TRIBUTE TO MOMMY PT. 5--THE BEST AND THE WORST
Above is a very charming duet--Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland performing "It's Gotta Be This Or That" with a quite clever set of special lyrics that openly mock Sinatra (who's remarkably good-humored about it).
What has this to do with my mother? Well, one of the great joys in her young life was seeing Judy Garland in 'The Wizard Of Oz' playing a girl named 'Dorothy'--which was my moms name. So moved was she by the story of young Dorothy that she went out and got her hair cut just like Judy's in the movie so she could BE Dorothy. Her love and admiration for Judy Garland was life long.
But then there's Sinatra. For reasons I never could quite grasp, my mother didn't simply dislike 'Frankie' (as the bobby-soxers of the time called him). She loathed Frankie with a passion bordering on the mentally deranged. She referred to him as a 'gangster', a 'low-life', and--this with a solemnity that I remember finding chilling--"a very very evil man". What caused this almost irrational hatred of the greatest singer of his generation? I never knew. I posited once to her that it must have had something to do with her being such a hipster and not wanting to be one of the crowd of young girls who swooned over him. She just shrugged and said, "something like that". Whatever the reason, she's taken it to her grave and I will puzzle the mystery for the rest of my days. Somewhat guiltily, I have to add that I've always loved Frankie and that I kept that fact a relative secret from my mom.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 4:21 PM