Leonard Tredanari, Mad Man of Bloomingdale
h/t to Neil and Gerry Borrell
It's uncanny how things come around in cycles.
Cherie and Leonard Tredanari are names from our neighborhood that I can't shake. I've lived here for a long time, but I never knew them. Still, because they hold an almost mythic presence in our parts, slowly I have gotten to know a bit about them. This is thanks, mostly, to tales I've heard from neighbors, like artist Neil Borrell, while hanging out at the Spring Bazaar. Tales of barbequing in the street. Of homemade wine. Of shenanigans.
I love the connection both to place and to past that this annual ritual -- our block association yard sale -- gives us. And as you know, if you read this blog, place and past -- that is to say, this place and our collective past -- make me tick. That's probably why I made a contribution to the appeal for the bench in memory of the Tredanaris. I just think their names should be remembered around here. If you knew them or if you feel the same way, maybe you, too, are supporting the effort for the Tredanari bench (more at the end of this piece).
The Tredanari name is already familiar to longtime neighbors within the block association. Len and his wife Cherie, an artist whose work may be seen in the median strip of Broadway and 106th Street, were Bloomingdale fixtures who worked hard on behalf of this organization. While I had heard about Len's wine, I was tickled when I stumbled on a picture of his vintnering equipment. It looks like a serious operation.
I thought about Len recently when my mind turned to mushroom clouds -- but not because our current president was making his historic remarks at Hiroshima. Though that certainly also did the trick. No, the mushroom clouding my mind was one in a political ad made by the DDB Mad Men while Len worked there on the agency's LBJ campaign unit. It was so powerful that the Democratic National Committee, DDB's client who commissioned the ad, only aired it once. It had an estimated audience of 50 million viewers.
Just ponder it for a second. A political ad that is so searing, it is only aired once. If you can't quite imagine it in our day, I am with you. For this happened 52 years ago, just two months before the 1964 election when Johnson defeated Goldwater in a landslide. Landslides are something I want to talk about, too. But I will get to that in a minute.
The ad I am referring to has many names and, if you are of a certain age, you'll know it immediately when I say "Daisy Girl" or "Daisy" or its official name "Peace, Little Girl." I am embedding it below to refresh your memory or initiate you, whichever is the case. And lots more good stuff may be found here. A transcript of the voiceover, courtesy of the LBJ Presidential Library is also below.
Of course the ad was such a media sensation that despite that it only had one paid airing on September 7, 1964, it was in fact played ad infinitum in the ensuing meta-analysis -- probably by every news outlet in America.
And so to cycle back to landslides and cycles themselves, I was discussing the current presidential race this morning with a good friend over coffee. The topic: what the point spread might ultimately be come November 2016 between our two presumed candidates Clinton and Trump. Will Trump (the one slightly lagging in the current general election polls that pit him against Clinton) come from behind and overtake his opponent? Surely he has less to lose right now. And it is always better to stay in the leader's slipstream in almost any contest. Should we look for that already small gap to close?
Or is my friend right: will Trump be overwhelmed in a Goldwatery landslide?
And on that note of political quandary, I will buy back your favor with a little Stevie Nicks, who by the way is once again hot stuff, embraced by Millenials as if she were theirs. But she's ours. Just saying.