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A Young Ladie's Run-in with Frank Sinatra

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
November 15, 2022 3:00 am

A Young Ladie's Run-in with Frank Sinatra

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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November 15, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Colorado listener Patty Kingsbaker shares this "knock out" Frank Sinatra story.

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Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb

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Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories and we tell stories about everything here on this show. From the arts to sports and from business to history and everything in between. Including your stories.

Send them to They're some of our favorites. And our next story comes from a Colorado listener.

Let's take a listen. My name is Patty Kingsbaker and I grew up in Miami. My dad was the boxing coach for the University of Miami. But they discontinued boxing in 1954, I believe.

But at the time, I mean, he had two jobs. He worked for the Coral Gables Fire Department and he was the boxing coach for the University of Miami. So when they discontinued boxing, he started refereeing. And so as when I was growing up, I'm not sure how old I was when he started taking me to the fights, but I feel like I was at least seven. So every Friday night I was over on Miami Beach with my dad and going to the fight. So I grew up like knowing all the boxers and growing up in that world. I mean, I just love boxing. So we found out that the Johansson-Patterson heavyweight championship fight was going to be in Miami. And of course, you know, I was like, my dad's going to referee, you know, but they really they don't find out who's going to referee a fight until like five minutes before the fight.

They come over and get tagged, you know, to do it. So long story short, my dad, there was one other referee that I knew was probably had enough experience or that it was between my dad and this other guy. Well, and his name was Cy Godfrey and my dad was Billy Regan.

But Cy refereed a 10 rounder right before the main event. And so I knew, I knew that my dad was. So I hit it. I just was headed down towards to see my dad, you know, to go, yeah, you're going to get this fight. And I was behind the bleachers, but they were holding the crowd back. And all of a sudden I looked up and like 10 feet in front of me is Frank Sinatra. And he's standing there with that, you know, he had his finger on his coat over his shoulder. He had the hat on and I was stopped in my tracks.

I was like, oh my God, that's Frank Sinatra. So I never made it down ringside to talk to my dad before the fight. But he did, in fact, referee the fight.

And it was when Patterson regained the title from Johansson. And so when I found my dad after the fight, of course, the first thing I said to him wasn't you got to referee the fight. The fighter was like, daddy, I saw Frank Sinatra, you know?

So anyway, the story had kind of circulated through the fighters and Chris Dundee, who was the promoter at the time. And you know, everybody gave me a hard time for not getting his autograph. And I was like, I was just scared. I didn't know what to do. So it was a few months later, I think, and I was at the fights with my dad and Chris Dundee came up to me and he goes, all right, Frank's coming in tonight and he's going to come in through that door over there.

All right. At nine o'clock. So you keep your eyes peeled and you go get your autograph this time. So sure enough, at nine o'clock, that door open and in comes Frank and I'm ready.

And so I go hauling over there. They're taking him to his seat. But the thing was, is Chris forgot to tell security to let me through.

So they're not letting me through. And again, can't get his autograph. So and I was just so disappointed because I felt like I had a clear path that night. Anyway, I went home and I ended up writing him a letter and he was performing over at the fountain blue at the time. And I wrote him a letter and I explained everything. I explained that my dad had refereed the championship fight, that I had been standing 10 feet, you know, with a clear path to him, but was scared. And that Chris had told me he was coming in the other night and that, you know, I had my paper and pen ready, but then security wouldn't let me through. And I said, so now it looks like I'm never going to get your autograph.

You know, if you could just send it to me, I would really appreciate it. So and I mailed the letter off to Frank Sinatra at the fountain blue hotel. So it was a few days later, maybe.

I don't know. But my dad called me chuckling and he said, I got the strangest phone call today. And he was working at the fire station at the time. And he said, this guy calls me and he goes, are you the Billy Regan, the referee, the handsome Patterson fight? And he said, yeah. He said, Oh God, thank God.

Frank's been driving us nuts. Your daughter wrote him a letter. Somebody threw away the envelope.

He doesn't have an address and he wants to send her a picture. So my dad gave him the address and I have my autograph picture from Frank Sinatra from that. And you've been listening to Patty Kingsbaker and she has another story about Elvis Presley and look, if you've got stories like it, send them to our American stories dot com brushes with greatness or a celebrity or a star you really love or care about. Tell us those stories again.

Send them to our American stories dot com. And I could just picture it. I mean, and Frank was always working on that image no matter where he walked. That coat was over his back, just like on so many of his records in that hat. That signature hat was always there.

And there was a day when he played little places like the fountain blue. By the way, that hotel is still there and still has top line entertainment. And if you want to get a taste of the old Miami, it's still there. And South Beach is still a great place to go and and have some fun.

Listen to some great music and enjoy the sun. Patty Kingsbakers story, her story of her encounter, well, her almost encounter with Frank Sinatra here on our American stories. You're in our American stories, we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith and love stories from a great and beautiful country that need to be told.

But we can't do it without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love our stories in America like we do, please go to our American stories dot com and click the donate button. Give a little give a lot. Help us keep the great American stories coming.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-16 19:27:51 / 2022-11-16 19:32:05 / 4

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