The following article, written by Tara Cox, appears on AM New York.
Two decades after his death, Sinatra still matters
When I was growing up in the 1980s, Frank Sinatra was the patron saint of Italian Sunday dinners, his music providing the peaceful soundtrack under the din of conversation.
In my family, someone always referred to him as “Frankie,” and my grandmother affectionately called him “Frank Stunad,” Italian-American slang for dopey. He was such a familiar presence, as a child I assumed he was a relative I never met, like Aunt Paulie or Uncle Sally from the old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Though I eventually realized Ol’ Blue Eyes wasn’t famiglia, his legacy in my life was set.
And this week, 20 years after his passing, Francis Albert Sinatra is still part of the greater Italian-American family. Like Elvis, he wasn’t the first at what he did, but he did it best. Defining cool before “teenager” was even a thing, the skinny kid from Hoboken had bobby-soxers swooning with his smooth voice and dapper style. The Rat Pack set the bar for #SquadGoals and the swinging Vegas style many seek from the Disney-fied desert town today. When I realized that my grey-haired “Uncle Frankie” defined badass in his youth, his significance deepened. Continue reading at AM New York.