Jack Dempsey on Hiring Jess Willard as a Salesman

Some time after I opened the restaurant I was approached by Jess Willard who asked me to give him a job. He was down, and I was the only person he felt he could turn to for help. I was more skeptical than flattered, but I decided to give him a try. At the time we carried Jack Dempsey's Special Label Whiskey, "the whiskey with a punch," so I gave him a job as a liquor salesman, promoting our liquor.

When word got out that Willard was gong to launch our whiskey in an advertising campaign, the press, along with their cameras, jammed themselves into the restaurant.

The ad called for Jess to walk over to the bar where the barman would say, Well, Well! if it isn't Jess Willard! What'll you have Jess?

"A Jack Dempsey Special Label on the rocks, please."

We went through it several times until it sounded natural. Then came lights and action as the lenses zoomed in on Willard.

"Well, Well! if it isn't Jess Willard! What'll you have Jess?"

"I'll have a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks," said Jess.

After Willard had been on the job a while, he began to stop by the bar quite a bit. I recall the time the bartender asked Jess if he wanted a Jack dempsey Special label. Unfortunately, Jess was overheard saying "Jack Dempsey Special label? That junk? No thanks."

Jess Willard wasn't with me for long the first time, nor was he with me for long this time, but I'll say one thing for Willard, in his own unique way, he tried.