Denny's Daily Zinger: Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks? NOT Geno’s!
Last week's column featuring Philadelphia's three great cheesesteak emporiums: Jim's, Pat's and (most famously) Geno's, generated correspondence about which cheesesteaks are the best.
My answer: NOT Geno's.
Joey Vento's legacy
Geno's was founded by Joey Vento, grandson of immigrants.
In 2006, Joey Vento, 66, posted a sign in the window:
This is AMERICA
The media jumped all over the story and Joey Vento became a celebrity.
Reveling in his 15 minutes of fame, Vento vented to myriad reporters about the brouhahas he generated. Each reporter had a new USP (Unique Selling Proposition):
immigration • illegal immigration • free speech • racism • English only, ESL, etc.
Where Joey's chief rival was "Pat's King of Steaks," Joey Vento became Philly's King of Discord.
The media adore a badass.
Joey Vento's 15 minutes of fame lasted five years. At age 71, he assumed room temperature—the result of a heart attack.
The lede of Joey's obit in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Joey Vento, the impresario of cheesesteaks whose "speak English" sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others, died Tuesday of a heart attack.
Takeaways to Consider
- If you do something controversial, it will be the lede of your obit. This is how you'll be remembered forever. Examples: Richard Nixon and Fatty Arbuckle.
To come: Bernie Madoff and Bill Clinton.
- "Do you want to make a statement or do you want to make money?"
—Marty Edelston, Founder, Boardroom
Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. You are invited to click on the title and read the first three chapters of Denny's new book: "Write Everything Right!" (PDF) No cost. No risk. No obligation. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.