My dad, Johnny Pepe, and Frank Sinatra grew up together in Hoboken, NJ. Back in the 20’s and early 30’s the best place to hang around (if you wanted to stay out of trouble) was the Hoboken YMCA. My dad wrestled on the team there, and Frank on occasion would put on the gloves. Frank’s father fought professionally under the name of Marty O’Brien, but Frank soon realized he’d make a better singer than a fighter, and the rest is history!
Frank was an only child and his mom and dad worked quite a lot. Frank was never alone though, as he was always hanging around with the neighborhood kids and families. According to my dad, Frank was often at my grandmother’s house around dinnertime, especially when she made spaghetti and meatballs. They lived just around the corner from each other, and legend has it that Frank could smell what was cooking at my dad’s house from his bedroom window.