SEPTEMBER 12, 2014


My younger brother, Ted Flicker, died tonight and an 80-year promise came to an end. 

From The New York Times Obituaries 9/18/14 (in part)

By William Yardley

Theodore J. Flicker, a writer and director who led an influential improvisational theater troupe in New York in the 1960s, wrote and directed the comic film “The President’s Analyst” and helped create the sitcom “Barney Miller,” died on Friday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 84.






  Teddy (as he was known then) was four years old and I (Bobby, as I was known then) was six years old. Teddy had a habit of swatting me with one of his toys. I responded by swatting him back, that is, until our father caught me doing it. I suppose he was summoned by my brother’s crying.


  It was on one of these swatting exchanges that our father made me swear to a promise. Swearing to a promise can be powerful stuff to a six year old. It was for me. And Teddy held me to it. It was to last for 80 years.


  It was a two-part promise. Part 1: Since I was the older and bigger brother I should know better not to hit Teddy. Part 2: Because I was the older and bigger brother I should take care of Teddy. Little did I realize that Teddy would consider Part 2 to be open ended and broadly interpreted. He reminded me of it right up until two weeks before he died.


  “Taking care of Teddy” over the years meant that he would remind me that I had made a forever promise to our father. Thankfully his marriage to Barbara Perkins, his beautiful, caring and devoted wife relieved me of almost all of Teddy’s demands that I must admit were almost non- existent.


  The Promise stayed in place until the end.



Bobby Flicker





  Ted was one of those unique people in this world who was a doer, a successful doer. He succeeded in theater, in film, in television and in the arts as a talented sculptor.


  Perhaps, his greatest talent and gift was his in-born love of family. It was a mutual love affair. Although he and Barbara had no children of their own, they embraced their growing number of nieces, great nieces, nephews, great nephews and a great, great niece, ranging in age from 64 to seven months. Their love was returned unconditionally.


  Theirs was a full house. When it wasn’t family it was friends, almost countless numbers of caring friends.


  Life was good for Ted and Barbara. Health problems managed to add issues in their otherwise wonderful world. They were dealt with until Ted could no long deal with his. As we are constantly reminded, “It ain’t up to us.” Whatever force or power that determines finality, it smiled on Ted and he left, peacefully in his bed.


Bob Flicker 

 © robert 2014