This is the book that Giancarlo Livraghi gave to Mummy – the last time she saw him in 2010. That was before me.
Dottore Giancarlo Livraghi was the David Ogilvy of Italy. Mummy worked for his agency Livraghi Ogilvy & Mather in Milan for about two years. She did not have a lot of interaction with him, the odd meeting here and there. It was a good size agency and the people who worked there were like a family.
Mummy left there two years later to pursue her career at Ogilvy & Mather in Hong Kong. Years later, when Dottore Livraghi retired, it became Ogilvy & Mather. But the staff who were once LO&M have always stayed in touch.
Almost eighteen years later there was a reunion and Mummy went back to see everyone. Her Italian pretty rotten before was even worse then. But it did not matter. And when she approached Dottore Livraghi, he not only remembered her name but in perfect English, he told her how happy he was that she came all the way from London to join in the family reunion. He gave her a signed copy of the book he had written “The Power of Stupidity” – in English which today still remains available only through the publisher.
At the end of the evening he said to Mummy – you must come back to have lunch with me at Trattoria Milanese – which he frequented and Mummy’s favourite restaurant in Milano. She hasn’t been back since 2010 and a week ago, on Saturday, 22nd February, Dottore Giancarlo Livraghi passed away quietly.
When Mummy heard the news, she was really sad. It seemed at the end of his life, after all that he had achieved, he felt alone, old and useless. But didn’t he know that so many of his staff loved him, was inspired by him and thankful for their opportunity to have met and worked with him.
His funeral will be a quiet family affair but the LO&M family are planning a dinner at Trattoria Milanese. Mummy hopes she will be able to attend – to say goodbye.
May’s comment: Another missed meeting.