Ad executive sends holiday cards from grave

PITTSBURGH (AP) - December 12, 2011

About 400 people recently received the macabre but humorous greetings from McCully, who died in August at 88, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday.

The former Pittsburgh advertising executive is pictured on the front of the card talking on the phone in an office.

"Hello, please don't call," it reads. "I recently moved to a quiet neighborhood ..."

Inside, the card says: "My new place doesn't have a phone and our gates close after dark." Pictures show the gates at Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville and McCully's tombstone.

Friends say a relative produced the card, which generated a mix of emotions for longtime McCully friend David Newell.

"It was the strangest feeling getting that card. It was almost eerie. But when I opened it, I laughed out loud. It was the ultimate Christmas card," Newell said.

McCully often performed locally in satirical musical revues and was known for his darkly funny Christmas greetings. For several years, Newell said, cards were written from the perspective of McCully's former dog, Rolf.

This year's card might be the most memorable of all.

"I was delighted to no end. It was a great source of joy for me," said Ed Blank, former Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review film critic. "It was like nothing I've ever received."

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