Marion Franck

Don’t put me in charge of ice cream, tolls or toddlers

A doggedly cheerful sound of summer made me start thinking about jobs I’d never want. I was standing on a street in South Davis when a white ice cream truck approached playing the same tune it played last summer, and many summers before that, a tune that was only fun at first. The loud, tinny […]

May 10, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

New ways of giving locally and beyond

This time last year an envelope arrived from Yolo Hospice. “Probably some kind of announcement,” I thought, but I was wrong. It was a greeting card with these words on front: “We believe in the power of love and goodness.” Inside, it stated that a donation had been made in honor of my birthday. The […]

April 26, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

On safari to Santa Rosa, what should you expect?

It was always in question whether my husband would like his birthday gift. I’d gone big and reserved a pricey overnight on June 12 in a location neither one of us had ever visited. Then he went big, with a health incident that landed him in the hospital just before our trip. We postponed the […]

April 12, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

I’m in the kitchen of our cabin by the river in Lotus, when my friend, who is getting something from her car, knocks loudly on my window and waves at me. “Come out, come out,” she cries. I drop what I’m doing and run outside. Terry is pointing to one of the flat granite steps […]

March 29, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

My acting career begins and ends on the rocks

I was standing on an outcropping of rock above pounding Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American River, watching for my friends to paddle through, when a stranger walked up to me. “My name is Chris,” he said, reaching out to shake my hand. “We’ve run into a bit of a problem with […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

“You’ve come in the wrong door,” were the first words I heard when I gently turned a knob and poked my head into a meeting. “This is the legislators’ entrance, but OK, come on in.” The meeting I joined late was a hearing of the State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. It […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Returning to a place from long ago

My daughter and her family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, several months ago for work. At that time, friends asked me if I’d ever been to Princeton myself. “Yes,” I said. “Once. On a blind date.” In 1966, when I was a sophomore at Brown University and computer data was still entered using punch cards, […]

February 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Three old ideas going, going, gone

Times are changing, mostly thanks to technology, and some things are aging out of our culture. If they remain, they’ve lost their meaning or their power. One robust information source, for example, used to be the telephone area code. The numbers were carefully planned. When area codes were first implemented in the 1950s and 60s, […]

February 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Birders of a feather flock to Davis sighting

Rarely have I heard a photo dismissed so quickly. “No, that’s not it. Nope. Not that one.” The speaker was a man in a green Prius with a license plate holder that suggested he was from out-of-town. He had stopped in the middle of a quiet block in north Davis and leaned out of his […]

January 18, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

‘Twas the night before Christmas and outside the house…

Christmas Eve is as important as Christmas in my family because it’s the day we traditionally open our gifts, a loving event we all enjoy. But this year my children and their families were not arriving until Christmas day. I was concerned that our first Christmas Eve alone might feel isolated and quiet to my […]

January 04, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Google me this: Should I hit that button?

A few days ago I was in an auditorium organizing a group of young people when suddenly I realized my phone was missing from my pocket. I found it soon enough but in bad condition. It was lying on the floor, flattened, with wires sticking out. Then it began to vibrate with an urgent phone […]

December 21, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

I’m only looking for a place to play

It’s amazing how two people with relatively similar backgrounds can look at a problem very differently. My recent example is this. I have a friend who lives in Placerville named Marsha. We have many things in common, but we particularly like to practice guitar together. Sometimes we meet between our two home towns, which means […]

December 07, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

How I want to be remembered

I’d like to leave some instructions to my children. In the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot about self-chosen death, particularly the case of Brittany Maynard, a newlywed who suffered from aggressive, fatal brain cancer and decided to make her exit before things got too bad. She took her life on Nov. 1, legally, under […]

November 23, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The inside story of going viral

A year ago one of my columns became unusually popular. Three days after I published “What You Need to Know about 6-Foot Trick-or-Treaters,” I began receiving emails from strangers around the country. Then a couple of parent-related web sites reposted the piece, which led to more email. The column was about how my son and […]

November 09, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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