Going Full Telly: A Slight Memoir
By Taylor Negron
"The Savalas message fits this New York moment. The reedy ectomorphs of Williamsburg are particularly in need of help." - The Wall Street Journal
In the mid 1970's, Telly Savalas and my father shared the same Physician. I was babysat by Telly Savalas. It was during one of those progressive dinner parties, that were so popular in Beverly Hills - these suppers frequently began at the Aaron Spelling's and finished up with a sweet dessert at Angie Dickinson's.
Those distant people were our parents, the ones you would see in the ads in the back of Life Magazine. A husband and his wife standing in terrycloth pants, looking as though they had just heard the funniest joke of their lives.
The "Marlborough Man" met "The Jean Nate Girl" and had us, and now we are the faces you see in magazine ads for Lipitor, Cialis and Crestor - shipwrecked, slightly stunned and confused.
At that long ago traveling dinner party night I was left behind at Mr. Savalas' house. Back then kids were "after thoughts" and you would never see a seventh grader running the show. No sir. Children were like "backpacks" or "books," easily forgotten.
It was intimidating to be alone with the Television's Kojak. Mr. Savalas was bold, bald and hyper-masculine, and his house was enormous, some of the walls were painted Lime green and the only place for a 12-year-old to sit was on a stack of animal skin rugs. Mr. Savalas offered me a plate of steak tartare.
"That's right kid, raw meat, that's how real men like it... raw."
Real Men! Some times I ask myself if there are any real men out there anymore. And I am not talking Ernest Hemingway "real" either, I am talking about "saddling up, honoring your word and treating girls nice " kind of real.
Men these days have become soft, as soft as the raisin bran that they have left in the bowl under their unmade bed.
These flip-flop wearing Hipsters are stumbling, literally (because they are wearing flip-flops), through the rain of life and are unable to see the future.They won't see the past and are only able to look at the the letters inked on their knuckles that spell out "THINK."
I only wish that the young men of today could see the men of yesterday and the Telly I saw cavorting with my father up that spiral staircase in the slightly darkened lounge of a Pan Am 747, where sexy dames leaned seductively into the well dressed men.
They would have heard a light jazz piano and watched the stewardess in hot pants preparing Crepes Suzettes on an open flame, like I did as I juggled the real China plate on my lap.
Watching these men in their colorful swollen ties, I knew they were not mad men. They were glorious men. They were joyous men, and I decided at that moment I wanted to be like them when I grew up.
Flying back from Los Angeles, I was seated next to a young hipster that had no pants on at all, he was wearing greasy cargo shorts that hiked up around his ass and was eating Chicken McNuggets with a straw. I could see he had a tattoo of the Quaker Oats man on his neck as he explained that "usually I travel in Business." To which I responded, "in business class they make you wear shoes." This larval never even offered me one of his chicken McNuggets.
I felt I had to help bring Telly back, for a generation that's been nursed on the empty calories of Russell Brand, video games and Entourage. a whole group of the tribe has never been to the "Man church" of "Kojack" or Don Clemente, Miracle Mafioso.
-11/15-Skinny fella in a charcoal P-coat sitting at a table in the window of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at 86th and Amsterdam.He's got middling gray, shaggy hair, but it looks washed, and generic + Read Full Article
Queens singer/songwriter and friend of YBNY, Justina Soto, covers Bon Iver's "Skinny Love." Video on the Jump. + Read Full Article