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by Cookie Curci
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Continued from page 1
by Cookie Curci
There were a number of quiet little bars around Harrah's. Sinatra took a liking to the Hidden Tree Lounge, which was also my favorite. For Sinatra, the dark, deeply set-in booths offered the privacy needed to visit with his famous pals. For me and my fellow casino workers, it was a convenient place to stop after our work shifts had ended.
Sinatra's buddies, comedian Pat Henry--his opening act--and Jilly Rizzo, always said hello to me as they passed my table, stopping sometimes to tell me a funny story or joke before taking their seats at Sinatra's booth.
After work, I often joined Henry and Rizzo at their table. Frank Sinatra was a man of average height and average looks, but in person he somehow seemed larger than life. Maybe it was those magnetic blue eyes or that self-assured manner of his, or maybe it was just the Sinatra mystique.
I still get goose bumps when I recall meeting Sinatra at his table. He gazed straight at me with his dazzling blue eyes and in a sexy, low voice he simply said, "Hi, doll!" It was Sinatra's trademark to call all the ladies "doll." But the day Sinatra called me doll was a day I'll never forget.
One night an inebriated fan pushed herself into Sinatra's booth, landing on his lap. Security rushed in and took the lady away as she kicked and screamed all the way out.
Sinatra, unruffled by the event, lightened the atmosphere with a witty remark. Snapping his fingers and pointing to his booth, Sinatra called out to the cafe hostess, "We have room for one more over here at table 23!" The room roared with laughter as Sinatra displayed his good-natured side.
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