Local Celeb Right Here In Our Own Backyard

Photo by Vincent Teutonico

It has been brought to my attention that we have a bit of a celebrity in our midst. Talented photographer and Marine Park resident Vinny Teutonico, father of our own Bensonhurst Bean’s lead writer, Joseph Teutonico, shot the above photo of a butterfly in his backyard. Pretty awesome, right? Here is what Joe had to say about his dad:

I’d like to submit some photos to Sheepshead Bites on behalf of my dad Vincent Teutonico. He was able to catch a very elaborately colored butterfly in my parent’s Marine Park backyard last week. (Coincidently, these are some of the first pics he’s ever taken with a digital camera.) My dad, who was a dark room special effects technician for over 20 years, says that this breed of butterfly comes at around the same time every year to consume the minerals found on the shiny decorative rocks plucked, with permission, years ago from a Manhattan construction site.
Photo by Vincent Teutonico

It turns out that the elder Teutonico — who Joe told me in an email “wasn’t a photographer per se […] he always just used a regular 35 mm for family pics” — didn’t just do any old technical special effects work in a dark room, usually involving “lettering,” he explained, “not human or animal subjects.” He did the amazing special effects that, in so many ways, defined my childhood:

If you’ve ever watched the credits to Star Wars or Superman disappear into the focal point in the horizon or remember the early HBO logo that used to precede original programming in the 80’s, or even read the label on a can of peas, then you’ve seen his work.

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. When I think of growing up in the ’80s and how idyllic and fantasy-like life was, two awesome songs leap to mind: the music that accompanied “the early HBO logo that used to precede original programming in the 80’s” (totally EPIC) and the theme song from Fraggle Rock (“Hey, look ma — I caught a Fraggle!”), the opening segment of which Vinny Teutonico also had a hand in.

Aside from the announcement of Sheepshead Bites Night at MCU Park on August 19, tell me this is not the coolest thing you’ve heard all day!

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