Entertainment
“I’m going to faint”: Senior overwhelmed to learn value of angry letter written by Frank Sinatra
This woman was nearly bowled over learning the value of a hilariously sassy letter written by the Sultan of Swoon himself.
D.G. Sciortino
06.29.22

Those who are familiar with the Chicago Daily News might remember a rival between columnist Mike Royko and legendary singer Frank Sinatra. Royko wrote a piece criticizing Sinatra for having a police escort while performing in Chicago.

Unfortunately for those in the public spotlight, the narrative and stories about your life can be out of your control.

They are reported by writers and influencers who profit from telling these stories. So, making these stories sensational can be an incentive for those trying to make a buck. On the other hand, they can also tell truths about the less attractive sides of celebrities.

Sinatra’s response to Royko’s letters has been widely publicized. The journalist’s son was still talking about it on his own blog years later.

Though I haven’t come across Royko’s original letter.

Sinatra fired back saying that he never requested police security, “It is something that’s far from necessary.”

“It’s quite obvious that your source of information stinks, but that never surprises me about people who write in newspapers for a living. They rarely get their facts straight. If the police decided that they wanted to be generous with me, I appreciate it. If you have any beefs with the Chicago Police Force, why not take it out on them instead of me, or is that too big a job for you?” Sinatra asked.

Sinatra also addressed some personal jabs that Royko took at him in the letter.

Royko asserted that he wore a “hairpiece,” as well as more serious accusations about him assaulting an elderly person.

“You and millions of other gullible Americans read that kind of crap written by the same female gossip columnists that you are so gallantly trying to protect: the garbage dealers I call hookers, and there’s no doubt that is exactly what they are, which makes you a pimp because you are using people to make money, just as they are,” Sinatra wrote.

“I will allow you to pull my ”hairpiece.’ If it moves, I will give you another $100,000; if it does not, I punch you in the mouth,” he hilariously wrote.

In Rokyo’s response to Sinatra’s letter, he insulted the “short man with a thick neck” that delivered the letter by making fun of the way he spoke and referring to him as a “flunky.” He continued to make subtle personal jabs at Sinatra under the guide of an “apology” and admitted that Sinatra never punched “elderly drunks,” only younger ones.

If Royko was truly concerned about the way tax dollars were being spent and how well protected the city was with some of its police force on security guard, he could have made a factually compelling argument for that.

Instead, his column served more as a means of hooking readers into lending their ear to a gossip rag and encouraging that mean-spirited behavior toward others.

But people buy into that kind of thing… literally. Royko auctioned the letter off for $400 in order to give the donation to the Salvation Army.

The letter was sold to a fan named Vie Carlson, who is mother to the drummer of the band “Cheap Trick.”

Years later, she went on Antiques Roadshow and was nearly knocked over after she learned that the letter was worth $15,000.

She was especially surprised as someone off-camera offered her $100 for it. Her reaction was quite priceless.

Carlson kept saying that she was going to faint and needed a chair to sit down.

She was just so overjoyed.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold for more than that because Sinatra stuff is as hot as it can get and it just doesn’t get any better than this,” the appraiser said.

The letter was also apparently revalued at $20,000.

Carlson told the Chicago Tribune that with 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, “I can use the money.”

She said she also plans on donating some to The Salvation Army.

Check out Carlson’s sweet reaction in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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