Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still Under Daddy: The Singer, Writer and Rodeo Gal

Fairly or not, there are some names that a child will never escape. They are the victims who live under the shadow their father cast by his life and work, no matter how successful they may be on their own.

After admitting that he expected nothing of the son because of how much he admired the father, Nat Hentoff profiled Frank Sinatra Jr. [Earlier: Ol' (Pale) Blue Eyes] and snagged a a quote and mood that sums up much of his life as "His Son: "There's very little demand for my recordings," Jr. says in a somewhat bitter, somewhat regretful manner.

There's also little presumably little demand for the works of physics teacher Felix "son of bestselling mystery author Dick" Francis. This despite the father's reliance on the son for help with his own books. The natural thing, then, is for son to co-author with his father and share a title as a bestselling author.

It is one way of sneaking under the radar, as is taking on your dad's business, but keeping the name. That's the strategy of bronco gal Kirsten Vold, who took over the Harry Vold Rodeo Co. from dad, even though that was never his plan. All seems to be going well for her and she is slowly gaining respect at "the big man," but her biggest problem (like all the others) remains. Dad's still the guy to take her down a peg even if the general public can be encouraged to respect her for who she is. "I'd say he probably can still take a whippin' belt down with me," she admits about her retired octogenarian father.

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