Tony Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in 1961, the year I did JFK’s 50-mile hike as an athletic challenge. That sports intensity later gave me an extremely high physical training score in basic training at Fort Sam Houston. They rewarded me with an early pass to leave my heart in San Antonio, the loneliest day of my life at that time.

By myself, far from home, I erased the blues in a great little jazz club. A generation earlier, the military demoted Tony Bennett for having lunch with an African American friend. Bennett refused to perform in Apartheid South Africa, and was known to sneak Duke Ellington into “whites only” clubs so they could play together. By 1965, Bennett, by then a prominent white celebrity, did the Civil Rights March on Selma. His World War II combat experience made him a lifelong advocate for nonviolence, and he was one of the few who spoke out against our invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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