There Will Be An 80-Foot Statue Of Daniel J. Travanti If I Have To Build It Myself

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Vol 34 Issue 07

Archaeologists Discover Strata Of Welcome Back, Kotter Merchandise

UNIONTOWN, PA—Archaeologists at a dig site in southwestern Pennsylvania have discovered a layer of the Earth's crust consisting entirely of Welcome Back, Kotter merchandise. "The strata we have discovered, located approximately 15 feet beneath the surface, dates to the mid-1970s and consists of items ranging from posters of Sweathog leader Vinnie Barbarino to lunchboxes depicting Arnold Horshack," head archaeologist Adrian Richelieu said. It is the largest such find since 1989, when archaeologists near Albuquerque, NM, discovered a 20-foot-thick layer of T.J. Hooker Trapper Keepers.

Public-Speaking Student To Make Point Of Gesturing

ABILENE, TX—Jonathan Cranland, president of the Eisenhower High School public-speaking club, announced Tuesday that he will gesture for emphasis during Friday's public-speaking district finals. "When I read the Gettysburg Address," Cranland said, "I will lend weight to key passages with dramatic hand flourishes, impressing upon judges and audience members alike the importance of said passages." Cranland added that he is also strongly considering thumping the podium or shaking his fist. "People will see how serious I am if I shake my fist," he said. "If I simultaneously shake my fist and raise my voice, that will be an overwhelming double whammy."

Trinidad And Tobago Issues Commemorative Leonardo DiCaprio Postage Stamp

PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO—The Caribbean nation of Trinidad And Tobago honored actor Leonardo DiCaprio Monday with a special commemorative postage stamp, available for a limited time only. "The government of Trinidad And Tobago wishes to recognize Mr. DiCaprio for his truly 'titanic' performance in the blockbuster film that has passed Star Wars as the all-time box-office champ," Prime Minister Basdeo Panday said. "This attractive stamp, sold in collector's sheets of 27 for just $34.99, is a fitting tribute for such a man." Among the luminaries previously honored by the Trinidad And Tobago Postal Service: John Lennon, Princess Diana and Popeye.

Sing A Happy Tune

My nurse gave me a particularly cleansing enema to-day, and now I feel rather giddy and as light as a soap-bubble. What to do? Hunt pheasant? Dance a jig? I know! Let us sing a gay round!

Keep Smiling!

You know, being a columnist can be tough sometimes. After all, I think I've just about exhausted every last topic worth discussing. Beanie Babies, chocolate, karaoke, cats--you name it, I've talked about it! What more is there?

Making Your Marriage Last

With the divorce rate at 50 percent, lifelong wedded bliss is far from guaranteed for married couples. Here are some tips to help keep the flame of love burning years after that walk down the aisle.

Fatal Spaz Attack Claims Life Of Area Spaz

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO—Friends and family are remembering Gilbert Wilkinson as a "total spaz" following his fatal spaz attack Tuesday at the Golden Palace Dance & Supper Club in Cape Girardeau. "We were dancing and laughing and just having a very nice time when, out of nowhere, he completely spazzed out," wife Louise Wilkinson said. "His arms were flailing wildly, and he was bouncing all over the place like a complete spaz. Gilbert had had spaz attacks before, but as soon as he started spazzing, I could tell this was the Big One." Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as members of Wilkinson's family, also complete spazzes, stop spazzing out over his death.

Prime-Time 'Toons

From South Park to King Of The Hill to NBC's new Stressed Eric, animated shows are everywhere these days. Why so many cartoons?
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There Will Be An 80-Foot Statue Of Daniel J. Travanti If I Have To Build It Myself

One of the fundamental problems with America today, as a nation and a television audience, is a lack of reverence. We lack reverence for the elderly. We lack reverence for those who served our country in war. And, above all, we lack reverence for Hill Street Blues star Daniel J. Travanti. That is why I swear to you, before God Himself, that there will be an 80-foot statue of Daniel J. Travanti if I have to build it myself.

Such a statue would properly immortalize Mr. Travanti, joining as it would the existing 80-foot statues of Ed Marinaro, Betty Thomas and Michael "Let's Be Careful Out There" Conrad, completing the statuary pantheon of Hill Street Blues personages.

Does the need for such a statue exist, you ask? Sadly, it does. Had I not mentioned that Daniel J. Travanti was a member of the Hill Street Blues cast, would you have known who he is? Probably not. Such is the sorry state of contemporary American media awareness. Yes, this statue, a tribute to a towering 1980s television icon, is all too necessary.

Of course, I hear you ask, "But won't such a statue be expensive?" Not for a nation that, as you are no doubt aware, saw fit to surround the White House with 60-foot bronze statues of every person who ever guest-starred on The Equalizer. And remember, I said that, if necessary, I would sculpt Daniel J. Travanti's image myself. And I damn well meant it.

So what do I, a lowly part-time blender salesman, know of statues? Not much, perhaps, at the moment. But I submit to you that it is no harder to learn the craft of statue-building than it is to obtain every second of Daniel J. Travanti footage in existence and view it frame by frame while making detailed notes on his posture, facial expressions and speech. That project necessitated my move to part-time employment, as it took me well over 10 years of 40-hour weeks to complete.

While I have no doubt that constructing an 80-foot statue will not be easy, my commitment to the task is great, as great as the passion Daniel J. Travanti brought to the role of Frank Furillo, the quiet yet forceful police captain who battled daily with killers, thieves and drug lords, not to mention the oft-infuriating gang of oddball cops who made up his force.

People assume that the Daniel J. Travanti statue will be placed in Daniel J. Travanti's birthplace of Kenosha, WI. That is a fine and sentimental choice, and I respect you for thinking so. But I would argue that the backyard of my half of a duplex in Secaucus, NJ, is a superior location. Not only is Secaucus located just a few miles from New York City, giving the people of our nation's largest metropolis easy access to the Travanti monument, Secaucus also happens to be the home of the Daniel J. Travanti Hall Of Fame, conveniently located in my living room.

Daniel J. Travanti, Hill Street Blues star, Emmy-winning star of the 1983 made-for-TV movie Adam, is a giant among men. His deeds humble us and remind us that we could live better, more meaningful lives. A monument is the least we can do to honor such a man.

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