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

A Rat Pack mural encompasses four walls in the hallway of Joe Arditi’s house, located in The Sanctuary at Withers Preserve in The Market Common.
A Rat Pack mural encompasses four walls in the hallway of Joe Arditi’s house, located in The Sanctuary at Withers Preserve in The Market Common. Submitted photo

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.

A resident of Myrtle Beach for nearly 20 years who has owned and operated businesses, Arditi is also known by many folks for a Sinatra mural he had painted on a wall inside his house off 38th Avenue. Since then, he’s moved into a house in The Sanctuary at Withers Preserve in The Market Common, where a new mural – featuring Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. – was recently completed.

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.”

Arditi, who is also known as the founder of Pepper Joe’s – a business that sells hot pepper seeds – is hosting a party for about a dozen and a half people at his home Saturday night to debut the mural. He booked entertainers and each person attending – mostly local business owners – was to bring a dish and wear black to pay homage to the Rat Pack.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Cathy Collins said. “He’s a great entertainer. He likes to wine and dine and have a lot of fun with people.”

Said Arditi: “We’re pumped. It’s a pretty good crowd, an eclectic group. … I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”

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.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports

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