Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rat Pack story for Bob Randisi; Health Update

I have no idea how true the following is (or if it's true at all) but it makes for a great Rat Pack story and who'd appreciate it more than the writer of the great Rat Pack novels, Bob Randisi. So this is for you Bob. From The Wrap:

Sinatra, JFK, the Mob ... and 'Papa Loves Mambo'

by Helen O'Donnell

“I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life.... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” --
Frank Sinatra

My dad, Kenny O'Donnell, hated this kind of stuff.

Not the party, not the beautiful women, but being the guy delivering the bad news. 'Course, as John Kennedy's aide, that was his job.

His presence was always an unwelcome sight to Kennedy at these moments when he was not the candidate for the White House, senator from Massachusetts, but rather a young handsome guy, partying with his pals, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford.

Or “brother-in-Lawford” as Frank had dubbed him once, and it had stuck. ‘Course only Frank could use it.

No, Jack didn’t like seeing Kenny at these moments, 'cause he was having fun and Kenny ... well, Kenny always meant work.

Not 'cause Jack didn’t like Kenny. Jack did. I mean come on, they were both World War II heroes, genuine tough guys, political animals of the Boston “Irish Mafia” variety and, most important, Kenny always had Jack’s back.

But here in Vegas at a party hosted by Frank and a few others from Chicago -- whose names were far better left unmentioned -- well, man, Kenny’s presence could only mean work or trouble or sometimes both.

The only person who could be more of a pain in the ass at moments like this was Jack’s younger brother Bobby.

As Kenny pushed through door, Perry Como’s “Papa Loves Mambo” was playing in the background as the crowds of people on the roof deck were singing, dancing, drinking, mingling and laughing. Beautiful Vegas showgirls, men in business suits and an inordinate number of waiters carrying large plates of overflowing food and drink.

Kenny cut through the swaths of people. He was very much the man in control while being surrounded by a crowd that has let loose and is having fun.

He stopped momentarily to survey the crowds, looked up. The Sands Hotel moniker in blinking lights high above all the others on the strip attractions. It said: RAT PACK. Frank, Dean, Peter and Sammy’s names. He stopped for a moment to take it in.
Not bad for a poor working class Irish kid from Worcester, Massachusetts.

“Best damn f---ing job in the world,” he had told his sister Justine.

for the rest go here:

-----------------------------------------Health Update

I learned this morning that an MRI I had yesterday showed an area of cancer on my back. Whether this is an old spot expanding or a new spot I don't know yet. My own oncologist is gone for some time (her father is dying) and I'm not sure yet who I'll be dealing with at the clinic where I go. I should say here that I'm damned lucky to have insurance thanks to Carol sacrificing her own writing time to teach part time at Coe College where they offer extremely generous insurance coverage. I've been in severe pain for almost a month. I mistook it for muscle pain. (I once had a doc who said "I'm going start charging you $500 every time you diagnose yourself--you're always wrong.") I don't know where we go from here except that I have yet another MRI coming up, likely tomorrow. I probably won't be posting every day as I have been, not for awhile anyway. If nothing else I had a hell of a good day writing right after I got the news. The words just came pouring forth and they were, for the most part, the right words.


Martin Edwards said...

Ed, I am sorry to hear your update, and send my very best wishes, as always.

James Reasoner said...

You're always in our thoughts, but we'll bump it up a little more.

Todd Mason said...

Ed, that is Not the way to get your productivity up. May the current back ?tumor be beaten back, and with it the attendant discomfort. Take care, sir.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Ed, you're in my prayers. I hope you beat this back quickly and are feeling good soon.

Jerry House said...

Here's hoping for the very best.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you, Ed, and take good care of yourself. ~ Ron C.

steve z. said...

Ed, I've been checking out your blog for about a year now. I enjoy it immensely, and I've also read a couple of your books. You are an excellent writer. You are in my prayers.

Cap'n Bob said...

I wish you the best, Ed.

Ricky Sprague said...

Ed, I hope the next MRI brings better news.

You rock!

Randy Johnson said...

We're hoping for the best. You're in our thoughts.

Unknown said...

I learn so much from you, not just about writing and books, but just about life and I appreciate being able to read your blog and books. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts for you, Ed. Take care.

Ed Lynskey

David Jack Bell said...

All the best, Ed. We'll be thinking of you!


Peter L. Winkler said...

Keep hope alive. Best wishes.


Richard S. Wheeler said...

There are marvelous new treatments, and I pray that they will bless you.

Fred Zackel said...

Linda & I wishing you the absolute best, Ed.