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Marion Franck

American soldiers honored at cemetery in France

France gave the United States a piece of land in perpetuity for the graves of American soldiers who died on D-day or in related operations. My husband and I visited a couple of weeks ago. It is not my habit to visit gravesites. The American Cemetery occupies 172.5 acres on the high ground above Omaha […]

October 16, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Ah the joys of France: Wine, food, roundabouts

Davis has five roundabouts and my colleague Bob Dunning doesn’t like any of ‘em. For your sake, Bob, I checked out the real thing — in France. A French person would probably regard our roundabouts as trifling, since they usually bring together no more than two streets. A French roundabout is a maelstrom of 3-7 […]

October 09, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Give me the right tools and I remember being Mom

This week I went on one of my weirdest nostalgia trips yet, which landed me (not literally) at the Woodland Mall. This happened after I hunted up my children’s baby books and read about their potty training. My reading was provoked by current events with my grandchild, 2, who is being potty trained. Thursday he […]

How perfectly planned does a proposal need to be?

My husband proposed marriage the moment the idea came to him, in a parking lot outside a restaurant in San Diego, without a ring or plans for a ring, and I liked it that way. Ever since, I’ve thought that spontaneity is the way to go with an engagement. However, recently my view has changed. […]

Doula: An unfamiliar word, an important profession

Today I want to tell you about a field in which California is a leader and Davis is ahead of the pack, but first I’ll explain my personal connection. My daughter has two children, a two-year old and a newborn. Even though she gave birth to her first child at a famous medical center, Stanford […]

What do we do with the fear they left behind?

* Editor’s note: This in updated version of a column that ran three weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. Despite our flag-waving bravado, the terrorists succeeded: They created fear. I see it in a shaky stock market, canceled plane trips, and extremes of security, such as the reported ban on toenail-clippers in carry-on luggage. I see it […]

I’ve planned my next step; will Obama follow suit?

I have a friend who used to write editorials for the New York Times. “It was the pinnacle,” he admitted over dinner recently in Chicago where he moved for the sake of his kids, took a job with the Chicago Tribune, and later became a college professor. Although I’ve read some of Don’s writing, I […]

A celebrity I saw in person honks his way into Heaven

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in May 2006. Last week, reading an obituary, I felt sad about the death of a man I never knew and never saw — except when he wore a clown suit. I was 7 and Lew Anderson was 32 years old when he became the […]

Moments in a waiting room can be important

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in 2005. I am sitting in a waiting room in Kaiser Permanente at Morse Avenue. I don’t belong to Kaiser, but I have driven my elderly friend Mr. Y to his medical appointment. Kaiser is renovating the building, so a fairly large number of […]

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Book speaks to the young, and maybe to me, too

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in slightly different form 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” […]

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Reunion reminds me how I became a kayaker

Nearly 20 years ago I drove six hours and arrived all alone at Sundance Kayak School in southern Oregon for my first lessons in whitewater kayaking. In order not to leave our young children, my husband and I had decided to try this new sport one at a time, I the first summer, he the […]

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Seeking a connection with a stranger in Queens

* Editor’s note: Marion is on summer vacation. This column first appeared in January 2005. Today I am on the subway, thundering towards the apartment of my mother’s oldest living friend, Vera, who resides in Jackson Heights, Queens. My mother and Vera met at work in the 1940s, but they didn’t see much of each […]

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Does repetitive work have to fence people in?

* Editor’s note. Marion Franck is on vacation. This column originally ran January 2003. Today I feel like a mouse in a cage. I’m sitting where I always sit, with a window in front of me and another to my right, looking out on the green of my backyard, normally very soothing, but this time […]

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I await the moment of birth in two locations

“This kind of news never ceases to amaze,” wrote a good friend after I sent out the email from Wisconsin announcing the birth of my second grandson. I’m grateful to her for capturing something that is deeply true: nothing is more anticipated than the birth of a baby — calculated down to the day of […]

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