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“‘We’ll fix that in a minute,’ he told me. ‘First, remember to tell your wife, Jane, to get in the car when I start singing “My Way.” I want to go by Patsy’s and pick up some pizzas for the plane.’

“Who thought this could work, intimacy in an arena filled with thousands and thousands of people, but he pulled it off. He turned the Garden into a shadowy, three-in-the-morning Second Avenue saloon. You could have heard a pin drop.

“Then, just like that, when it seemed no more than a moment had passed … Frank launched into ‘My Way.’ The ignition was turned in the limo, the pizzas were pulled from the ovens, the plane raced down the runway, and we were laughing and eating pepperoni as the jet climbed into the stratosphere.”

Eat your heart out, Simon Cowell.

John Greenya is a Washington-area writer.