spacer image

National Flight 93 Logo Flight 93 Memorial, Union City, California Flight 93 Flag
spacer image
Home About the Memorial Design Concept Memorial Location Donations Related Links Sponsors
spacer image

John Talignani - Hero Of Flight 93

Back | Next


John Talignani - Hero Of Flight 93Retired bartender & Army Veteran, 74, Staten Island, N.Y.; stepsons, Mitchell Zykofsky, Glenn Zykofsky. He was going to California to claim the body of his stepson, Alan Zykofsky, who had died in a car crash.

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 marriage.

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.




Copyright 1997-2005 PG Publishing.



FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to pay our respects to those affected by the loss of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
spacer image
Flight 93 Memorial, Union City, Ca
Copyright 2005 / 2010 for 93Memorial.com & Flight93MemorialSFB.com. All rights reserved.