I was trying to figure out the Rat Pack’s enduring appeal, for men, let’s face it, predominantly men — at first I thought it had to do with nostalgia, and then I remembered an incident from my youth.
My dad (truly a father of another era) took a friend and me on trip to Vegas. Dad had business to conduct and custody of his high school daughter for the weekend. He placed us at a table center front for Frank Sinatra, an aging cue ball sort of a fellow, to my eyes… Dad departed, then a hulking gentleman in a nice suit joined us and said, “Frank said for me to keep an eye on youse girls.” (Yes, he did.) “You wanna ginger ale?” Actually, I wanted to start giggling. It didn’t seem real, and then the show started, and the cue ball sang, and it was a blast, personal, engaging, you name it.
So, the Rat Pack… I know their exploits were legendary. I think Sammy Davis Jr. was quoted as saying things like, “You don’t swing where you sleep”. But, on stage they were infectiously fun and that’s what’s appealing.
Pictured below is Frank Sinatra (prior to cue ball status) and Rosiland Russell at the 26th annual Academy Awards Governor’s Ball.
And, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to…
Frank Sinatra in, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (pictured on set with director Fred Zinneman and Montgomery Clift)
Backstage after the win.