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A Tribute to Jackie Yordan

STORY: Jackie Yordan was, according to many who knew him, an “incredible sweetheart and an amazing person… He was truly one of the biggest heartthrobs of the period in New York. The thing about him was that he had no attitude at all and he couldn’t have been sweeter. So, everybody loved him." And, "he was “the hottest guy… top of the ‘in’ crowd.”

Jackie, flexing on a boardwalk in Fire Island Pines at dawn (summer 1980)

I got to know him in Fire Island Pines in 1980. That summer and the next, we hung out regularly at the beach and danced at the Pavilion and at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove until daylight. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Jackie is “sweet” He was friendly to everyone he met.

ackie, at dawn after dancing all night at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove (Fire Island), in 1980.

Roberto Blain and Lizz Kritzer got to know Jackie in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the most popular disco in Manhattan with the Fire Island crowd, Flamingo, and later danced with him regularly at the ultimate gay disco, The Saint.

Roberto also hung out with Jackie in Fire Island Pines. According to Roberto, “I remember as a young gay man coming out of the closet, I was taken to Flamingo for the first time by Lizzz and Jack was there in his full hotness glory dancing with a bunch of the original early muscle boys. He was an amazing dancer! It was an awesome sight for naive young me, just graduated from NYU and so new to the scene. But, I adjusted very quickly! We became friends and even dated a little bit.”

Jackie #2 on the boardwalk in Fire Island Pines at dawn (Summer 1980)

Jackie moved to NYC from Puerto Rico, where he had grown up. But, “there was something else mixed in there, if I recall. Hence, the gorgeous blue eyes.”

According to another mutual friend, Jeff Yacker, he was of Latvian Jewish descent, though that’s unconfirmed.

He was born around 1955 and passed away (to the best of our communal recollection) in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Those of us who knew Jackie during his 35-40 years on this earth still think of him regularly and miss his extraordinary presence.

Roberto Blain (far left) with Jackie (center, tattooed) and others in the Pines (summer, somewhere between 1979 and 1981).


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