Marion Franck

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 ,

Old dog trying new tricks (gulp) speaks out

Longtime readers have followed me through thick and thin as I became a hospice volunteer, got braver about singing and plunged into new rapids in my kayak. Recently, I took on something else that’s new, something that scares me much more than holding the hands of the dying. What did I do? I took a […]

October 26, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Back on the job hunt again

Sometimes when I rerun an old column stuff happens. This summer I reran a 2007 story about a UC Davis graduate, Kate Eby, who was struggling to find her first job. She was looking hard and wondered why her shiny new education didn’t do the trick. I sensed — and I said so in the […]

October 12, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

I return to the mountains and memories of Mom

As soon as my husband and I arrive home from a vacation in Banff, Canada, I look for the photo album that I should have studied before I left. Although I keep photos on my computer now, my old ones — those from the years we were raising children — are stored in thick, heavy albums numbered 1-14. The […]

September 28, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Unexpected treasures from the summer

This summer was marked by two strokes of public genius. Genius, like humor, is wonderful because it unites us in a common “Wow!” even though each one of us processes events differently. I find that certain kinds of genius reach in and grab my emotions — positive ones — the way music does or a […]

September 14, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. This column first ran in 2008. I don’t know how this happened, but my husband won’t watch “my” movies anymore. When we were dating, we went to the movies together. When we had young children, we escaped to the movies. Even now, we see new flicks […]

August 31, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

If freshman year ends on a high note, what about Year 2?

Several things changed this year about a young man named Corbin Gomez. Among the most dramatic are his email style and his hair. I first met and interviewed Corbin when he was a high school senior. I interviewed him again after his first year at UC Davis and wrote about his freshman experience. Recently, I […]

August 24, 2014 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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