[Posted May 2, 2016] One of the great Los Angeles “urban legends” is that Frank Sinatra and friends once entertained a Uni class on grad night. Well, it really did happen!
Jim Wartman ‘58 wrote in about our March 23 story on the passing of Frank Sinatra, Jr. ‘61. He was preceded at Uni by his sister Nancy, and Jim notes:
I am James (Jim) Wartman and am a Vagabond, the class that graduated in June 1958.
Nancy [Sinatra] is in our class and did not graduate in 1959. How can we forget the great grad night at the Miramar Hotel, where her father, Frank, the Nelson Riddle band, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dick Stabile all entertained us.
It was an all-night party, and my date and I sat on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and watched the sun come up.
Nancy, Gidget [Kathy Kohner, whose father wrote the Gidget books about her] and Jimmy Mitchum, and Jan Berry, and Vincent Price Jr. were all Warriors and Vagabonds together. Frankie Jr came to Uni Hi after we graduated in the summer of 1958.
Our class was so big (about 600) that we had our graduation ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Our class may, or may not have our 60th reunion in 2018. I have heard nothing about that. I went to the 50th Reunion at the Beverly Hills Country Club.
I will always be a Uni Hi Warrior!!!!
What a grad night that must have been! Thanks for the memories, Jim, and verifying one of L.A.’s great urban legends. Thanks, too, to fellow Vagabond Anita Shapiro, who also wrote in about the event and to confirm Nancy Sinatra’s graduation year.