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Marion Franck

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 ,

Walking the Camino de Santiago: the details

My friend, Hieu, begins with underwear. “You take two,” he says, knowing the information will interest me. “Fast drying. You wear one; you wash the other one. Every night.” When he says “every night,” he means a lot of nights, almost two months’ worth. ———— Last week I wrote about the Camino de Santiago, a […]

August 05, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The movie versus the real thing

This morning I went for a walk with a friend, perhaps two miles. Although the temperature was perfect and our pace reasonable, my feet got a little sore as they often do. Three months ago, my friend Hieu Dovan, formerly of Davis, walked from southern France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 500 miles, and then […]

July 29, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Athens story touches touches Davis resident

One of my recent columns provoked a reply from a Davis resident whose related story amazed me. She doesn’t want me to use her name, but she’s willing to let me tell her tale. The column she responded to was about my visit to the Acropolis in Athens where I got caught up in the […]

July 15, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Difficult choices loom in closing down my dad’s home

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. She has revised this column slightly since it first ran in February 2006. In my father’s apartment in New York City, his watch still tells time. His freezer bulges with three half-gallons of ice cream, and they don’t even have icicles yet. In the refrigerator, the […]

July 08, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

What do families really want from their summer vacations?

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the week off. This column has been slightly revised since it first appeared in 1999. On the seventh day of our vacation in Alaska, a TV newsman announced that the local golf course had been closed. It seems that a bear killed a moose on the course. (I suppose […]

July 01, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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