A Travel Vignette

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From a Canadian Travel Diary (1986)

No Bull!

A Bob Djurdjevic Column, June 1986

TORONTO - "An industry as bullish as the computer industry ought to have at least one bull in the midst of a herd of cows," suggested Tom Weissmann, Canadian Datasystems' editor, in our June 1986 conversation in Toronto. I couldn't agree more. Even if, as a last resort, a Wall Street "bull" had to do. Just ask some cows which have been without a bull for a while. Which cows? Any cow! Beggars can't be choosers, didn't you know?!

Anyway, it would appear that IBM Canada didn't consider the social needs of the cows which are gracing the lawn of IBM Canada's new office tower which opened in downtown Toronto in late 1985 (see the photo). According to Weissmann's personal inspection, there was no bull around. He said he'd personally inspected the cows. And that's -- no bull!

"Why is IBM in the cow-raising business?" you may be wondering incredulously. It is not, although you may have some doubts looking at IBM Canada's (now retired) chairman, Lorne Lodge, "riding" one of IBM's apparently genetically and sexually deprived animals. "Uncowed by the opposition to the idea..." the Toronto Star reported, "IBM Canada's former chairman rode one of the cows all the way into retirement..."

Just kidding... the latter quote was mine... Hm? On the other hand...

"As yesterday's bulls turn to today's bears, it is perhaps quite appropriate that IBM Canada chose an animal as impassive as a cow to be a symbol for its new corporate building," I wrote in a June 1986 editorial. "After all, the sacred Indian cows have survived even if sometimes the people who owned them perished in the impoverished regions. And surviving, rather than taking extreme positions, is what got both Lodge and Akers (IBM's corporate chairman) to their coveted offices."

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