|Frank Sinatra, Public Domain/Fair Use Claimed, full citation listed below in the sources.|
Today is the 100th birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra. He was better known to the world as Frank Sinatra. Another name (and my personal favorite) is as "The Chairman" (as chairman of the board of his "Rat Pack" group of performers). Although he has been gone for the better part of two decades (May 14, 1998) his music still resonates, still matters. I'll listen to his Christmas carols thru the 25th and will blast his other hits on New Year's.
I've got a link to a story from The New York Times on his music. True, towards the end of his life, he was not the same. Then again, could he ever be? With his advanced age, aggravated by logging hundreds of hours as a "test pilot" for Jack Daniels, any voice, even his, would have to bend, if not crack, to time. Yet thanks to technology, we can enjoy him in his prime. The man was mortal, his music, not. I think it will be with our society for decades, if not centuries to come.
I consider myself fortunate to have seen him perform in the early 90s. I was in law school and came home for spring break to learn he was in town. I had to go see him and ended up getting a free ticket. True, it was in the upper deck section but I could have cared less. It was Sinatra.
I ended up sitting next to three sisters who had gone to the show because their mom had loved Frank. She had passed on and one of them told me how they went to her grave, played her favorite Sinatra song and had a drink before the show. I got the feeling she had recently passed and this was a way for the three of them to work thru the grieving process and have a great evening out, hearing a true legend.
The other Sinatra story I will share is the day he died. He passed away in the early hours of May 14th, a Friday. Back then, I shared office space with a fellow lawyer. Gary was a huge Sinatra fan like me. We decided that morning to close the office early and put on the recorder something to the effect of, "In honor of the passing of Dr. Francis Albert Sinatra, the office is CLOSED. Calls will NOT be returned." We headed down to "Mac's Tavern," and drank martinis. The staff played nothing but Sinatra and we all ended up singing along.
Frank Sinatra was a flawed man. Most human beings are. He did great things, like championing civil rights. (I have a link below to one story.) Then, there were the other aspects of his character, the choices he made. I'm not going to go into that here. I'll simply say if you want a perfect hero, pick up a comic book.
Frank Sinatra left us an amazing legacy of music and performance. In his songs, one can find sadness, hope, regret and redemption. In his life, we can find plenty of lessons of how to life and what mistakes to avoid. It's up to us to decide how we'll apply then.
But for tonight, it is enough to say thanks to the man and his music. Happy birthday, Francis, 100's a big number. Well, for "The Chairman," let's call it a C-Note, seems more fitting, at least to me.
|"The Chairman," public domain|
Be well my friends,
Opening post photo, http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2013-5-22/Sinatra-Frank
Second photo, http://sinatra.wikia.com/wiki/File:26777-frank_sinatra_11.jpg