Jon Toensmeyer was a banker at the Hanover bank in New York, located at 250 Park Avenue. It handled corporate accounts such as the Archdiocese of New York, Union Carbide, Kodak , and other giants.
As a young freelancer I had plenty of trouble with banks..they didn’t like freelancers, and I think they like them less now. I mentioned this to my friend, Willard Block who I believe was working at CBS, another Hanover account. He suggested that I go see them. Well, I did, and of course I wasn’t corporate, I wasn’t rich, I wasn’t in any category that a corporate bank would welcome, so they politely told me that I couldn’t open an account with them.
As I started to morosely exit, a white haired gentleman behind a beautiful desk in the bank officer’s section motioned for me to come over.
“What’s the problem young man?” he asked. I told him.
“What’s that in your hand?” I told him. It was my portfolio..all 11/14″ b/w prints. “Let me take a look.” he said. I did. He went through it slowly and then said “fine work”. I think we would be happy to have you as a customer. ”
He set up an account, and later when he ascertained that I was working pretty regularly, he would always ask to see new work. In one of these sessions when I complained that it was good to work on the Kodak account, but bad to wait more than 90 days to get paid (some things never change), he laughed and said “J.Walter Thompson been paid for your work for Kodak in 30 days and invested that money in 90 day notes, so let’s do a turnabout”. He pulled out a small stack of blank notes and said ” When you finish a job and have it billed out, you can fill in one of these and get immediate credit. Don’t forget to cover it when you finally get paid” . I did and he did.
He later became one of the sponsors for our adopted daughter Jodi, and soon after retired . He made sure I was passed on to his successor who used to delight in inviting me to lunch in the corporate dining room where my long hair and beard turned a few well barbered heads.