A Childhood Encounter. An Indelible Impression. The Bert Wilonsky Story.

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WHILE ELBERT “BRICK WALL” WILONSKY was a man of strong opinions, he first earned the nickname not because he was rigid and unchanging in his viewpoints, but because, as a child, he once rode his tricycle straight into a brick wall and boy did it leave a mark.

And, as for strong opinions, he hadn’t always held them, and was once as gullible as the day is long–until that day his brothers copied a gag from Loony Tunes. They painted a fake tunnel on a brick wall and convinced Bert that any doofus would knock themselves silly, but like the cartoon’s star, he could ride right through.

Elbert "Brick Wall" Wilonsky

Elbert “Brick Wall” Wilonsky

Elbert vowed he’d never again ignore his inner Bert, that still small voice that said things like please don’t ride your trike into that brick wall. Instead he learned to trust his instincts, to carefully formulate his ideas, and to build a case for a viewpoint, you guessed it, brick by brick.

It’s true, “Brick Wall” Bert grew up to become a man who was anything but spontaneous. And surprising as it might be that a person given to such deep reasoning and introspection is now recognized as a Pioneer of Creativity, you must read on to understand why.

It was late in life when Elbert Wilonsky truly earned his nickname, demonstrating convincingly that genius isn’t always a spontaneous thing, and that creative ideas can also develop over time, as the result of slow and careful planning. The fateful moment came on his 65th birthday, which he celebrated with family at the old homestead. It was that day that he talked his three brothers into revisiting the scene of their favorite practical joke. There he tied all of them onto a Radio Flyer wagon, weighted it down with bricks, and sent them rolling downhill into the charming old mural. Now that’s creative.


THE “PIONEERS OF CREATIVITY” MEMORIALIZES THE FORGOTTEN HEROES OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING AND REMINDS US THAT TRUE CREATIVITY IS A HUMAN TRAIT WE ALL SHARE, NOT  ONE ONLY RESERVED FOR THOSE EXHIBITING SUDDEN, UNPREDICTABLE FITS OF QUESTIONABLE INSIGHT.