FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ -- At the Franklin Food Truck Festival, recently held as a benefit for Franklin High School’s Project Graduation, William Grippo, Principal of the MacAfee Road School, shared two stories of his interactions with New Jersey’s own Frank Sinatra. 

Many years ago, when Grippo was in his 20s, he worked for a florist, who directed him to deliver flowers to the funeral parlor that was hosting Sinatra’s father’s services. As Grippo was setting up the flowers, the Sinatra family arrived. Grippo introduced himself and Sinatra said, “Good job, kid.” 

“But the story gets better,” said Grippo

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Thirty years later, Sinatra was performing in Atlantic City at the Golden Nugget and there were no tickets to be found for the performance. Grippo wrote a note to the manager at the front desk, who said that it was likely the note would never get to Sinatra. “The manager said to me: you might as well go home, Mr. Grippo.”

However, Grippo decided to stick around. A little bit before the concert, Grippo returned to the front desk. It was crowded with people trying to get tickets. And, as it turns out, Grippo had two tickets waiting for him--at Sinatra’s table. 

“This is a true story,” Grippo said. “Sinatra to me represents so much of the fullness of life,” he added. “The guy did everything his way.”