Godfrey Pflager, Uncle and Actor

Godfrey Pflager, in Manhattan. © Tony Gale

Godfrey Pflager, in Manhattan. © Tony Gale

Godfrey Pflager

Everything about my uncle is interesting – even his name – Godfrey Pflager. By the way, the “P” is silent.

Uncle Godfrey, Aunt Suzy and my cousins Dee dee and Charlie were the first people I knew who lived in Manhattan, which always seemed like a magical place to me – a shy suburban kid from outside Philadelphia. As kids, my mom would take me and my two brothers to visit the Pflagers every Thanksgiving. We would stay for a few days, and the Pflagers always knew how to have fun. We would do things like stand outside their apartment and watch the Macy’s parade on Central Park West and play Atari – the sorts of things we never got to do at home. I loved going to see them.

Godfrey and my cousins took me to see first movie I remember seeing – “Star Wars” at the Zeigfeld – and on my first subway ride – a brave thing to do in the 70s. Uncle Godfrey also used to write letters to us kids. Now it’s an email whenever he finds something he thinks I might like, but I do miss the stationary that said “from the desk of God.”

Although Godfrey might look physically imposing, he giggles a lot and has a warm, friendly personality, which makes in especially strange that he was an editor for boxing films. He tells great stories about Mike Tyson and Don King … among many other boxing legends. I’m not sure he ever knew a lot about boxing – other than how to make it look good in film. He seems too gentle to have worked in such a violent industry.

He is also an artist. I remember him hooking rugs by hand while the rest of us ate appetizers in his living room at family dinners. Because we had a large suburban house, we had room to store his tapestries in our attic. But we were lucky enough to have a few in my mom’s bedroom. I loved the geometric patterns and crazy color combinations – turquoise with yellow and orange. They reminded me of Godfrey and his habit of wearing colorful, crazy ties at Thanksgiving.

These days my uncle Godfrey is retired, and his creative outlet has changed. He’s now acting. Among his many gigs was playing one of the UN ambassadors in the movie “The Interpreter.” Besides movies, he also worked in television and student film. He’s probably one of the only people who has spent the last 40 years living on the Upper West side who has ridden the “G” train for a student film shoot.

There are lots of other interesting things about Godfrey … and here are only a few more. My Auny Suzy calls him “Goddy.” He edited cartoons from Eastern (Communist) countries for a while. He’s traveled around the world, and even lived in Rome. He’s probably already seen that movie you are thinking about seeing this weekend. And everybody who knows him loves him.

Nominated and described by Rebecca McAlpin.

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