“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!