There’s only two things in this earth that truly belong to me, my name and my passion for Frank Sinatra. When I was six my grandfather had coffee in one hand, and a news paper in the other walking towards his office he said, “Mimi”, (that’s what my grandparents used to call me) “come it’s time for you to hear the truth.” With pig tails on both sides of my head, and a very rare one of a kind 1983 Cabbage Patch Kid in my arms, I walked into his office to hear the truth. He sat down and in front of his type writer were all the magazine he had collected throughout the years sat on top of his desk, and organized some of it along with all the clippings he had cut out of the news papers of what interested him the most, after all being a writer for a news paper company wasn’t his only passion, no.. it was being a fan of the New York Yankees, and Frank Sinatra that kept him in the news papers business.
He then picked me up, sat me on a chair next to him and said, “Are you ready for the truth?” Being that I was so young, if he were to have told me that the world would end in 2.5 hours I would’ve still had been very wide eyed, and excited to hear the truth. For you see I was his granddaughter, sure he had a son, and an older grandson, but none of them had the interest I had in the wanting to get to know him better. He was bigger than life, after all standing at a size 6.2 in height, this view coming from any child who couldn’t hurt themselves due to being way too close to the ground, he was a giant.
As I sat there waiting to hear the truth, he got up and walked to a filing cabinet, and grabbed a cassette tape, he inserted into the radio on top of the filling cabinet and pressed play (that was a good thing about my grandfather, once the tape would finished, he would rewind it back, so that if he needed to hear it again, it was ready to go). By this point I probably had forgotten that I was waiting to hear “the truth” because I ended up falling a sleeping for the rest of the afternoon. By the time I had awoken I was in the car, and we were on our way home. I said to him, “Pipo, I didn’t get to hear the truth,” and he said, “Mimi, yes you did, you just did what you always do…you fell asleep.”
I remembering one night being on the phone with him, I had just returned to my moms after living with my grandparent in Virginia, and I was home sick… if you will. So I did what I had always done after that, called him collect. While listening to him talk about the new Yankee season, he spoke about how exciting it was to write about it again (he loved the Yankees) he paused, “Have you been having a hard time sleeping?” I said, “yes.” And he with the softest voice I had ever heard was able to remind me about the truth again. “Have you not been listening to Old Blue Eyes?” and I said, “No. I don’t have any of his music with me, and even if I did, mom doesn’t have a radio. What is it about him that makes me feel comfort?”
“Mimi, it has always been the one thing in the world that gave you comfort, and I was the only one who picked up on it, I guess it’s because I implanted that in you, by being his fan.” A week later, I had a radio and two cassettes sent to me. After that, he made sure that I wouldn’t go without music again, when the CD player first game out, he sent us one, and with that came the Frank Sinatra CD’s.
I’ve been finding it hard to fall asleep lately, and last night I did just what I was instructed of me to do many years ago, I put on Old Blue Eyes on my phone, and before I knew it, it was 10am Sunday morning. Now why did he call it the truth? Well truth be told, my grandfather was interesting in that way, he had a metaphor for things that now at 33 they are beginning to make sense. He called it the truth because he felt that music was my only outlet from the world I lived in, and because up until 22, Frank Sinatra had been the only man who could ever put me to sleep. However the truth is, it wasn’t Frank at all, it was more the fact that his music was the only thing I had that kept me close to the only man that had ever truly loved me. Happy Fathers Day, Pipo. I miss you so much.