“Jack Palmer was a trumpet player with the big bands of the 30s and 40s. I knew Jack all my life. In fact, he lived across the street from our house in Rome when he started playing with Harry James’ Band at Russell’s and, after they closed, he brought the band members to the restaurant. With them was a young vocalist named Frank Sinatra. Yes, Sinatra…at Sylvan Beach.
Frank was a skinny kid then, just starting out. He was an unknown, traveling with Harry James, trying to make a name for himself. I’ll never forget him, though. While the rest of the band came in and ate, Sinatra sat on the old wooden curb, our railroad tie curb, just looking at traffic along Main Street. Times had to be tough for him. I could have invited him to eat with the rest of us, but the idea never occurred to me.
Every once in a while Frank wandered in, bought a nickel candy bar, and went back to the curb. Finally he walked up to me, pointed to the curb, and asked, ‘Why do you guys use railroad ties for curbs in this town?’ He had a big smile on his face. We shared a good laugh. Then I decided to make him feel better. I asked him for his autograph, I couldn’t find a piece of paper, so I took a Dentyne Gum Poster off the wall. The poster had a big picture of Roy Rogers riding his horse, Trigger. Frank signed his name in big letters-right across Tigger’s rear! The two of us had another good laugh.”
- Eddie Sr.