’t seen or talked to David in several years, but I remember him… every year at this time…when we haven’t spoken in years. I can still hear his voice singing, “I’ve got sandwiches” and imagine his mother standing in the living room door way, the light behind her, looking into a darkened room, holding a platter of sandwiches, her enormous love for her family balanced there.
He didn’t intend to be memorable that way and… his story was so richly full of imagery and so well told that it touched me and became his story brand, if you will. It’s how I remember him.
This memory lead me to wonder, by what stories or memories do our clients remember us?
The question reminded me of a line from Disney’s movie, “Lady and the Tramp”, when Tramp says (to Lady), “C’mon, Pidge, let’s go make some memories.” Good to make memories with clients, to create experiences worth remembering and telling stories about.
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