Around 1980, I was collecting the cover charge at the door of Fiddlers Green Irish Pub in the terminal building at the New Bedford Regional Airport when word spread that Frank Sintra's plane was about to land.

I don't recall the circumstances of why Sinatra, who was no doubt en route to the Cape, the Islands or New York, was making a pit stop in New Bedford that night. Perhaps it was for refueling.

Sinatra didn't leave the plane, but it was exciting nonetheless.

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That was not the first time a plane carrying Frank Sinatra landed at the local airport. In 1998, the New Bedford Standard-Times reported that in the early 80s, Sinatra and comedian Red Buttons landed in New Bedford aboard casino mogul Steve Wynn's private jet.

Sinatra and Buttons reportedly attended a private party at the Venus de Milo in Swansea that night.

Sinatra Sent This From New Bedford To Hyannis In A Pair Of Taxis
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According to James Kaplan's book Sinatra: The Chairman, Sinatra arrived in New Bedford on September 24, 1961 en route to the Kennedy Family Compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

"Frank headed to Hyannisport aboard the president's (John F. Kennedy) private plane, the Caroline, accompanied by Pat Lawford, Ted Kennedy, and the Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa and his fifth wife Odile," according to Kaplan.

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Kaplan wrote the Hyannis airport was "socked in by fog," forcing the plane to land in New Bedford.

"Frank's cargo – twelve pieces of luggage, a dozen bottles of champagne, a case of wine, three cartons of ice cream in dry ice, and two loaves of bread for the Ambassador (Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.) – proceeded to the Kennedy compound in a pair of taxicabs," according to Kaplan.

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My friend Taylor Cormier, a Sinatra aficionado, says Ol' Blue Eyes was out of booze upon landing in New Bedford, and according to legend, convinced a New Bedford cab driver to take him to a bar that would sell him a couple of bottles of Jack Daniels to go.

Hey, it's a long long cab ride from New Bedford to Hyannis.

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