Remembering Frannie

Published 7:42 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And, I’m on it and there’s a of traffic going both ways.

How many times, do we say “I’m going to do this or that” but keep putting it off and off again until it’s too late.

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News of the recent death of Fran Sharp, was a sorrowful shock.  Fran and I worked together as writers for both The Messenger and The Troy Progress. We became good friends. 

Fran was her own person, a bit kooky at times, but that made for a fun friend.

Once I had a splinter deep in my hand. Fran’s husband, Joe, was a doctor here in Troy, and he agreed to make a home visit at his home.

“Your hand looks infected,” Fran said.  “The splinter is down deep and getting it out is going to hurt.  Now, Joe will probably charge you an arm and a leg because he’ll have to deaden it.” 

When Joe came out of his “home” office, he had on a welder’s mask, pliers in his hand, a sledge hammer and was flashing a butcher’s knife. His assistant Nurse Fran, came through with a bedpan. I couldn’t figure that.

But, that’s was vintage Sharp, Fran and Joe.

So, I was not surprised when Fran re-decorated her bathroom in a Minnie and Mickey Mouse motif, hemmed her skirt with Elmer’s glue and colored her hair with shoe polish.

There were no dull times when Fran was around.

I don’t remember much about our time together at The Messenger. But, oh, those days at The Troy Progress, a weekly newspaper, that hit the streets on Tuesdays. All day Monday and late into the night, Don Herring’s all-female staff fussed and fumed and came close to hair pulling trying to get the Progress ready to go out. We were all so ill- tempered that Don gave us Tuesdays off to cool down before we came back to work.

The Progress was housed in a haunted house on South Brundidge Street so we, the female staff, would sit around the table at lunch and tell haunting stories. We would cry through “I’ll Love You Forever” and read other children’s books. We would fuss over who got the most tomatoes in the fried veggie box from a market across town. Such fun times.

So, when Fran moved north to Wilsonville, we talked on the phone, sometimes, and we planned to get together often.  We did both, sometimes, but not often.

Once, Fran came back to Troy and we had lunch. I visited her once in her new hometown. The last time was a long time ago at a restaurant somewhere near Mountain Brook. It was a good time and a fun time. But, we both had things to do.

So, we said “goodbye” to each other. We didn’t really mean it. But it was, goodbye.