“It’s your World I just live in it” Dean Martin said on the Stage at the Sands Casino in 1963. Today 102 years ago in Hoboken NJ, a child was still born and while the midwife and Doctor were attending to the mother, the Grandmother quickly placed the boy under running cold water and the Boy sprang to Life.
Thus Francis Albert Sinatra began his struggle that lasted 82 years. He will never be forgotten and his music will live forever.
I used the term struggle because his life was a struggle like all of our lives are struggles. He came from modest beginnings and became the greatest entertainer there ever was. I cannot write all of Frank’s Struggles and Accomplishments because then it would be a book not a blog post.
So I will sum it up as quickly as I can. He broke the rules, he did things the way he wanted to, he put his career at risk for doing what he thought was right, he fought racism and bigotry before it was popular. When told to change his name because it was too Italian he said %$&@ You!! He was a loyal friend who demanded loyalty in return. He won Oscars for Acting, Grammys for Singing, he started his own record label (Every musical act today owes thanks to Frank for how he changed the Industry). Hell, he invented popular music. These and many other reasons are why Frank is an Obsession with me.
Samuel George Davis Jr. was born December 8, 1925 in Harlem NY and died on May 16, 1990 (or did he)
Sammy Davis Jr. known as Smokey to his pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin was in my opinion the most talented member of Summit (Frank never liked the term Rat Pack and the Summit is the top of the mountain). He could dance, sing, act, do impressions, and play lots of instruments (too many to list). His career started at the age of 7 when he performed with his father and uncle as part of the Will Mastin Trio.
He faced racism and segregation throughout his career, The Sands Casino wouldn’t let Sammy stay at the hotel, but with the help (strong armed the casino) Frank Sinatra insisted that he stay in the hotel or Frank would not perform and tell all his friends not to perform. They let Sammy Stay. Sammy was playing golf one day and Jack Benny asked him what his handicap was, Sammy responded “I am a one eyed Black Jew isn’t that enough” Sammy’s nick name by members of the Summit was Smokey. Many thought it was because he was black but in actuality it was because he smoked about 5 packs of cigarettes a day.
So let us all take a moment and listen to one of Sammy’s Songs or watch him dance and say “Thanks Smokey”
On December 8, 1941, President Roosevelt spoke these historic words “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live infamy -the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan”
2,403 citizens (including 2,335 US Soldiers) of the United States were killed on December 7, 1941. In order to put things in perspective the United States lost 2,345 soldiers in Afghanistan from 2001 through September 17, 2014. That is nearly 13 years. Please do not misunderstand me any loss of life is horrible, but we lost more lives in one day of World War II (when we weren’t in the war) than 13 years of the Afghanistan conflict.
So I ask you all today to please take a moment of silence to remember those lost that day and if you should happen to see a World War II Vet please say thank you.
I hold a special place in my heart for World War II Vets especially those that fought in Europe. You see my parents were born in Germany in 1935. After Germany lost in 1945, Germany had struggles rebuilding their country. By 1955 my father decided he wanted to leave and go to America and start a new life for himself and see if he could get a piece of that American Dream. My mother other the other had an opportunity to visit for three years family who migrated in the 20s. My parents met in 1956 while attending a class on how to speak English at St Francis Assisi Church in what was then called Astoria NY (Now East Elmhurst) and married on June 15, 1957 and remained married until my father’s passing in 2003.
If the American and Allied forces who won European Freedom had lost, my parents probably would not have come to America, never married and I would be here.
So from me to all the WWII Vets THANK YOU!!
On December 5, 1933 The Dry Experiment ended after 14 years of Prohibition Alcohol was legal again. Prohibition is one of many attempts by the Government has tried to legislate behavior and like most it failed miserably. So I encourage everyone out there to go out today and get your favorite cocktail, or beer, or wine, or just plain ole whisky and lift your glass and celebrate freedom. The is a very old German Bier Drinking Song named Trink Trink Bruderlein Drink. So let’s go out and Drink!
I am back I know it has been awhile but let’s get this party started. Many of you know I am on Snap Chat which I think is stupid but its fun. The other day I was looking at some of my subscriptions and I saw an article from GQ. I still read GQ even though I don’t agree with much that they say or do these days. For those don’t know GQ is Gentlemen’s Quarterly, it is basically a fashion magazine for men. Getting back to my story, I am reading this post about “Fast Tips for Grooming”. The article explains how if you want to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning you should wash your face. Really this is advice wash your face. I know I am old and was raised by very old fashioned Europeans but I was taught when you wake up the first thing you do is wash your face and brush your teeth. Do young men not do this? Why would a men’s fashion magazine tell you that washing your face is a good idea. Guys several things that you need to do everyday – Wash your face and I would suggest shower’s daily, brush your teeth, and for God’s sake comb your hair. Some of us don’t have any hair so brush yours.
Last night the Golden Globes marked the start of the awards season. You know the two months were Hollywood tells you how wonderful they are. I will admit it I love awards season I watch E! Live from the Red Carpet and Fashion Police. Last night’s event bothered me in two ways. First I was very underwhelmed by the fashion and maybe for the first time in history the Men did better than the women. The two best going to Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling. Reese Witherspoon, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailee Steinfeld looked good as well. I don’t know what Drew Barrymore or the fashion Icon Sarah Jessica Parker were thinking but didn’t work for me. Second while the Globes (and all Awards Shows) always get a little political last night was way over the top. To me it was watching a bunch of babies who were mad that they didn’t get there way. I guess it’s kind of fitting the La La Land won everything, because that where Hollywood reside in LA LA LAND! Sorry California doesn’t rule the United States, grow up and get over it. I am also sick and tired of hearing about how hard they work please. Dean Martin (Movies, TV, Music, and Live Performances) who was bigger than anyone in attendance last night was asked about how hard acting was, he responded “Acting is EASY, that why I do it, if you want to work hard deal blackjack for 10 hours that’s hard”. It is a known fact that Frank Sinatra had much more respect for his musician friends than those in the movie business, because in Frank’s words “They are more Talented”. Viola Davis several times said last night the she had to do her big speech 23 times. Really? 23 Times? Good thing she is doing a movie and not theater where you only get one shot. Lastly the golden screen couple of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, I just don’t see the hype over Emma Stone and while Ryan truly looked like a movie start and their movie won a record seven (7) Globes, I will part with this thought on their dancing – THEY ARE NO FRED AND GINGER!
I am not alone in welcoming a new year. Everyone seems to be thankful that 2016 is finally over. Wow 2017, the year 2000 was 17 years ago, how time flies. We lost some celebrities in 2016 but I really only want to speak about three to prove a disturbing point. When Debbie Reynolds passed a day after her daughter Carrie Fischer a 20 something told me that they didn’t know that Carrie Fischer’s mom was an actress and that her dad was a singer. I said that while Carrie Fischer portrayed one of the most iconic roles of the 20th century she wasn’t near the star that her mother or father was. Then there was George Michael an Icon of the 80s and 90s these two claimed they never heard of him before he died. Really, I asked myself “what planet are they from”?
What is disturbing about this is we have a whole generation who doesn’t know anything about American Culture before Facebook. This and still is a great country, but we better realize the America didn’t start with Twitter, there is a lot of history and culture that is great that a generation doesn’t know about. It sad very sad, people forgot about Al Jolson, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong. These two knew none of them. But as the final words in Rogue One when Princess Leia says “This is Hope”. These two still knew who Frank Sinatra was and I say to you THIS IS HOPE.
A Very Interesting Year, Thank God it’s almost over
It has been awhile that I have posted anything. The main reason is it has been a crazy year for me with a lot of different things going on. The world outside my personal life has been crazy also, from Donald Trump, Leo, and Chicago Cubs winning sure made 2016 interesting.
Even though I haven’t been posting, I am still observing what is going on out there and I have to say things aren’t getting better and I am not talking about politics or the economy. This site is about personal style and preserving the culture of being a gentleman and teaching boys have to become gentlemen.
So, I am re-committing myself to this blog and will try to make bi-weekly posts and address topics that I think are important. Some of the topics discussed in 2017 will be:
- Where Have All the Ties Gone? Why are men wearing suits with not ties?
- Craft Beer – Let’s face it IT SUCKS
- Bourbon Drinkers don’t be upset you will never be Tennessee Whiskey or Jack Daniels
- There is No Nutmeg in my cigar
- High Waters and Whacky Socks – When did PeeWee Herman become fashionable
- Every man can wear a hat
- Shoes, Shoes, and Shoes
- It is about one thing LOYALITY
I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a happy new year.
This is my first post since Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday. I have been busy with audit season and just didn’t make time to blog. However over the past few weeks, I have met several people through the course of my travels and they were asking WHAT HAPPENED? WHY HAVEN’T YOU POSTED ANYTHING IN A WHILE? Today I was reading the New York Post (which I do every day) and an article jumped out at me and I realized that this silly little blog is actually important. So I am going to make an effort to post at least weekly because young men out there need to learn how to be a gentleman.
“Pay Me Back Dates cheap-guy app” was the name of the article and it describes an app called Venmo that shares payment options (I really don’t know how it works or do I care). The article explains how men who went on dates with women were sending them Venmo’s to pay a portion of the bill for their date. My first reaction was “what cheapskates”, but then I started to think “Why blame the guys? Isn’t it really society’s fault that guys (Guys not Gentlemen, because a Gentleman knows) don’t know they are supposed to treat the girl? For as long as I can remember society and women have been bashing men for being gentlemen. I have been criticized for opening doors for women, taking my hat off in elevators, and looked at like a nut because I stand when a women gets up from a table. These were all normal things back in the 50s and 60s, but today they are frowned upon and not viewed as respectful. It is natural that guys are confused as to how to act because women are inconsistent. Girls go to clubs today dressed like sluts and wonder why guys stare at them. They get drunk and stoned and wonder why guys try and take advantage of them. Girls, if you don’t respect yourselves then Guys won’t respect you either. I have been talking about the Death of the Gentleman on this blog since its inception and while I believe the primary causes are that the young men today have no role models as how to act like a Gentleman and the music of today degrades women, maybe just maybe the death of the lady has played a bigger role in the Death of the Gentleman than I originally thought. Girls, start acting like ladies and maybe guys will act like gentlemen.
We have been hearing all year long “Sinatra’s 100th year”. I have been thinking that I have to write something very special for Frank for his 100th birthday. What can I say about a man I never met who is arguably the biggest star there ever was that has not been already been said. We have all heard the good stories, the bad stories and yes event the ugly stories. So what can I add to this man’s legacy???
The answer is NOTHING!
Frank doesn’t need me, but I sure need him. Frank Sinatra has had more influence on me than just about anyone who I have ever met and the closest I ever got to him was standing at his Grave last month. I never saw him live only heard his records and saw his movies, watched documentaries and read books. However I feel like I know him like we are friends and when I need advice, comfort, or just a pat on the back I turn to his library of music and I get the answer, comfort and the handshake I need.
So today 100 years ago on Monroe Street in Hoboken New Jersey Francis Albert Sinatra was born. Frank was a large baby and was actually not breathing until his grandmother put him under a sink and ran cold water on him. Boy the whole world needs to thank that lady. Later today I will be attending the Official New York City Frank Sinatra’s Birthday Party at Patsy’s on 56th street. So I will be there remembering Frank with my Pally’s seeing Sal & Joe and some other celebrities that will show up and have a great time, later we will hear some live tribute to Frank. But what does it all mean? What is so great about Frank Sinatra that 100 years later we are celebrating? The man died almost 18 years ago and every day during your everyday life you will hear Frank Sinatra sing! After the Ball Drops in Times Square at the end of every Yankee game its Frank. Countless scores in Movies have Frank in them. How does he still touch our lives? Old people love him, middle-aged people love him, young adults love him, and yes-even children love him. A career that lasted 8 decades and he has bridged the gap of many generations.
Why are so many America’s and the rest of the World so intrigued by Frank Sinatra?
- His talent let’s face it the man could sing and people have written many books on how wonderful his Voice, phrasing and timing were.
- He was self made – Nobody ever gave Frank anything he worked hard and had talent, caught a few breaks and made it to the top
- He wasn’t perfect – He made mistakes, he had many failures, after rising to the top of the music and movie industry he crashed and burned. At one point he was let go from Columbia Records and Louis B Mayer tossed him to the curb. Yet he persevered and he rose from the ashes to be bigger and better than he ever was.
- He did it HIS WAY – Yes we all know the Sinatra signature song, but what some don’t know he suffered and struggled because he did it his way. They wanted him to change his name it’s too Italian, he said no, they told him to change his life style, he said no. He lost fans, contracts, and friends but he stayed true to himself and in the end let’s face it HE WON!
So on Frank’s 100th Birthday raise a glass and toast the Greatest Entertainer that ever lived and remember IT’S FRANKS WORLD WE ARE JUST LIVING IN IT”!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANK!!!!