I thought I would pass on to you this lil' effort by Miss Ten. Each month, she has to do a book report, with the book genre and associated project different each time. January's assignment was to pick out a biography or autobiography and pick out 10-20 dates and events in that person's life in order to construct a timeline and write a brief summary of those points. The book she chose was singer/artist/activist/author Tony Bennett's "The Good Life," which was published in 1998. As she read through the book, she had to tag what she thought were important things in Bennett's life with these tiny colorful Post-It Notes. This is what I found on the kitchen table the morning the assignment was handed in at school, which I thought was very pretty:
Tony Bennett was born in New York City. His Dad came from Italy and his mom's parents came from Italy. When Tony was only 10 years old his father died. This impacted him very much, because it is hard to lose your dad.
When Tony was a teenager he was drafted into the army. That was during World War II. He saw all kinds of bad things during the war. He was really upset by the things he saw. He said it changed him forever. One of the positive things he did when he was in the army was to sing in a band.
When Tony got back from the war he was a professional singer. He made some records and finally had a big hit in 1951 called "Because Of You." This made him feel very good. He went on from there to have more hit songs and to appear on TV shows.
Tony met his first wife, Patricia, in 1952. Like Tony, she was an artist and interested in jazz music. Tony was 24 and Patricia was 18 when they met. They were married in 1952 and had two sons, D'Andrea and Daegal. Tony really loved her and thought that being married made him a better musician.
In 1998, Frank Sinatra died. Frank's death really made Tony sad. Tony looked up to Frank Sinatra all of his life. Frank was also Tony's best friend. People said after Frank died that Tony was now the person to carry on the tradition. Tony didn't think that was right, he thought no one could ever take the place of Frank Sinatra.
I really like Tony Bennett because he was a great singer and an artist. He also seems like a very nice man. I probably picked this book because I like his music. Some of the things I learned about Tony Bennett from reading the book were that he was an artist, that he fought in World War II, and that he was divorced. He has had a very long singing career and he has had some very hard times as well. A lot of people in his life have died. But through all of that, he has been a positive person and keeps doing what he loves. I really like Tony Bennett.She ended up with a great grade on her report, but she gets a great grade from me from understanding the most important lessons from Tony Bennett's life: be humble, be strong, be compassionate, be positive, be kind, and do what you love to do.
Tony Bennett, "For Once In My Life" (1968)