Famous Last Words - Jayme
Jayme was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and educated at Princeton. Near the end of World War II the army assigned him to head the staff of a division newspaper in Texas, and the young recruit discovered he enjoyed working with words. In his off-time he wrote short stories. "I Will Please Come to Order" was picked up by Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and later chosen by Anthony Boucher for his annual "best of the year" anthology.
After the war, Time-Life hired Jayme to create promotional mailings and develop TV documentaries. The CBS Radio Network named him its head copy editor. Word was getting around.
He began supplying light humor pieces to magazines like New York and Harper's. Esquire engaged him to overhaul all of its promotional materials to reflect the magazine's new postwar seriousness. No more Petty or Varga girls. No more leering Esky.
He also wrote two books. "Know Your Toes," co-authored with Roderick Cook, was a collection of useful mnemonics for children. "The Other Half of the Egg," written with Helen McCully and Jacques Pepin, provided recipes for using leftover yolks and whites. He wrote the libretto for "Carry Nation," Douglas Moore's opera about the well-known Prohibitionist that had its premier in 1966 at the University of Kansas, which had commissioned the piece to mark its centenary. Subsequently, noteworthy productions were staged by the San Francisco Opera and the New York City Opera, which recorded the work.
In 1970 Jayme moved the two-man firm from New York, first to San Francisco, and then 46 miles north to Sonoma, a village in the wine country.
They continued working together exactly as they had in Manhattan. The only difference now was that clients came to see them, instead of the other way around. And come they did. Established magazines like New York. Growing publications like Utne Reader. Promising new start-ups like Cooking Light. So many and so varied that The New York Times dispatched East Coast journalist Randall Rothenberg to Sonoma to write "Junk Mail's Top Dogs" for The Times Magazine. It ran with a full-page, color photograph of Jayme and Ratalahti perched atop a mountain of mailings they had created down through the years.