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!
70 years ago today, there was an 18 year old man sitting in a plane shaking in his pants afraid that he would never see his family again. He gently prayed to God to let him live. The fear turned to terror when the door of the plane opened and he knew he had to jump and may not survive. When he jumped, the fear and terror remained on the plane. He pulled the rip cord and was focused on the task at hand to defeat the Nazis.
That is the way Willie told me the story of his 101st Airborne mission at D-Day June 6, 1944. I met Willie about 5 years ago; he was heading to Normandy for the 65th Anniversary of the Invasion. It was late May 2009 and I was with some business associates having a cigar at the Carnegie Club, when my friend noticed three old men having cigars with 101st Airborne caps on. So we went over to say hello and thank them for their service to our country. We had no idea when we went to them that they were members of the 101st Airborne at the invasion of Normandy. For the next two hours these men shared their bravery with us and frankly brought us all to tears. They told us that every year since the end of World War II all of the remaining members of the 101st travel to New York for a few days and then go to Normandy to celebrate and that’s why they were in New York. They were heading to Normandy the next day. Then Willie (I am not even sure if that is his name, but that’s what I call him) told me there were only 5 men left, the three there and two more who were meeting them in France.
I looked at Willie and told him “Thank you, because if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be alive”. He looked at me confused, so I told him I would explain to him that my Mother and Father were born in Germany in 1935. After the war ended they struggled. My father’s family was very poor ; he saved for 4 years to earn enough for a boat ticket. My mother’s family was a little better off. My grandfather was an engineer so they did okay. However, to say he was strict was an understatement. So my mother worked out a deal that she would visit my grandfather’s sister in New York for 3 years and come home. So both set sail (on different boats) in 1955: my father never to return and my mother to go on an adventure. Neither one could speak English and their church was giving an English class and that is where my parents met. They fell in love, got married, and had three children (I am the baby).
So I turned to Willie and said “So if you weren’t successful at Normandy, Germany probably would have won the War and my parents would have never gone to the United States and as a result would have never met and never have had me. So my friend Thank you for winning because I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t!
He looked at me with a tear in his eye and said “Thank you, in all these years that is the most sincere thank you I ever received.” Then he lifted his drink and said:
YOU ARE WELCOME!
Me and My New Friend Willie
Today marks the first day of Holy Week for us Sinatra Fundamentalists; it also marks the 80th Anniversary of the ratification of the 21st amendment to the United States Constitution, which repealed the 18th amendment and the Volstead Act. So I make sure to celebrate this day every year. Whenever I bring this up, people laugh and think it is funny because they know my love for alcohol, but in reality it is very serious. The fact that the 18th amendment was passed was an assault on Freedom. There have been 27 amendments to the US Constitution and 26 of them have promoted individual freedom. The 18th did not. How did the 18th amendment pass and the country born of individual freedom pass such a horrific law? Back in the late 19th century people (mostly Protestants) decided that alcohol was bad and should be outlawed. The Anti – Saloon League was established to rid the country of alcohol. They launched a campaign using the circuit of Protestant churches to preach the gospel according to them. They claimed that the Roman Catholic, Irish, & German immigrants were destroying the country with alcohol. The Anti-Saloon League is also responsible for Income Tax (Alcohol tax basically funded the Civil War and the Government needed the alcohol revenue). The League pushed for Income Tax laws so they could attack alcohol. The first laws passed were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So the League pushed for the passing of the 16th amendment which gave the Federal Government the ability to collect Income Tax. Check your history: the US did not have a Federal Income Tax until 1913!!! We all know of the unintended consequences of Prohibition so I won’t discuss that today.
That brings us up to today. Over the years we have seen a lot of laws passed to limit the individual freedoms of US Citizens. First we had the motorcycle helmet laws, then the seat belt laws. Later they moved to smoking restrictions (which still go on today; some counties in California passed laws restricting people from smoking in their own home). New York City has Mayor Bloomberg with his Soda laws, they want to tax you for the amount of distance you drive. It is really getting crazy and it’s going to get worse. Politicians are using the same arguments that the Anti – Saloon League used to make the 18th amendment. Remember the words of Ronald Wilson Reagan “the most dangerous words you can hear is ‘I am from the Government and I am here to help’.” So this day is no joke it is very serious.
So today is a day to celebrate freedom, I encourage you to exercise your right as an American and have a COCKTAIL AND SAY GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!
50 years ago today in Dallas TX, President John F Kennedy was assassinated and it forever changed America. Most people who were alive at that time can tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. The nation was in shock and it is still mourning his death today. While there is still a lot of mystery around the assassination, I think it symbolized something bigger. I believe the assassination ended the greatest era in the United States. From the end of World War II (August 1945) through the assassination was America’s Golden Age. We were prosperous, the free world looked to us for hope and freedom. It was a time when movie stars hung out with politicians and gangsters. We were about having fun, drinking smoking and just worrying about enjoying ourselves and not living long miserable life, but a short happy one. Then November 22, 1963 came and the party came to a crashing end. Before the 1960s were over we saw riots in the streets and two more major assassinations (Robert F Kennedy & Martin Luther King Jr). The world grew up and I think that is a shame. So in my small little mind I divide this country’s history as Before JFK assassination and After JFK assassination.
I wasn’t around then, because I was born in 1966, but like 9/11 for me, November 22, 1963 will be a day many Americans will never forget.
Mr President may you rest in peace.