You can look high and low in the corporate communication world today and for the first time in four decades you won’t find Dan Danbom, the writer who, as he wrote humor columns for local newspapers and PR trades over the years, served as a communication manager and speechwriter in various outfits in and around his hometown of Denver.
He’s chucked it and started an Internet-based antique book store, which you can see at www.abebooks.com.
"I named my business Danbom & Son in memory of my dad, Ray," Danbom told friends in announcing his new venture. "We spent a lot of happy hours together looking for books. He always wondered aloud if I might to into the used book business when I retired. I told him I was probably too smart to do something like that."
No longer so ego-laden after years as a speechwriter—a job, he once quipped, that involved following executives’ orders to "write down my ideas as if I had them"—Danbom is free to "do some freelance work, indifferently" and also "more fun and more important things. Like working on the Obama campaign."
Dan Danbom kept this business in perspective and never let an absurdity go by. Not that he didn’t work hard at communication. He actually got his "ABC" certification from the International Association of Business Communicators. But later he was forced to concede that the the only effect it ever had was that occasionally someone would misread his nametag at an industry meeting and call him "Mr. Abick."
No more. "I was in the grocery store today, and who did I see but a former boss—a particularly stark example of the sort of blustering idiot who passes for an executive these days," Danbom wrote me yesterday. "I decided that should he speak to me, I would pretend not to know who he was."
Godspeed, Mr. Abick. And keep in touch.