I pulled another ambush, paying a surprise visit to Vern Fonk Insurance Agency in Everett to see what folks keep at their desks.
No, I didn’t honk on the way in.
The agency has new buzz words, “Shipoopie happens,” promoting renter’s insurance. The campaign is mentioned on television commercials starring office manager Robert Thielke III.
He’s been doing Fonk commercials for 13 years. He considered Vern Fonk to be a mentor and did the eulogy at Fonk’s funeral more than a year ago.
In his Everett office, Thielke has his own lookalike bobblehead. On the wall is a plaque from when he was named Slickest Salesperson in Evening Magazine’s Best of the West competition.
There is also a photograph of his blended family with five kids, his and hers, and one of him by the ocean in Cancun.
Tropical themes abound in the Fonk office. Linda Brunckhorst, customer service, has a window near her desk with a Hawaiian lei around the edge, and window clings of fancy drinks with umbrellas and palm trees.
“I used to go to Hawaii every January,” Brunckhorst said. “It’s my happy place.”
She makes others happy, bringing home Native American dreamcatchers I saw behind a few desks.
Agent Elaine Henske has a dreamcatcher. She also has a calendar from a teriyaki place, a picture of the American flag, and photos of her daughter, Lexa, and granddog, Carter.
Dogs are popular at the agency. Broker R.C. Green has pictures of his three hunting dogs, Bosch, Aunt Granite and Brody.
(I have a son named Brody, but no trademark on the name.)
His mouse pad is a cymbal, because he plays drums in a band, and boxing glove key chains are there because he used to box and coach.
Photographs of two beautiful daughters grace the wall behind agent Reggie Brady, including Annie, 26, and Ryann, 23. The office CD player is in his bailiwick and an Aaron Neville CD was available.
Peppercorn seasoning that sat on his desk is used at lunchtime, and he keeps kosher salt in the company refrigerator.
“It’s so much better for you,” Brady said.
Administrative Assistant Jackie Russell has a notebook with ultrasound images of her granddaughter, due to be born July 10.
She nurtures a plant that belonged to her grandfather, and she had a photo of her dog, Fidelis.
Agent Mardi Logan has snapshots under plastic on her desk, showing her two German shorthairs. They like to camp near Winthrop.
And she has a dreamcatcher from Linda Brunckhorst.
Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or email@example.com.