POI Living Homeless

Revisiting The Life of Frank Sinatra – Living a Life of Homelessness

November 25, 2020

“The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.”

– Marshall McLuhan

In 1997 Jim produced and directed a short documentary called “A Day in the Life of Frank Sinatra” that was an exploration of what it was like to be a homeless man with a famous name. Twenty three years later, Frank Sinatra is recently off the streets, lives in a government-funded camper in Los Angeles, and is trying to live a normal life.

In this episode, Jim sits down with Frank and asks him about being a cab driver, a one-time contestant on the “Gong Show”, about homelessness in Los Angeles for the last 28 years, the troubles and lasting damage addiction can cause, how Frank believes that no one is immune to turning to drugs, and his hopes for the future.

This episode of Point of Inquiry does contain explicit language.

We are proud to announce that this episode of Point of Inquiry was sponsored by the Wadsworth-Sheng Fund. Our friends, Spike Wadsworth and Sherry Sheng, are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to thought-provoking content that addresses the big questions in science, religion, politics, and culture. We are grateful for their support. If you would like to learn more about how to support Point of Inquiry or the work of its umbrella organization, the Center for Inquiry, please contact our Director of Development, Connie Skingel, at development@centerforinquiry.org.


This Week’s Music

“Bon Journée” by Chad Crouch / CC BY-NC 3.0
“Idle Ways” by Blue Dot Sessions / CC BY-NC 4.0
“Small Hours” by Chad Crouch / CC BY-NC 3.0

[00:00:07] Hello again, everybody, welcome to another episode of Point of Inquiry. I’m your host, Jim Underdown. [00:00:14][6.6]

[00:00:15] I first met Frank Sinatra in the mid 90s, I think it was I was a replacement bouncer at a bar in Westwood, California, and Frank would come by on the sidewalk and panhandle in front of the bar I was working at. I’m not talking about old blue eyes, the chairman of the board. I’m talking about Frank Joseph Sinatra, who was a homeless man in Los Angeles. I shot a documentary about Frank in 1997, all the day in the life of Frank Sinatra. And we’ve been kind of friends ever since. But Frank Sinatra is not homeless anymore. He is living in a trailer and one of the government provided trailer camps in Los Angeles and is full of hope for his future. I had a chance to sit down with Frank and talk a little bit about his life, how he became homeless, what it’s like to be homeless, and what the prospects are for treating homelessness both in Los Angeles and in other places around the United States. [00:01:25][69.9]

[00:01:26] But without any further ado, here’s my conversation with Frank Sinatra. [00:01:29][3.7]

[00:01:44] My name is Frank Sinatra. I’ve been homeless twenty to twenty five years off and on, I’m homeless right now. I feel a lot better. [00:01:51][6.9]

[00:01:51] I’m off the street right now. We will talk about why you’re not homeless at this point. And we’re going to talk about your whole life. But I just want to welcome you to a point of inquiry. That’s the name of the show, Frank. So I shot this documentary called A Day in the Life of Frank Sinatra with Frank Sinatra, who I’m sitting across from now at the Center for Inquiry. The date on that movie is nineteen ninety seven, but we met originally because of my friend Joe Menno and in front of that bar in Westwood. He was a doorman and he already knew about you. He did, yeah. You’re walking around telling everyone, my name’s Frank Sinatra. [00:02:31][40.1]

[00:02:32] And what usually happens when people you tell them that, well, I don’t go around telling people that, but when I tell them my name, they don’t believe me. I mean, we’re going to believe my name is Frank Sinatra and that’s my real name. And I lie about it. No, and I’ve seen your documents. [00:02:47][15.1]

[00:02:48] It’s there is your name and I’ve seen your high school yearbook and all that stuff. Your name is. That’s my real name. Yeah. My father’s a Frank Sinatra fan. But let’s just give people a little bit of history about just you. Where are you from originally? [00:03:02][14.5]

[00:03:03] I’m from Boston. I was born in Russia and Roxbury, Massachusetts, a city hospital, Boston. So is that Italian area neighborhood. [00:03:12][8.8]

[00:03:12] All Italians. And that’s how you grew up? Catholic, Italian. I grew up as a Catholic, went to Catholic school. [00:03:17][5.1]

[00:03:18] A lot of Italians, you know, I’m half Italian, former Catholic. [00:03:21][3.5]

[00:03:22] You have to believe in God, you Italian. You don’t believe you won’t listen to me. Frank is always trying to convert me. You’re living a good life. My way. I understand. Never mind. [00:03:31][8.8]

[00:03:32] Yeah, it’s you guys forget that. Give up the ship because it ain’t going to happen. Or tell me a little bit about your your your young life. I was real good in school. [00:03:42][10.4]

[00:03:42] I made the honor roll five years in a row. I was really smart but. I got to high school, I went to a public school and, you know, I started playing football track baseball with a baseball player, but my coach liked me and I quit my freshman year because I had to work. My dad wasn’t helping my mother. So I came back my sophomore year and three years ago I played baseball track football, outstanding senior in high school, and I did OK in school. [00:04:08][26.0]

[00:04:10] And then my senior year came around and I told my mother it’s over because my mother was too upset with my dad. They broke up, but my life changed. I, I played baseball after that three years I had to go to work. My mom was making a lot of money. My father was gone. So I worked a couple of years in Woolworths, says downtown Boston. And I had a baseball fan that was asked me to come down on the floor a few times and I finally went, I saved my money. And then three other guys went down there. They came back to Boston. I stayed like three years and I worked and worked in the market, worked in hotels. I was a guy that his daughter and a relative, I was here. And anyways, I knew somebody else was going to stay with when I came out here, I couldn’t find him. So then I called up this guy, Nick Quanti. You know, if I need to talk to him, I stayed in this house. He worked for the studios and I got a job right away in a week. I lived on my own after that out here, you moved to Los Angeles? I was in North Hollywood. I was a waiter. What year was this? Seventy eight. Seventy eight. I came out here on a Greyhound. Fifty nine dollars to the dogs every year. [00:05:21][71.4]

[00:05:22] So long I left my family, Barnesville in Florida, too much gas. I let it go. [00:05:25][3.8]

[00:05:26] I want to have one thing because I remember in the movie you talked about it had a couple of nutty adventures in your family, too. Did your mother come after you? [00:05:34][8.5]

[00:05:34] A couple of times. She beat me up with a weapon three times. I mean, it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t nice the first time. I mean, I don’t mean I don’t like to bring it up, but when I disappeared the first time for two hours, she hit me with a golf club. I have a bruise in the back of my head. I’m lucky I was injured or killed. I was knocked out. Then she hit me with a hand laugh when I told my dad about he was very upset. And I and I said to my father, I said, I’m leaving. I told my mother. I said, look, my bomb hit me with a weapon. I said, we tried to kill me. Here I am, eight, nine years old. And she’s being a golf club and a hammer art. So was she. Do you think she had some mental problems? She announces later. She was very upset with my dad. She was under pressure. She didn’t mean it was. And enjoy it because he was stand out and, oh, my dad wasn’t coming home. He’s out there drinking every day. And I said, Mom, are you going to let this go? She gets upset and going crazy, as we normally do, and let the guy go. Let them go. And you had you have one brother or two one. But he’s my six year he’s six years younger. Six years. He could have been a musician. He like music and he wouldn’t help us. He wouldn’t help us. I for in high school I paid for my food. I taste everything. [00:06:45][70.7]

[00:06:46] OK, so you’re out here now. It’s late 70s. Get a job. You’re a waiter. What else did you do out here? [00:06:53][7.6]

[00:06:54] I work for where I left that job. I got a job at the Sheraton Universal and I got fired on that job for some reason. And then I went to Vegas to get a job. Didn’t you meet some celebrities while you were there? I met Kojak as a way of Telly Savalas. Yeah. And the whole family. Kelly was telling me to go find somebody else to me, like I asked if I could meet thanks to him, if I can’t do it, they call me up the secretary call me on the house in the desert, you know? [00:07:21][27.3]

[00:07:21] And I said, why did I wait so long to find him? Who’s they? So the secretary called me, asked me why I waited so long to find Frank Sinatra, my Belgaum, my cousin. [00:07:28][7.4]

[00:07:29] They ask me why I waited so long. I said I wanted to do I lived in Boston. I couldn’t find him from there. [00:07:34][4.8]

[00:07:34] Well, what is the relationship? My grandmother’s father and Sinatra, his father related in Italy, which makes me a third cousin. [00:07:42][7.9]

[00:07:43] So they were like cousins or something? Well, my grandfather’s a first cousin. My dad’s a second cousin of my third cousin. [00:07:49][5.4]

[00:07:50] So you try to get in touch with the Sinatra family. You heard from the secretary. [00:07:53][2.9]

[00:07:54] I had to make an appointment to see him. And what happened? I don’t know. I let it go. You didn’t go out. I just had to compete. I don’t. And I was too busy working. I was working eighty hours a week. I was tired. I might have to make an appointment. Were you driving a cab? Driving a taxi out in the valley? This years on, the valley’s 80, 90 hours a week, seventy five hours a week between a limo, 60, 70, 80 hours a week. Epilepsies, Cheverton. And then when Hoglan mother was in the hospital, she had a bad injury. She lost her leg and had to go home. But, you know, back to Boston for a little, my grandfather got me a job at the Ritz Carlton with the commander and the Army. He was up at the hotel in the office, and they hired me over the security part time and. And then you came back out here? I came back here at the pictures, tell the story. [00:08:44][50.1]

[00:08:44] Were you driving a cab when you did The Gong Show tell the The Gong Show? [00:08:48][3.2]

[00:08:48] I mean, a lot of people don’t even remember, but The Gong Show was a show hosted. [00:08:52][4.0]

[00:08:53] It was a talent show. Chuck Berry and I went to NBC in Burbank and I auditioned. I sang my way. I ran the other way. [00:08:59][6.2]

[00:08:59] You all right? [00:09:02][3.0]

[00:09:02] You sang my way as Frank Sinatra. I was Frank Sinatra. I just decided you are Frank Sinatra. Well, I know other songs, too. I just decided to sing my way. I don’t know. I just didn’t have an. I’ve seen 20 concerts that could have sang another song. I just like this on my way. My my way, my way, his way. [00:09:21][18.6]

[00:09:21] Who were the panelists on the show? Do you remember J.P. Morgan? She got me. I was mad. She gonged you. Yeah, she got me at the end. I still got page one and fifty bucks, although I. Well I still did a good job. Yeah. Everybody gets gonged almost. [00:09:34][12.4]

[00:09:35] Yeah. Right. That’s, that is true. [00:09:36][1.6]

[00:09:37] Or especially I mean you got to figure they had money if they wouldn’t put me on the show and that was good. But that’s what they call The Gong Show. You are a novelty act. But I hear the song like, OK, and it’s now or never come home. [00:09:50][13.0]

[00:09:52] Speaking of celebrities, I want to talk I want to ask you about one more thing while we’re on the celebrity time, none of the people out here, I think that John Travolta in the cab, I met him. [00:10:00][8.2]

[00:10:01] Oh. And they chuckle at Dodger Stadium thing. Any Chuck Connors, a rifleman? Yeah, I seen a lot of spice and I talked to Madonna at his Kabbalah place, Jewish temple. She was going to school there and network. And your buddy, Mark Wahlberg, he’s another one because I got lost between my ears. [00:10:20][19.6]

[00:10:23] When I had him to help me with the thing about we were about the movie, he says, I want to help you. [00:10:27][4.5]

[00:10:28] OK, so let’s do the little backstory here. Pretty like he was OK. So Frank has been coming to the Center for Inquiry for like 20 years now. And we give him a little bit of work. And he’s always asking me, when are we going to do something about the movie or let’s remake the movie. And in the meantime, one of the churches that you go panhandle in front of St. Paul, the Apostles, St. Paul, the Apostles in L.A., in Westwood. So Wahlberg goes to this church. [00:10:56][28.4]

[00:10:58] He used to not anymore. So everybody so used to and used to see him come out of the church. Yeah. And what happened? Nothing nice to say. Hello. How are you doing. Give me a few bucks. DJ Grothe. And he told them that you’re he’s going to drive as well as voyage to heaven. He says if you ever wish to heaven, he says, no, I should give it to me. [00:11:18][20.8]

[00:11:21] And I just joking to marry him. I says, you know what? I’m not going to move in with you. I get you pissed off. You’re a comedian. I’m a great clown. I know how to get. I agree. Aggravated challenge. I get you going. [00:11:32][11.4]

[00:11:33] So you. But you told him about the movie, right? I get into the movie. Yeah, but you gave them my number. Yes, I did. And he called my office. He called you. [00:11:44][10.9]

[00:11:45] He called me and left a message and so I called his assistant and said, hey, the phone, I’m going to take a free plane ticket anywhere in this country. [00:11:55][10.3]

[00:11:56] I haven’t used it. He told me to call some if I want a free ride anywhere in this world. [00:12:00][4.0]

[00:12:00] Well, we were trying to get the movie because the sound I admit the sound was all shot off the camera. Mike didn’t sound so good. So I called his assistant and said maybe we could get someone to engineer it and maybe we could do some sequel shoots. [00:12:14][14.5]

[00:12:15] And Wahlberg and Franco, you know, he called you? Yeah, he could call me. Wow. But then I called the assistant and I sent him the movie and nothing ever happened. [00:12:23][8.2]

[00:12:24] So now I want to talk just for a minute about how you go from working 80 hours a week as a taxi driver to becoming homeless. [00:12:34][10.0]

[00:12:34] What happened? Well, I actually broke up with this girl and I don’t know, I started doing dope. What were you doing with the drugs? The cocaine, coke? Mostly. I went I went for help with the jail. What the hell went to jail? I said, nothing’s going to make me stop unless I want to stop. What were you going to jail for? Possession. [00:12:53][18.8]

[00:12:55] They arrested me, not with the cocaine they sent me up in Busoni, they said I was buying macadamia and panties. [00:13:00][5.5]

[00:13:02] What is that macadamia? I don’t know. They with buying soap. They just put me on probation for bullshit. They put me in jail for a pint is ridiculous. I’m off of that now and gone home on probation. You were buying crack. You were buying coke. And you lost your job because of that? I quit my job, I want to drive the cab was afraid to, but I don’t want to. I couldn’t carry any money. I was spending my money. [00:13:28][26.0]

[00:13:30] And so what then what happened here I am working on more, I gave up. [00:13:34][3.9]

[00:13:34] I gave up working. So you ran out of money, you couldn’t have one panhandling, I wasn’t on welfare, I just went out there and just want the money. Or you still had an apartment at this time? No, I was on the street or in Boston. I had a place I stay with my friends or my family or shelter or somewhere was too cold to be outside. But when I came here, I stay outside. Panhandling could keep enough food in your mouth. Not just that it was a dope chasing the Coke, you were making enough to crack cocaine. You know, like my wife, I couldn’t get rid of it. I couldn’t get rid of it. I don’t know why I always said it as addictive as hell. It’s I mean, it’s not an easy thing to quit. I almost died in the beginning. I had a regular hobby. And ever since then, nothing went wrong with me. I said, what is it going to take me to stop? I quit drinking, I quit cigarets, I quit everything else. [00:14:27][53.4]

[00:14:28] The crack is a drug addiction. Yeah. And so how long do you think you were doing crack? [00:14:35][7.0]

[00:14:36] Twenty eight. And how old are you now? Sixty five years old, still here, hear, I’m not cracking up anymore. Yeah, good. How long have you been off crack? A little while. Not a real long time. About a year or so. It’s not easy stuff, something you have to have no money and not go buy crack. You can’t do one here. You do one here. You’re in trouble. One hit, then that’s it. I come out of jail and take a hit. That was it. Every time I come out of jail, take a hit. So in the meantime, your your panhandling all over town. Right. What was your what was your method? How did you make money? It was easy money for you. I go to churches, goes to temple, go hang out a 7-Eleven. I how to hustle. I was a hustler. I had easy money coming to me. People give me money. They didn’t know my problem. It was a shame what I was doing was a sin wasn’t the right thing to do. How much money do you think you were making a day by day? Yeah. Fifty one hundred. Not a lot. Sometimes more. And then how much of it we think you would spend on crack. Two thirds of it just enough to eat and I get food for nothing. [00:15:46][69.8]

[00:15:47] She wasn’t I was taking care of myself and people were feeding me. They feed me money, feed me clothes as losing everything. I lose my clothes against stone. It was my glasses. I’m losing my mind to losing everything. [00:15:59][12.6]

[00:16:00] I’m lost so much clothes is crazy. I had a woman for me to travel for six weeks. She watched me like a lot of clothes. I gave this woman down all the clothes, the whole. She’s all the crack. I swear, Jack. I gave her some coke on Pico. We watched it. [00:16:13][12.7]

[00:16:15] Yeah, that’s not funny. Well, let me so, Jim, it’s not funny where I live, everything, I knew how to survive and take care of myself. I wouldn’t be here if I was attacked on the street. Twenty five, thirty times I got attacked busy downtown with a knife. They almost kill me. What happened? Are people trying to rob you or what? They want some money for me. I was going to go get some crack and I told them they gave you some fake crack. I smoked. They wanted the money. I wouldn’t give it to them and pull a knife on my jacket up. I could imagine that night I just left my friends house on the. [00:16:49][34.8]

[00:16:51] Yeah, where would you normally sleep for, like most of this time? [00:16:54][2.8]

[00:16:55] I was all over the place, but, you know, I was I was a little tense, I was in a tent a little while, but I just played different spots. Just places where people couldn’t find you or yeah, yeah, we could be hiding. I had a blanket, blanket, cardboard box lay down, ghostly, but most of house of smoke all night, too. So for you, that was your downfall. The crack was you. I lost everything. My dad was very upset with me and he found out what I was doing. My brother was worse than me. He was on the crack. You were having a whole family on crack. [00:17:25][30.1]

[00:17:26] What do you think is the downfall of most of the people on the street? Where he is drinking, smoking, or, you know, what percentage of the people on the street do you think are mentally ill? [00:17:36][10.7]

[00:17:38] At least half of them, one third of them, at least one third, they should help them. This sick on drugs is sick. They is losing their minds. They have no family, no friends, nobody mentally ill. They should help them. They won’t take them off the street and help them. They’re trying to get the people off the street downtown and they keep moving back as they in a tent. [00:17:57][18.7]

[00:17:58] I mean, have you ever gone to any of these facilities where you can get a bed at night? [00:18:03][5.2]

[00:18:04] The only time I get a bedroom when you. [00:18:05][1.5]

[00:18:07] Why wouldn’t you go, because some of these places have beds open. [00:18:10][2.6]

[00:18:10] Why wouldn’t you want to go? Because I out smoking all night. I didn’t want kids. I didn’t want to be tied down and locked up because they got rules that the people get high in jail. I wasn’t getting high in jail. He was smoking crack cocaine. I seen him do it. They just smuggle it in or out in the bath and in the shower doing drugs, I don’t know how they get in jail, I don’t know. How can you go to jail and do drugs in jail? It doesn’t seem like that should be able to happen. I went to jail for jaywalking. Yeah, tell that story where we’re gonna go. They found me in a motel in the valley. And a lot of crack, I was getting high. I took a hit in the limo and the police showed the motel three o’clock in the morning, call my daughter and step out to get my bag sitting in jail for jaywalking warrants and went to wayside for three weeks vacation because they are jaywalking tickets. And I didn’t pay them. [00:19:04][53.2]

[00:19:05] I going to have the money and pay them. I didn’t pay them. [00:19:07][1.9]

[00:19:08] On purpose, so you would have a place to sleep for a while. [00:19:11][2.3]

[00:19:12] And still very small. I think about the tickets, they generally favor taking me away. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I mean, I got a ticket for a cupcake wrapper. I wasn’t smoking. [00:19:22][9.4]

[00:19:22] Anyone knows how that one would happened there. I got to check it in the cab wrapper. You threw it out the window? Yeah. He’s a rapper. I’m going to court testifying. Copy right out the window. Nice guy. Mobilizations punch him in the nose. I said, yeah, right. I get not judge. [00:19:40][18.1]

[00:19:58] Hello and thank you for listening to point of inquiry, we are taking a short break to announce that this episode was made possible through the Wadsworth Schang Fund. The fund was started by supporters of the show Spike Wadsworth and cherishing, we’re both committed to science, critical thinking and making accessible thought-Provoking content that addresses the big questions in science, religion, politics and culture. We are grateful for their generous support, a point of inquiry and its umbrella organization, the Center for Inquiry, critically examined and advocates against pseudoscience, the dangers of alternative medicine and analyzes the intersection of religion and science in our society. [00:20:37][38.6]

[00:20:37] This educational and advocacy work of the Center for Inquiry is more essential now than ever before, and your support is more essential than ever. Point of Inquiry is a listener supported show, which means continuing this work is only possible because of the financial support of listeners like you visit Center for Inquiry Agapito. I can make a donation today and ensure that point of inquiry can continue. If you would like to learn more about how you can support the show or for more information about the Watch Worth Sharing Fund, please email Center for Inquiry’s Director of Development Connie Shingle at Development at Center for Inquiry dot org. Thank you. [00:21:18][40.3]

[00:21:25] If you want to own drugs in jail, you can’t go to jail for job. You need to go to the hospital and go get some help. Here is not the place. It is a disease. Jail is not the place. It’s not really a crime. It’s a sickness. A disease. People don’t get it, they don’t cure their addiction from the police, they got so many addicts in jail doing heroin and cocaine, it’s not a climate, it’s a disease of sickness. Once you start doing that stuff, you’re stuck. [00:21:55][29.9]

[00:21:55] So you think that’s how most people become homeless? They just get into drugs so deeply, they they stop working. And once you start doing drugs, you’re screwed. So what if for people who who have this problem, do you see any ways of them kicking their habits and change their they don’t want help and they don’t want to stop. [00:22:13][17.7]

[00:22:13] They’re not going to stop. They’re going to keep smoking. Zombie There’s no way to make them stop. You can’t make someone stop. They have to make themselves stop. There’s no forcing somebody to stop. It doesn’t work that way. You have to make yourself stop and open your mind. Your body wants to stop. [00:22:29][15.7]

[00:22:30] So if you made the decision that you wanted to get off the stuff, would you know where to go to get a little help for that? I know where to go. [00:22:38][7.9]

[00:22:39] Do you think most of the homeless with nowhere to go to rehab, is this help or where to go, if your mind can find it, if they’re not that lost? Have you ever lived, like at a facility run by path? I never went to I could have went to because I went anywhere I can go. [00:22:56][17.3]

[00:22:57] How come I didn’t want to go? Because of the rules and all because the dope I want to live on my own smoke is one of that total freedom. Yeah. Do you think that’s the way it is with most of the homeless? [00:23:07][10.5]

[00:23:08] They just want their freedom, whether it’s like Disneyland. Look at the weather, the weather and how many people outside of the weather back east, you can’t live outside. He’ll die. You know that you come from Chicago. Yeah, right. You can’t you can’t live outside and smoke dope and be on the street. You’ll freeze. Not a pipe in your mouth. Go the pipe freeze. The clerk will freeze. You freeze. [00:23:30][22.5]

[00:23:31] So do you. I mean, you meet almost people. Other homeless people are a lot of them from somewhere else. [00:23:37][6.2]

[00:23:38] They’re from everywhere, all over the world. And they come in. I sound homeless people with food but can’t hang around with them. There’s no friends out there doing drugs. Don’t get intelligent. I’m getting old. I can’t stay healthy forever. And I, I don’t want to go out. There’s a crack crackhead. I can’t say like I can say to myself, what am I doing? Even though I had the addiction, you know, I mean, you’re a pretty smart guy. I mean, you can read you have you’re not only intelligent, but that has nothing to do with it so much. It doesn’t matter if the play is pushing the world, but you’re on dope. You’re in trouble anyway in this world could be addicted to drugs. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. The mind is not going to overtake the dope. It’s impossible because you’re inside of them. I’m lucky I’m still here. [00:24:25][47.5]

[00:24:25] Jim, you are a resilient guy. I got to say that. I mean, we’ve been through some tough times and you’re still here so that I’ve done everything there is in this world to live the right life and I went the wrong way. [00:24:37][11.8]

[00:24:38] You are in a trailer right now. I’m in there because of a government. They, my friend John O’Keefe, keep coming in there and I feel a lot better. It took me a couple of months to feel better. So how long you been in the. Since May and my birthday. And I’m going to say from God, because you want to hear God, you believe whatever you have got out of this agenda down. I don’t think God pulled that trigger this way, jammed into that like a god to me. But you’re really a nice guy to me. I really am a blessing to me. Well, thank you, Frank. I mean, you have a conscience, you Italian, and they all have that name. It doesn’t matter. The name is one thing. What’s in my heart. There’s another thing in my heart. Your heart seems to connect. Yeah, we do. We we do connect it. That’s just because we’re Italian and I don’t know, you saw something and something triggered you and to and I. I didn’t come to you. You came to me. I’m trying to get you to give up God. [00:25:35][56.8]

[00:25:37] You know I am. [00:25:39][1.6]

[00:25:39] I can say nothing. And now you’re sixty five. You get Social Security. [00:25:42][3.3]

[00:25:43] Yeah. And I’m getting welfare to work with food stamps. Those are enough to live on to get a place to be probably just enough. Yeah, but it won’t be enough to pay first class and security money now that your goal to keep this momentum going. And I don’t want to go back on the street. I don’t want to go back on the street. No, I’m done. I feel like now my mind wants to be worth that. Well, that’s encouraging. I mean, that’s you got some hope too much for me to have an eating like a horse, so much food and not exercising. I’m walking a little bit like I used to walk. I used to walk 30 miles a week, 50 50. I thought I was Superman. You know, you live right next to that big park, you could go walk around that park. I’ve been walking on the park. I went out and play ball a couple of times up and hit the ball. Oh, yeah? Yeah. I still got my skills. [00:26:34][51.1]

[00:26:37] You say you could get a job as an old friend. I’m not going to be very close to something else. [00:26:42][5.3]

[00:26:42] Just play ball. You probably could. You were a good ballplayer in high school. I can do that. You can be my backup. I’ll go. I’ll give you a recommendation. You come down with me in good shape. I’ll be my brother, be an umpire. [00:26:56][13.7]

[00:26:58] I need the power to be able to throw people like that shit behind the plate, you have to put a mask on. [00:27:04][5.8]

[00:27:06] That’s right. You have to put a mask on. There is no parading when they win everything here. [00:27:11][4.5]

[00:27:12] Well, this has been kind of encouraging for me, Frank. I’m glad you sound like you got some hope. [00:27:17][5.1]

[00:27:17] You must. And I told you when I came here, I felt a lot better. I said, do I look better? No, I did. You did. You shot I look like six months ago you were going to you mentally. [00:27:26][8.6]

[00:27:27] You’re better, too. I mean, yes, I am. Because you’ve come around sometimes and you and I could tell you were using of course, you know, little. [00:27:34][7.3]

[00:27:35] I understand. I know. I can’t hide it. [00:27:37][1.9]

[00:27:37] Well, it’s good. You sound like your you have some optimism about the future. [00:27:40][3.3]

[00:27:41] I’m happy. I feel better. So now my mind wants to do something and get better. Can you use that moment of the stay off? Yes, I can. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I’m going to hold you to that because now you’re on record as saying you’re not going back to it. I don’t want to go back. I’ll be back on the street again. Right. You got it. [00:28:01][19.5]

[00:28:01] You got to go through the crack. I lose everything and lose the apartment. Lose my furniture. I lose my mind. Yeah. You made good headway here lately. And it’s it’s really encouraging me. I feel better. I look better, feel better. [00:28:12][10.9]

[00:28:13] Even though I have a big stomach. There’s no baby here. Yeah. Can I take an x ray. I don’t give the another to God save some money. Saved me. I saved myself. But somebody’s coming in there. I had to get off the street to get better. It couldn’t get better on the street. That’s impossible. [00:28:29][16.7]

[00:28:30] Well that’s an interesting that’s a good thing for people to hear. You need that first, like, little boost. [00:28:34][4.3]

[00:28:35] I need to sleep normal. Like you live a normal. I’m trying. You are trying. And I’m not going to quit. [00:28:41][6.3]

[00:28:42] I’m proud of you, Frank. You’ve made great headway. It took a pandemic to make it happen, but you’ve made it look a lot better right away. Do you? Do you look good. Sound good. All right. Is there anything else you want to tell our listening audience? There’s a message from Frank Sinatra we thought he was. [00:28:59][17.9]

[00:29:01] You’d never hear from Frank Sinatra again, Mr. Jim Underdown. [00:29:04][3.0]

[00:29:04] I think he saved my neck and trying to get me to go forward and make me a happier person. Well, you know, I’ve always rooted for you. And if there’s anything I could do, I couldn’t say where I was. [00:29:13][9.4]

[00:29:14] You don’t want to see me die like, no, no, I don’t want to see you sleeping on the street. I’m not going to. [00:29:19][5.4]

[00:29:20] If you in my house, but now I’ve had no I know he’s going to take an attic in the house. No, right there. There’s you can’t take that chance. No, I wouldn’t go there. I wouldn’t do that to you. I wouldn’t do it to my wife. [00:29:34][13.8]

[00:29:37] All right, Frank, thanks for being on and we’ll see you back at the office soon. [00:29:41][3.8]

[00:29:42] OK, John, thank you very much. I enjoyed this afternoon with a very nice day for me. I think you made my day. [00:29:47][5.3]

[00:29:57] Thank you for listening, point of Inquiry is a production of the Center for Inquiry. [00:30:00][3.7]

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Jim Underdown

Jim Underdown

Jim Underdown is executive director of Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles, and the founder of the Independent Investigations Group.