Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Yearbook: Frank

The year was 1982. We danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and watched “E.T.” on the silver screen. John Belushi died and Prince William was born. We exercised  to Jane Fonda video tapes and never missed watching “Dynasty” on TV. Gas cost 91 cents a gallon and a stamp two dimes. We were spooked by the Tylenol scare and held our breath as the recession began.
It was a year of promise and pain, of sweetness and sorrow.

But it was OUR year. 

We were the Class of 1982, and we were ready to take on the world.    

Frank (Yearbook post/1982)

Gina, to a really neat girl I’ve known for awhile now. I thank you and the others for trying to keep me awake Period 6. I also enjoyed the friendship we had in calc. You’re a very special person and I wish the best to you in everything you do. Love, Frank



Frank was forever falling asleep in class. But I would, too, if I were stocking grocery store shelves until 2 in the morning. By the time he got home it was almost time to get back up. School started at 7:40. But Frank’s family needed the money. He never talked about his dad and I got the feeling that he left when Frank was really young.

His mom worked at the mini mart in town during the day and cleaned office buildings at night. He had three sisters who weren’t old enough to work. He told me one time how embarrassed he was that his family got food stamps and that he qualified for a reduced lunch at school. He hated being poor.

I was so happy that he got a college scholarship. Actually, he was offered several. Despite falling asleep and not doing his homework half the time he was one of the smartest kids in our class. In fact, he was nudged out by Brad for salutatorian by tenths of a point.

Frank decided to attend the local university so he could continue to help out at home. He was one of those kids who you never felt got a break. But that changed in college. A professor took him under his wing and mentored him. I guess he saw potential in Frank and wanted to help him. Turned out that Frank earned his undergrad in business and went on to get his MBA.

He’s doing quite well from what Mom tells me. And she sent me a newspaper clipping of Frank starting a program in our high school for kids interested in business. He got other business leaders in the community to help mentor the kids. The students set up a store in the school and were learning the ins and outs of running a business.

And all this from a kid I constantly had to nudge to wake up in calc class. It makes me smile. 

Other posts in this blog series

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Frank's story. It's an inspiring one.