Thursday, March 17, 2016

Canoga Please! The Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. — Then, Bowling!

Canoga Please! I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Frank Sinatra, Jr.  But I understand he has a Canoga Park connection — that he was brought here during his infamous 1963 kidnapping. Where exactly was the Li’l Chairman of the Board held, so that I might leave a clutch of dollar store religious candles on the sidewalk despite the fact such a display may impede the bustling traffic of unlicensed vendors pushing their carts or unlicensed pit bulls pulling their owners? —Martin Paul Dean, Baltar Street

Frank Sinatra, Jr.   Wikipedia
Dear Marty,

Sad news — as if the loss of Frank Jr. wasn't sad enough: Despite countless websites and news outlets insisting that ol’ Young Blue Eyes was taken to Canoga Park during the harrowing human heist, it was actually Winnetka — 8143 Mason Avenue, to be exact — where the younger Sinatra was held. While it may be disappointing to learn that our neighbor to the east, not us, has the distinction of temporarily housing Frank Sinatra’s son during his terrible ordeal, don’t worry — there are plenty of other violent crimes that have been committed right here in Canoga Park!

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Canoga Please! When I was a kid in Canoga Park, I used to bowl on a Canoga Park children’s bowling league at a bowling alley in Canoga Park called “Canoga Park Bowl.” Now I’m an adult still living in Canoga Park who no longer bowls. But I’ve grown a beard and bowling is cool again, and it gives me an excuse to wear multicolored suede shoes, so I want to get back into bowling. I’ve scoured every single street in Canoga Park and I can’t find the Canoga Park Bowl. I may be bowled over by your answer, but I need to know: Did the Canoga Park Bowl close? —Anthony Earl, Gault Street

File photo.
Dear Anthony,

Great news — The Canoga Park Bowl did not close, but it did change its name to the Winnetka Bowl, presumably to distance itself from the notoriety of having the same name as the town where countless websites and news outlets insist Frank Sinatra, Jr. was held during his kidnapping. 

Also, it’s located in Winnetka. 

By the way, bowling has always been cool, and the Winnetka Bowl (formerly the Canoga Park Bowl) is a cool place to do it. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Winnetka to have a good time — there are plenty of alleys and gutters right here in Canoga Park where lots of men can be seen enjoying themselves every day.
—Burton Cantara

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  1. 8143 Mason Avenue was indeed in Canoga Park at the time of the kidnapping. The district of Winnetka was formed out of eastern Canoga Park in the 1990s.

    1. Just as Adam gave birth to Eve from his rib, so did Canoga Park form Winnetka from its side. Or you could say we had a Winnetkadectomy! Thanks for writing in—your free "I Corrected The Editors At The Canoga Park Quilt T-Shirt And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" is in the mail!