How one Myrtle Beach man went all out to pay homage to the Rat Pack

David Wetzel

For those who know him, Joe Arditi will forever be linked to Frank Sinatra.

“I’ve always been a Sinatra fan,” he said.

Soon, people will likely associate him with Sinatra and the other two most prominent members of the Rat Pack.

Arditi said he originally planned to have a fountain painted there until he ran into an old acquaintance.

“I bumped into a local business guy, Frank Talotta, who owns Talotta furniture. He said, ‘Joe, I was at that house-warming party you had [years ago]. I had like 150 people and a DJ and catered and all that good stuff. He said ‘I remember that Sinatra mural’ because I had everybody take a picture with it [and] I gave them a complimentary picture from the photographer,” said Arditi, a Philadelphia native who’s lived in or had a presence in Myrtle Beach for 30 years. “I said, ‘Frank, that was 18 years ago.’ I was surprised he remembered my name, Joe Arditi.

“After he said all that, I thought to myself, why get a water fountain when – he’s not the only one obviously – people were still talking about that mural [that many] years later? I just decided to do another one. It’s a whole different wrinkle. But it has the entire Rat Pack.”

Local artist Cathy Collins and her sister, Cindy, painted the mural, which took about three or four days to complete, Cathy Collins said. The mural – which encompasses four walls in the hallway of the house – includes a centerpiece featuring Sinatra, Martin and Davis, a sign for the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and various musical instruments and records.

“I think he was well pleased. I think he really liked it,” said Cathy Collins, a Georgia native who grew up in the Myrtle Beach area. “ I was [pleased] too. It turned out nice.”

 

While the mural in his old home – which he said was done by another local artist, Tommy Simpson – was featured in some magazines and remembered by many, Arditi hopes the new one will create its own legacy.

“Both artists I’ve worked with are real well known. They’re both talented; they’re both good murals,” he said. “But I think this one may have broader appeal.”

But why the Rat Pack some might ask.

“I just thought that they were real classy guys,” Arditi said. “You know, I’m a martini drinker and, you know, they liked to drink martinis.”

Cheers to that.

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