I have always loved the singer, Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) since I was a teenager. For those of you too young to know who he was, he was an American singer, actor, and producer who was "one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century." He sold more than 150 million record albums worldwide.
I was 17 years old in 1977, when I fell in love with Frank's dreamy voice, decades after he became famous as "Ol' Blue Eyes." My Dad, Ron Bacon, was a television Director for ABC-TV, but started out as a Stage Manager in the late '50's when he worked up close and personal with a zillion TV personalities, one of which was Frank Sinatra on the Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin Show. It was live television back in those days, and my Dad had a lot of fun, amidst a lot of stress of live television. (Oh, the stories he tells.) One year, Frank gifted everyone on the show with a set of his record albums. My Dad was a recipient of these treasures.
I was 17 years old before I actually gave a hoot about those albums. I picked one up, and it felt thick and clunky in my hands, compared to the thinner LPs (LP stands for "long playing" which was characteristic of the vinyl record albums that I bought in the 70s). I put one of Frank's albums on my record player, carefully put the needle in the groove of the record, and I heard Ol' Blue Eyes crooning the song Ebb Tide. I was immediately transported into a soulful journey of love. As I listened to Frank croon, I imagined myself wrapped in the arms of my yet to be "forever love." It was the most sensuous, beautiful, rapturous song I'd ever heard. It was springtime, I was young, and I desperately wanted to be in love. The song Ebb Tide epitomized what I felt true love should be. (If you have not ever heard the song Ebb Tide, and you are a hopeless romantic like I am, you can listen to it HERE.) Ebb Tide changed my life, and I played it so often that the grooves of the album wore thin, and eventually all I could hear was a lot of crackling sounds covering Frank's sultry voice.
Today I was looking for some of the stories that I edited out of my autobiography, The Cellars and Ceilings of Summer. I thought I would share some of those stories with you in my newsletter. My book took over 30 years to write. The majority of my book is actually a compilation of experiences that I wrote about in real time about my life. It was more than just journal entries. From the time that I could write, I obsessively documented the details of my life as I lived it. I fell in love with the concept of writing at the age of 4, and began writing as soon as I learned to put ABCs together as words, around the age of 5 or 6. Even before that (and, to this day), I loved to talk and share stories. The first "final" draft of my autobiography was over 400 pages long. I edited out over 100 pages before I published it in 2018. Unfortunately, as I discovered today, for the most part, I deleted rather than saved the 100 pages that I edited out. However, after about an hour of searching my computer and external hard drives, I found a nugget written in 2005, (and I will be looking for more nuggets on my external hard drives), which I would like to share with you here. It's about an out of body encounter with Ol' Blue Eyes, and how that encounter saved my life.
Ol' Blue Eyes
One night, in a vivid dream (more like out of body), I was walking up a ramp, and there was a line of people standing at the side, waiting to see a movie. I saw the ethereal outline of Frank Sinatra standing in front of me. In reality, he had already departed the earth plane.
“Wow!” I thought, “That’s Frank Sinatra!” In my excitement, I turned away from him and ran off to tell my boyfriend that I saw him, but then I stopped short. “Wait a minute! That’s Frank Sinatra! I know it!” I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity. I turned back and ran to him yelling, “Mr. Sinatra! Mr. Sinatra! Hello, Mr. Sinatra! I see you!” I threw my arms around his neck and nestled into him. “I love you, Mr. Sinatra! I love you! I love you so much!” Although he was ethereal when I looked at him, he was totally solid when I touched him.
Mr. Sinatra put his arm under my knees and picked me up. He carried me effortlessly as if I were a child. I nestled even deeper into him, pushing my cheek into his soft, warm shoulder. I was wrapped in immense love and warmth. “Oh! You’re lifting me up,” I sighed, feeling an extreme sense of comfort and security. Suddenly we began to rise off the ground. That certainly gave the people in line something to gawk at. We rose into the sky, and the love and warmth was exhilarating, something that I am certain can only be experienced in the ethereal realm. “Oh, Mr. Sinatra, take me with you,” I implored, “Yes! Take me home! Please take me with you! I’m so sorry. I don’t want to do this earth life anymore. I’m finished.”
I flashed for an instant on my children and family, and although I felt great love for them, I was so immersed in the intoxicating love of the other realm that I didn’t care if I left. I didn’t want to give up this feeling. There was such a knowing that I was going home at last, and everything felt like springtime and the scent of warm cinnamon cookies mixed together. But, the moment I said that I didn’t want to “do this” anymore, Mr. Sinatra began to descend with me, placing me gently on my feet once again, saying softly, “I’m sorry, Summer, but it’s not your time. You still have work to do.”
“No! Oh God, no, please!” I cried as Mr. Sinatra drew his light body away from me. I felt the devastating crush of the physical world as I awakened from the dream. Great heaving sobs erupted from the depths of my soul. My gut hurt. My pillow was wet with real tears. I struggled in desperation to remain in the bliss of the night, but the morning light chased it away, and at last I awakened.
Mr. Sinatra had returned me to the earth realm, but it took weeks for me to finally land. There is no doubt in my mind that I almost died that night. Thank heavens, or I don’t think I would ever have truly learned to live.