Menu signed by Harrison Ford stolen from Duanesburg restaurant

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DUANESBURG —  Sunday night was difficult enough for Vince Sigond, as he and his wife, Tammy, and their daughter, Cassandra, said goodbye to the restaurant Vince has owned since 1996 and bid adieu to their beloved regular customers. Vince, 58, has cancer, for the fourth time, and it’s likely terminal, forcing the sale of Jonathan’s Pizza & Italian Cuisine. 

Bittersweet turned simply bitter when the family discovered that someone had stolen a copy of the menu for Jonathan’s that was signed by the actor Harrison Ford when he dined at the restaurant and had hung on the wall, in a frame with Ford’s meal bill, for more than 20 years.

Worse still, absence of the menu would have scuttled the sale of the business, due to be finalized this week.

Tammy posted a request for its return Monday morning on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Shared more than 70 times within the first 15 minutes or so, the message got to the person in possession of the memento, and in barely more than half an hour, the Sigonds had a promise for its return, due Monday afternoon.

“That’s the power of social media,” said Tammy.

As the story was relayed to her, she said, recounting it with a hint of skepticism in her voice, a customer told a friend that he wanted something to remember Jonathan’s by. The friend said he would put a surprise in the fellow’s truck, and the recipient left without looking closely at it. When he saw the Facebook callout Monday and realized what he had, according to Tammy, he immediately contacted the restaurant to arrange its return and express regret.

“Having it happen so quickly really makes things better,” said Tammy. “I literally thought I was watching my husband have a heart attack this morning.”

She said the completion of the sale is due in the coming days, and they expect it to go through, provided the Ford menu is returned as promised. She said the buyer does not yet wish to be identified. In a Facebook note about the sale, she wrote, “The new owner has some great plans and changes coming when he reopens,” though she said the family does not have specifics.

Ford flew into the tiny Duanesburg airport in 1999, a return visit from either the year prior or two years before, depending on which account or whose memory you believe. Either way, he ate pizza at Jonathan’s both times, Vince told the Times Union in 1999, saying of the actor, “He’s a very nice person. A real down-to-earth guy.” Ford, who has a pilot’s license, was said to be visiting to look at a biplane he was interested in buying. There was also a rumor that Ford was browsing properties in the area, though he seems not to have purchased anything.

Vince and Tammy ran Jonathan’s with occasional help from Cassandra. The couple call her their “miracle baby,” because Vince had testicular cancer before she was conceived. He’s since had three more cancer bouts, two of them stage 4. He’s now being treated for incurable metastatic thyroid cancer, Tammy said.

“I’m an emotional wreck this morning,” Vince said in a brief conversation before handing the phone off to his wife.

“This was going to be a hard week anyway,” Tammy said. “This (menu theft) was making it harder. We’re so glad we’re getting it back.”     

 

 

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