27 July 2018

Published July 25, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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Please be considerate of 70 or more participants and keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz 😀 (Thanks, Ted)

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Genre: Historical/Biographical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            After thirty hours of labor, at 3 o’clock in the morning, Dolly’s desperate physician resorted to forceps to deliver her baby.   

            Dolly clutched her sister’s hand. “Josie, is it a girl?  I don’t hear her cry. Is she—?”

            “Stillborn,” said the doctor, sweat beading his forehead. “He nearly killed his mama.”

            The midwife laid the motionless infant on the kitchen scale. “Thirteen pounds. Big boy for such a tiny mother.” She held him under running water. “Sveglia!” 

            He sputtered and cried.

            “Hello, piccolo sconosciuto.” Dolly Sinatra took her wailing son in her arms. “Just listen to my Francis sing.”

*piccolo sconosciuto is Italian for ‘little stranger’

Sveglia is “Wake up!”


           Because a story about Old Blue Eyes wouldn’t be complete without a song, I leave you with one that Frank Sinatra hated when he first heard it. Doobie doobie doo. 

101 comments on “27 July 2018

  • Great story. I never thought of him as being a big man, but it sounds like he was a big baby! Actually, if I remember right, he was represented in the cartoons as being so thin he was constantly on the verge of passing out.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Shessh! I felt Aidan was big as a 9-pounder… I don’t even want to think about 13 lbs! That they both survived way back then is a miracle, isn’t it?

    Love your stories, my friend!

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • I liked the contrast of the doctor’s final, frank but unfeeling assessment, his pride in having at least saved the mother, and the businesslike determination of the midwife, who does not give up so easily and (thankfully) takes additional measures.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Tomte Gnomo W(T)F,

    Some say that when I was born my mother gave birth to both me and a turd and only one of us lived. The doctor held a scratch & sniff contest to determine which was which.

    I expected to hear you bellow a few strains of “My Way,” but I guess you’re saving that for a live performance next month at OWL.

    Pavel the Regifter

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Pavel the Regifter,

      I understand the doctor’s confusion.

      Personally I prefer Fly Me to the Moon but you won’t hear me belt that one out either. I prefer to mime my solos. That way no one’s ears get hurt.

      Thank you for rolling by.

      Shalom and doobie doobie doo,

      Tomte Gnomo W(T)F


  • Wonderful. Oddly I just read a story that said Dolly died in a plane crash when she was going to a concert of his. Knowing how he adored his mother that must have been a blow. While the story was fiction, I presume the account was real.
    A voice we’ll never forget. He was even playing while I was in the dentist’s chair yesterday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sascha,

      According to accounts I’ve read and seen on documentaries, he was devastated by Dolly’s death. The account is true according to history, I just had to imagine what it was like in that room. 😉 What a coincidence, I went to the dentist this morning. No Sinatra though. 🙂 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’m surprised to learn that slight and skinny man was a huge baby! Still, his voice never diminished in size, even if he didn’t grow up to be a physically huge man.

    My husband was such a large baby that his mother sent him away for the first 10 months of his life, so she could recover. As with Frank’s mother, she never had another baby.

    It was lovely chatting to you and Dale last week 🙂

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      This was one of those finds that grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. Huge baby. My youngest son weighed just a little over 9 pounds and that was hard enough. I can’t imagine 13! I think if my youngest had been my first I might have reconsidered any more. 😉
      I enjoyed our chat as well. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Funny how the mind of a writer thinks upon viewing a prompt photo. Absolutely amazing, thank you for the story, Rochelle, I’ll never look on this photo again without thinking of your story. Oh God, what if I now have to think of it every time I come off the ferry and start up Spring Street???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ted,

      It is funny how differently we all view the same photo and have different stories to tell. That’s one of the things that roped me in from my first story. The first time I looked at your wonderful photo I could hear Old Blue Eyes singing “Strangers in the Night.” The rest is history, well, historical fiction, really. 😉 As for what you’ll think of when you come off the ferry…I really can’t say. Thank you re my story. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • Another great piece of historical trivia. Did you remember him because his first wife Nancy Sinatra Sr passed away this month?

    And of course I had to google – “Sinatra weighed 13.5 pounds (6.1 kg) at birth and had to be delivered with the aid of forceps, which caused severe scarring to his left cheek, neck, and ear, and perforated his eardrum, damage that remained for life”. So he had a hearing defect? Fortunately it didn’t affect his singing though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      I actually was unaware of Nancy Sr’s passing when I wrote the story. When I chose the photo it just said “Strangers in the Night” to me. 😉 Google is how I ultimately found this actual incident. Thank you.




    • Dear Jan,

      I’m not sure when and how I fell, but I definitely am in love with history. Although it’s more the trivial nuggets that aren’t in the history book that attract me and make me want to share them. Nuff said. 😉 Thank you.




    • Dear Lyneane,

      I didn’t realize that’s been a year and half since I posted this one. Glad you enjoyed it. I love finding these bits of bio that are relatively unknown. Thanks for taking the time from Basil 😉 to read and comment. Meow to him.




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