This is one of my favorite pictures of Frank Sinatra. Oozes atmosphere. It was taken on the set of "Marriage on the Rocks," a 1965 movie comedy with Sinatra, Deborah Kerr and Dean Martin. It centers on an ad-agency president who flies to Mexico to celebrate his nineteenth wedding anniversary, but ends up divorced by mistake.
While Frank Sinatra divorced Ava Gardner in 1957, I've always imagined him getting a quickie divorce from her over the border whenever I see this pic. In fact, for the longest time, that's what I actually thought.
On that note, it may have gone a little something like this...
"We can't even take care of ourselves, Francis. How were we going to take care of a baby?"
That's what Ava said to me. I knew that was the beginning of the end for us. If she only knew how much I loved her. I left my wife for her.
She said it again and I fluffed it off. It repeated in my head but I didn't know what the fuck it meant. I already had three kids and they were just fine. She would have ours and he, she -- it -- would be fine, too.
We've been down this road before. About a year ago, she didn't tell me about the first abortion and I never let her forget it. That was her first and last warning.
This time when she was knocked up, the studio got involved. Some bullshit about penalty clauses.
I tried to reason with her. "Baby, you're one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Do you think that schnook Harry Cohn is gonna fine you?"
"He'd do it. Never liked you..."
My blood boiled. Any other time or place, I would snap his back like a toothpick and then use it for lunch. "Me? He was a bum when I got into town and he's still one."
She nodded, half-afraid. She knew I was right.
"I'll take care of it, baby," I said as I poured the Jack.
"Frankie... Don't...," was all she said and looked away.
I bit my bottom lip and headed out to the pool with the Jack. Her "don't" told me alot. It said that those silly Hemingway movies were more important to her. It also told me she had no confidence - maybe in me as a father, herself as a mother - I dunno.
Yup, I knew what that "don't" meant. I went back inside to convince her that this baby would save us, but it was too late.
And as I watched her walk out the door to get her second abortion, I knew we'd be in Mexico this time next week signing the papers.
It wasn't long before I started to dread the heat.
And now, just listen to the pain in Frank's voice as he sings "I'm A Fool To Want You," undoubtedly to Ava. Gives me chills...