Memories of Frank Sinatra from Northwest Prime Time Readers

December 1, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated May 17, 2024 at 9:00 p.m.
Bobby-Soxers swooned over the baby-faced crooner Frank Sinatra
Bobby-Soxers swooned over the baby-faced crooner Frank Sinatra

Back in December 2015, the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's birth (Dec. 12, 1915), Northwest Prime Time published an article about his life. That same month, we published readers' reminiscences of their connections with Ol' Blue Eyes. In honor of the anniversary of his passing in May 1998, we republish the fun memories submitted by our readers (from 2015). We hope you enjoy...

Frank Sinatra and the Handkerchief

 …by Anne Edwards

The time was July 1981 and Frank was scheduled to perform one night at the Circle Star Theater in Redwood City, California. This was a theater in-the-round so all seats surrounded the stage for perfect viewing of the performer. At that time, we lived in the Bay Area (Menlo Park). My husband and I, and my daughter’s in-laws (Don and Claire Stewart), bought tickets to this great show.

Coming into the lobby of the theater, the excitement of the crowd there was overpowering. The ladies were all finely dressed (gowns were prevalent), men were in suits and ties. We were going to see the greatest singer of all time! He was known as, “The Chairman of the Board” to the music industry.

Lights dimmed and down the aisle he came, smiling as he walked between two burly bodyguards. Claire and I reached out to touch his sleeve but were brushed away by the men beside him. He sang all the songs we loved so much to loud applause. Women were walking up to the stage with roses and bouquets of flowers. Claire left her seat and slowly approached the stage with a bottle of Scotch. Frank leaned down and said, “I have been waiting for you all night.” With that, he pulled out his handkerchief from his lapel (bright orange with his face imprinted on it). Claire walked back to our row and sat down, shaking with excitement.

Through the years she kept it in a place of honor on her fireplace. It was passed down to me this last Christmas, as dear Claire has since died.

Frank was our man since the beginning of his fabulous career when we were “Bobby-Soxers.” He was the greatest and his voice will never fade or be forgotten. As it reads on his tombstone, The Best is Yet to Come.

Anne Edwards was living at Chateau at Bothell Landing when she submitted this story. She cherishes the handkerchief and a lifetime of memories of Frank Sinatra. In addition to the handkerchief, she has all of his albums and a signed photograph of “The Chairman of the Board”

Memories of Frank from 1939

…by Dawn Silecchio of Seattle

This all happened about 76 years ago, when I was thirteen in 1939. My father bought a used Pontiac, and he thought it would be a good idea to give it a trial run and go to Asbury Park, New Jersey, 50 miles from home (Newark). My older brother, Vito, drove and my mom, sister, brother, Pop and I were all in the car.

While there, we walked to the pier, which extended out to the ocean. There was entertainment, games and more, free for all who attended. Music was playing – a new band with two vocalists. One was Connie Haines and the other was Frank Sinatra! There were only about a dozen people there. We all enjoyed the music and commented about the skinny singer on stage with the great voice. Frank Sinatra went on to greater things. About a year later, Frank and Connie Haines left their band to sing with Tommy Dorsey and were with him for a while, then left him to sing with other bands.

I will never forget that day, having seen “Ol Blue Eyes” when he was an unknown. He is still my favorite!!

Memories of Frank in Portland, Oregon

…by Norma Anderson of Snoqualmie

In 1941 or ‘42, my girlfriend, Janet, and I went to the stockyards by Jantzen Beach. Frank Sinatra was there and hardly anyone else! Janet and I sat right in front of Frank Sinatra, only five feet away. How did we know he’d become a national icon? We didn’t even ask for his autograph…how stupid we were! But, WOW, did I ever become his greatest fan when I hit 16 years of age. He’ll ALWAYS be my idol and there’ll NEVER be another man who will sing and touch a girl’s heart and soul like Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra in 1941

…by Paul Kase of Gig Harbor

I was a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Cambridge Massachusetts, in the fall of 1941. I read in a local newspaper that Frank Sinatra was coming to Boston. I was at Back Bay Railroad Station when he arrived. There must have been 100 girls and young women there, also. When he appeared, they all started to scream! Frank had a police escort of six or more officers. He looked extremely frightened, and he very quickly disappeared.

Frank Sinatra and the Dozen Donuts

Carol and Doris have been best friends since they first met at Seattle’s Broadway High in 1942. That was the same year they both moved to Seattle from small towns on opposite sides of the state.

“Whenever a new movie with Frank Sinatra came to town, we would get early dismissal from school so we could go,” said Doris.

“I remember once, it was summertime and we were working at Bartell Drugs,” said Carol. “We got off work early because we wanted to see the new Frank Sinatra movie matinee.”

“But we didn’t go empty-handed,” said Doris. “We bought a bag of donuts to eat while we were watching Frankie.”

“When we bought our tickets, the ticket-taker asked us if we were going to scream, and we both shook our heads no. But whenever Frankie came on the screen, everyone screamed and so we joined right in!” said Carol.

“He was a crooner and we were swooners,” she added.

Frank Sinatra versus Bing Crosby

…by Artye Lee Scott of Spokane

In 1948, when I was 15 and my boyfriend, Jim, was 16, we would argue back and forth with my sister and her boyfriend about who was the better singer – Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby. They liked Frank best; Jim and I favored Bing. Even so, I remember once when I picked Frank over Bing. Jim had just dropped me off and I ran inside to call the local radio station and request that they dedicate one of Frank Sinatra’s love songs to Jim. It worked out well…Jim and I have been married for 65 years.

In case you are interested, here is a link to the story of Frank Sinatra's life that we ran in December of 2015 in honor the 100th anniversary of his birth: Frank Sinatra at 100  

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