Laine in My Life

With the closing of the year, I began to focus on what I might write about this month. I thought perhaps I would write about what Frankie Laine really means to me—both as a person and as a music legend.

Not only did Frankie accept me as a friend, but because of our friendship, I have made several more friends. This has always been exciting for me because these friends are people who live all over the world. I realize that I would never have had friends from other countries, or those who reside all across the United States, had I not known Frankie Laine! As a bonus, I’ve also met or had personal contacts with a host of celebrities over the years.

I’ve learned a great deal about Frankie’s career, and this has enabled me to build up a first-rate Laine Library of his works. I have been featured on radio programs, appeared on television, and had articles published in newspapers and magazines regarding my Laine association. Some were mainly my productions, and others were not.

This has been a fun, ongoing avocation highlighted by getting to know my idol on a personal level. All of this began because of my love for Frankie Laine’s superb way of vocalizing a song—his sound, how unique and full of heartfelt emotion!

Because of these reflections, I thought I would feature a few paragraphs from my book, Reaching for a Star, published in 2005—just a couple of years before Frankie passed away. Among other things, I wrote about my first trip to meet Frankie and all my wonderful Laine adventures and feelings up to 2005.

The book’s epilogue, if you will, is as follows:

Through it all, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on my life since Frankie became an important part of it. I often recall the first time we met in November of 1985. There was a distinct crispness in the Cedar Rapids air. The pleasurable activities I’d involved myself in just before my journey have combined in my memory with the sensations of late autumn. Therefore, reading my Sherlock Holmes book and listening to certain songs from my Frankie Laine collection have connected with that time.

My first meeting with Frankie was extraordinary. It’s easy to remember the impressions surrounding that period in much the same way certain smells recall a special childhood moment.

I’ve enjoyed many happy moments pursuing my Frankie Laine avocation. For many years, I truly felt I was connected to information regarding Frankie’s career. Frankie renewed my spirit each time he spoke with me and each time he displayed kindness. Frankie Laine has more than stimulated me with his musical singing style. He has inspired me to accomplish wonderful things. We could all do so much good in our lives if we just believe strongly enough and work diligently enough. Like most everyone, my life has included times tinged with sadness. During my lowest hours, however, I’ve counted my blessings, and I’ve tried to look at the brighter side of things.

Having achieved my initial dream of meeting Frankie Laine is very important to me. In my mind, I believe I can maintain my happiness and accomplish any goal because of my success in my quest.

I had reached out to someone whom I admired, and that special man welcomed me. A living legend brought me into his life for a tiny bit. Frankie had transported me into a world that I never would have known had it not been for him and his willingness to be my friend. I treasure Frankie Laine as my friend. My life is much happier—my soul richer—because of him.