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Marion Franck

We’re gonna be so smart by the time we die

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the week off. This column has been slightly edited since it first ran in January 2002. I sure feel smart sometimes. That goes for my husband, too. For example, lately we’ve been celebrating our decision to buy land in Coloma, and we’re getting serious about plans to build a […]

November 11, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

His missteps remind me of my own

We all have things that we learn late, sometimes too late to rectify. For example, Babette, when you had the very first baby in our crowd, I should have sent a gift. At the least, I should have called you. Having that child was the most important moment in your life, and I didn’t even […]

November 04, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Got a book inside you? Here’s what you can do

“My goal,” says new author Dick Linford, “is to sell a minimum of 2,000 copies.” “Why that number?” I ask. “I have no idea.” Thirty-five years ago I worked for Dick as a river guide, and I’m happy to be one of his 2,000 purchasers. His book, “Halfway to Halfway,” co-authored with fellow raft company […]

October 28, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Key moments float right by me

When it comes to debates, the sad fact is that I need pundits to see what I saw. Worse yet, I need commentators to tell me what I felt. Debates show me that I go through life missing things that are right in front of my eyes. Here’s an example from last Tuesday’s presidential debate. […]

October 21, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The 25-year marker seems especially big

It’s Tuesday, Oct. 9, and I’m leaving my guitar lesson feeling good. We tried some new stuff, my teacher and I, and I didn’t sound terrible. Now I drive to Slide Hill Park. As I pull into the parking lot, I’m reminded that summer is over. The pools are empty, and the parking lot holds […]

October 14, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Another tech decision becomes very difficult

How can I consider giving up something that has had romantic connections for almost 40 years? And yet, why keep a device that brings me disappointment every single day? My home telephone used to be the source of my favorite phone calls: a long chat with a girlfriend, a catch-up call with my son or […]

October 07, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The Big Island is a study in contrasts

Before we flew to the Big Island for my nephew’s wedding, I had never been there, but I thought I knew what to expect. From my visits to other islands 25 years ago, I remembered Hawaii as beautiful and exotic with warm seas, nodding palm trees, fascinating volcano hikes and a tropical climate that includes […]

September 30, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Personal history lives on at Angel Island

I like going places with my daughter the historian because she raises questions I don’t think of. It happened again two weeks ago when she flew out to California for the dedication of a plaque on Angel Island honoring her grandfather. First, some background. During its years of operation, 1910-1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station […]

September 23, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

I couldn’t believe it, but vacation isn’t all good

* Editor’s note: This column first appeared in September 2005. I thought I understood the concept of a vacation, especially a vacation from writing this column. The pressure of producing something new every week was getting to me, I longed for a break from routine, and I thought vacation would fix me up just fine. […]

September 16, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Homegrown recognition for a special roommate

In our house, there’s a room we call “Mim’s Room.” Whenever we have a guest, the first thing we say is, “You can stay in Mim’s Room.” Rarely do we explain who Mim is, why we named the room after her and why the name has stuck for 25 years after she left. Even I […]

September 09, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Promises of summer: some lost, some found

* Editor’s note: This column first ran in slightly different form in 1999. Here’s what’s worse than New Year’s resolutions. Summer resolutions. They’re worse because, in addition to being doomed to failure like New Year’s resolutions, they’re superfluous. No one asks, “What’s your summer resolution, Marion?” I blame my teachers for the fact that I make […]

September 02, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

On the plane with bridal parties, young and old

I feel lucky as I take my aisle seat on our flight to Hawaii with almost a dozen family members. The most important travelers, the wedding couple, my nephew and his bride, are seated just across from me. The couple next to me, however, are not with our group, so I greet them in conventional […]

August 26, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Thirtysomething, with family, looking for a nest

* Editor’s note: This column first ran in May 2000 Last weekend our family said good-bye to dear friends who are moving out of state. I met Barb, the wife, 15 years ago when she responded to my ad at UC Davis Student Employment for a reliable babysitter. The second of nine children, Barb seemed a […]

August 19, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Book speaks to the young, and maybe me

* EDITOR’S NOTE: This column first ran in 2005. I recently read a novel that I should have read 35 years ago. Unfortunately, when I was young enough for this book, the author was young, too, and hadn’t written it yet. If I had read “The Alchemist” (1988) when I “should” have, I wouldn’t have the love-hate […]

August 12, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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