Friday, September 10, 2010

John Talignani of Flight 93 ~ Project 2996

John Talignani

Today Woodsterman is Non-political and gives tribute to an 
American Hero, John Talignani. He along with the other 
passengers of Flight 93 gave his life for his country, for no 
other reason than it was the right thing to do.

Since retiring in the mid-1990s, John Talignani had ordered 
anything and everything from television, cluttering his cramped 
apartment in Staten Island, N.Y., with an endless variety of 
appliances and memorabilia.

A retired bartender who schmoozed with the likes of 
Donald Trump and Dick Clark during his 20 years at 
a tony Manhattan steakhouse, Talignani just couldn't 
resist the pitches on QVC.

His home was filled with juicers, toasters, carpet shampoo, 
pasta makers, model cars, baseball memorabilia, a cavalry 
sword, chainsaws, and a pair of Woodstock tickets.

"The worst thing is, I don't know what to do with it," 
Talignani's stepson, Mitchell Zykofsky, said.
Like many bartenders, Talignani excelled at listening, 
to customers and to his family, which included three 
stepsons from his third and final marriage.

With his even temper, he took to his late wife Selma's 
children as if they were his own, practically raising 
them during the 20 years the couple was married.

Talignani hustled the youngest to tryouts with professional 
baseball teams, took pains to act as a sounding board for 
Mitchell, the oldest, when he wrestled with career decisions, 
and had boarded Flight 93 to head for California, where a 
car crash had just claimed the middle child.

"I credit most of whatever I've done to this day to his help," 
said Zykofsky, a New York City police sergeant.

The burly Talignani grew up playing stickball on the streets.
He entered Japan after World War II with the Army, and
never went to college. He was crazy about the New York 
Mets and had a soft spot for women.

"Sometimes you go out on a date with a girl and say goodbye 
at the end of the date," his brother Armand recalled. "He used 
to say, 'Let's get married.' " But he was no wine-and-dine 
Casanova, his stepson said, noting the longevity of his final 

Once, Zykofsky recalled, he visited the Palm Too restaurant, 
where his stepfather worked, to find Talignani talking to actor 
George C. Scott. When Talignani came home, though, he never 
crowed about the big shots he met. His stories instead were 
always about the workaday regulars, 
whom he found more interesting.

Hat/Tip to


  1. Hi Odie. This was a beautiful tribute to a real hero.
    Thank you for writing about Mr. Talignani. He will live forever in the hearts of those who met him & loved him. God Rest his Soul.

  2. Thank you Bunni, here's to the 2996 that died.

  3. A great tribute, Odie. Thanks for posting this.

    Best, Snark.

  4. Snarkster, where have you been? Thanks for reading John's Post.

  5. I just met someone who was related to him. I did some research for the kid 'cause he wanted to know more. I'm sure he'll be happy and grateful that I found this, and for that I thank you.


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