Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

From a chance visit follow family, friends, home

MarionFranckW

By
From page A6 | August 03, 2014 |

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. She is repeating this column — her first as an Enterprise writer in 1996 — in honor of Maggie Schimmel, who died recently at age 95. Maggie is not named in the column, but she is the grandmother who offered wise words at Patwin Elementary School. Maggie moved from Davis in 2003 and spent her last years living near her daughter in Oregon.

Recently, my husband suggested moving. Not right away, he assured me, not while our kids are in school, not even when they go to college, but maybe after he retires 20 years from now.

He thinks it might be fun to live either in the city of his childhood (San Francisco) or in the kind of countryside we both love (near a river, just about anywhere).

No longer pliable about following a man, I gave him a firm “no.”

But it was my willingness to follow a man that got me to Davis in the first place.

I had been in graduate school in the Midwest, seriously dating a man with a military obligation. He was called to duty at McClellan Air Force Base in June 1974, and I followed two months later.

I moved into his apartment, kicked off my shoes and started through the want ads. It’s hard to imagine how my life would be different had I placed first, rather than second, in the running for a job as executive secretary to the director of the California Association of Funeral Directors.

The day after I lost out on that position (and since I still harbored illusions about finishing my dissertation), I took a break and drove to Davis looking for a university library.

I won’t say it was love at first sight, exactly, but I will say that driving through that crazy underpass toward downtown I felt a pleasant respite from the traffic lights and concrete of housing near McClellan Air Force Base.

What was then called the UC Davis Women’s Center was located on the corner of campus closest to the underpass, so I stopped there first.

Only a few minutes later, I found myself sniffling in the office of a kind person who understood that moving to a new place is one of life’s under-recognized emotional land mines.

I didn’t make it to the library that day, but I did consult the job list and soon began commuting here, 40 minutes each way, to work as a secretary/editor in the medical school.

When Jerry and I broke up, the move to Davis was as inevitable as the tears, and I landed in Portage Bay Apartments, which are still home to many single people.

I met my future husband, Bob, in the hot tub and have been circulating in Davis ever since.

Davis is neither as cosmopolitan (San Francisco) nor as beautiful (river) as I would like, but it has become home. My closest friends are here, as well as many acquaintances, and if I open the phone book to any page, I will know somebody.

At Safeway, some of the checkers can say my name without peeking at my check. And when I wait in line at the Holiday Cinema, at least one person who walks out of the early show will know me well enough to tell me if I need tissues. I like that.

So I began marshaling arguments to convince Bob we should stay in Davis, until about a month ago, when something happened.

I was at Patwin Elementary School, perched on a child-sized chair at a loud, festive luncheon in my son’s classroom. While my son fetched me a cookie, I chatted with a white-haired grandmother who was sitting next to me, and she told she had moved to Davis from Iowa, where she and her husband had farmed and lived in the same small town since childhood.

“I’ve been in Davis two years,” she said. “I’m happy here now.”

“But how could you leave home,” I asked her, “after all that time?”

“I thought I never would,” she replied. “All of our friends were in Iowa. I told my children out west I’d never move.” She looked at me with warm blue eyes. “Are you sure you want to hear the truth about this?”

I nodded and, of course, she sighed and spoke of loss. Friends who died, traditions gone, infirmities that made old age hard going in the snow.

In Davis I won’t have to worry about snow.

But my friends, like hers, are mostly of my own generation. We’ll die around the same time, and if somehow I’m the one who outlives others, I may feel again as lonely as I did that day I came through the underpass and found refuge at the Women’s Center.

So it may not be forever, Davis, but for now, I hold you close.

I think that’s where this column begins.
— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at marionf2@gmail.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

 
Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8