I never remember which generation I truly am…is it X or Y…I can’t remember. But I can tell you that I am the generation that grew up before cell phones and computers. I learned how to make a friend by shaking their hand and looking them in the eye to see if they were someone I could trust. I am also the generation who listened to the Frank Sinatra show every Saturday night…having grown up in a small apt with my family of four where we only had one radio and my father was who decided what we listened to on Saturday nights. At the time, sure, I was the kid who would chime in with my brother, “Not Frank Sinatra AGAIN!” And then we would sit and listen to that Italian crooner from New Jersey sing about life and love and bad luck and of course, New York, NY and Chicago!
Now I’m 41 years old, and one of my favorite things to do is to listen to Frank Sinatra. It brings me back to the days of when I listened to the lyrics of composers such as Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein and George Gershwin who wrote about how “I Get a Kick Out of You” or “Shall We Dance” or “I’ve got a Crush on You” even the brave lyrics sung about how “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I now find myself singing right along with Frank Sinatra
“I get no kick from champagne,
Doesn’t thrill me at all,
So tell me, why should it be true,
That I get a kick out of you.”
“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark”
And I realize that this was who taught me about life, about love, about loyalty and fear,these were the words that I heard so many times and were repeated in my ear, for so many years…words that I still hear today.
“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate
A poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race”…because that’s life!
Children today don’t see the world like I do or did…but how can they? They grow up idolizing people like the twerker or the Kardashians or the one who always needs a hairbut…Bieber. What an idiot! These people are not teaching our children lessons like the ones that I learned while listening to an AM/FM radio. At a time when we all had record albums that we had to handle with care and that all began with that static sound in the background. (A sound you never hear anymore because now it’s considered to be an imperfection.) We learned how to grow up into the person we were because we didn’t know any different. We spent time with each other, and we adjusted to each other and we all got along and we weren’t glued to a TV set with 1,000 channels. (My first TV was in black & white and if you wanted to change the channel, between the 7 channels we had, you had to get up and turn a knob!)
So what generation am I? I’m the Sinatra generation and I want to spend my life singing about “Falling in Love” and “Picking myself up to get back in the race” and about “Wishing on a Star” that I’ll meet a “Stranger in the Night.” Because that is what life is about. I will never be perfect, I’ve been up and down and I’ve made my mistakes. But I plan to spend my life continuing to hold my head high because I know that I’ll never walk alone…if for no other reason than just because that’s what Ole Blue Eyes has always told me.