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Lauren Keene

Would you go on a Disney cruise? Would I?

“We’re going on a Disney cruise,” I told friends who asked about my travel plans in January. I couldn’t see my own face when I said this, but I heard myself sigh or giggle nervously. Disney? Me? I couldn’t care less about Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the rest of that crowd. I’ve never been […]

A building burns, and a town comes together

Small towns can do some things that larger towns like Davis cannot, a fact that was demonstrated to me last month. On Dec. 14, just after 3 p.m. my Coloma-Lotus listserv lit up with messages and minutes later, El Dorado County Watch posted photos on line. Units were being called to a fire, a big […]

When memory goes, do we know what remains?

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. This column first ran in 2004. “Dad, I’m just wondering…” I begin, using words I have chosen carefully for their supposed casualness…. “would it be OK if wash your jeans and shirt tomorrow?” I can’t bring myself to mention his underwear which, judging by the empty […]

January 03, 2016 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

This is Paris: Beautiful, frightened, sad

When my husband and I visited Paris only two weeks after last month’s terrorist attack, we were warned away from one place specifically. My friends who have made Paris their home for 35 years said, “Stay away from La Place de la République.” The Place de la République is a large open area, they explained, […]

December 22, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

As graduation nears, student makes new choices

Corbin Gomez has changed metaphors this year — he switched from cliffs to rivers — and that means a lot. Corbin is the young man I’ve been writing about for several years in an attempt to capture something of the college experience. At the end of his sophomore year, Corbin told me, “I really like to challenge […]

December 06, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The plane to Paris leaves in five days

In spring 1986 my husband and I were scheduled for a great trip: 10 days in Paris partially paid for by a business connection. My parents agreed to care for our toddlers, so we were free to go. My best friends from graduate school, a married American couple, lived in Paris and I looked forward […]

November 22, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Mom-daughter climbers hit a snag near the top

Although the recent Everest disaster movie reminded me that I don’t want to climb mountains, in another way I have always been a climber. Put me at any tourist destination that involves going up — up a cable car, a funicular, or a stairway — and I want to do it. Until a recent moment, I’ve […]

November 08, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Support group changed a young person’s life

Two recent unrelated conversations got me thinking about an incident from long ago that reverberated in my life. In the first conversation, I told a friend about meeting Frank, who became my boyfriend soon after I started college. In the second, a friend told me she had gone to her first Al-Anon meeting. I went […]

October 25, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

What I did for summer vacation

This summer I took a vacation from writing this column, but here are some observations from that period. My extended time off taught me to look at retirement in a new way. I used to feel sorry for people who reached retirement age because it signaled getting old. But during my vacation from the column, […]

October 11, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Near the top of the globe, a special animal awaits

When I signed up to be one of 10 kayakers on an Arctic expedition ship, I didn’t expect to see this: Before shoving off into the water, our friendly, cheerful kayak guide placed a rifle between her legs. Elsewhere on her person she carried a flare gun and a knife. This woman was armed for bear. We […]

September 27, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Documents reveal more of Anne Frank’s story

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in October 2006. It’s just an accident of name. The newscaster on CBS reads this line, “A newly released file of letters reveals just how close the Frank Family came to finding sanctuary overseas,” and I hear it differently from other people. I hear […]

September 13, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Folder of correspondence strikes to the heart

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in January 2006. This column contains a warning, although I don’t know exactly what my advice to you should be. Maybe I just need to recount what happened five days after my dad’s death, and if I omit some details, you’ll understand why. My […]

August 30, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The trout won the war, but I can accept that

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in January 2006. The very first thing my husband did in the New Year was something that would have caused rumblings around our house one year ago. “Do you have to do that today?” I might have asked. I might have snorted, too. Then […]

August 09, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Marion Franck: Teen’s diary tells the story of a broken heart

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in October 2006. I sit in bed way past my normal getting-up time because I am reading something so gripping that I am ready to let the entire morning slide by. A bell goes off in my head saying, “you need to get started […]

August 02, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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