I was saddened to see we lost Bill Jayme, one of my writing heroes. I learned a lot from Bill, although we never met. I certainly hope some of his legacy lives on in my writing style.
He was a giant and a pioneer, and we all owe plenty to him. Plenty.
Like all truly great wordsmiths, he even wrote fabulous letters to individuals. (Then again, weren’t all his million-copy letters written to individuals?) I wrote to him once about the craft of writing. He sent me a wonderful note back, calling me “Esquire” and spinning a tale about an unusual encounter he’d once had in Manhattan – unpublished till now. I treasure that letter; it broadened my appreciation of him as a person, rather than just a professional:
“Mary Hemingway lived directly across 65th Street from me, and our balcony gardens, such as they were, looked out on each other. One lovely day, it snowed. We had a magnificent snowball fight, she on her balcony, me on mine, with all the cars, trucks, cabs and buses pouring out of Central Park’s transverse road scurrying underneath.
“Thank you for bringing it all back.”
Thank you, Bill Jayme. Our industry is so much more because of you, yet a bit less now that you have moved on.
Jim Allyn, Copywriter, Atlanta