Let’s Be Frank

By on October 24, 2018

Five years ago I wrote about two wonderful men, both named Frank. The other day I got the sad news that Frank, the crossing guard, had died.

It was not unexpected. Frank had retired from his post, sold his home, and moved in with family. Several years back, after Frank had retired from his post, one of his family members wisely set up a breakfast where friends could come and visit with him. I was working and my son was away at camp, but my husband (who did most of the walking with my son to school) went. It was a special morning; just like every morning was with Frank. My husband could see that Frank wasn’t doing too well; it was a bittersweet time for all who did go.

Every time I pass by “Frank Corner” (and I truly think it needs to be officially named that), I think of him. There are new crossing guards and I’m sure they do their jobs splendidly, but there will never be another Frank.

He was there before my son started elementary school and he was there after he moved on to middle school (but not much longer). I am so grateful that he was there, not just for my son, but for my whole family.

I know next to nothing about Frank’s private life. All I know about him comes from watching him on the corner. He had treats for his four-legged friends. He had treats for his “kids” when they lost a tooth or perhaps had done something else that was worth noting. More importantly, he knew every kid by name. He knew their parents too. He greeted us all with a smile and a kind word. If you were having a bad morning, all you needed was a hello from Frank to turn your day around.

READ  Bernard F. Ludlow, 74

Most importantly, Frank cared for and about every single child that crossed his path. He didn’t just get them across the street. He made sure they were safe. He watched out for them. He let them know that they were each special in their own unique way. No child was unloved when Frank was around.

I’m pretty sure that Frank knew how loved he was by the children, their parents, their family and the community. He was bogged down on the last day of each school year with gifts and, more importantly, good wishes. I know wasn’t stingy with my appreciation. As far as I can tell, when it came to Frank there was no holding back on what we all felt for him.

In his honor, I’d like to suggest that we all take the time this week to be kind to those in our community. It might be as simple as saying hello to all that we meet or pass during the day. It might be taking the time to play with, read or simply listen (REALLY listen) to a child. Maybe it is helping a neighbor. Or maybe it’s stopping and letting a pedestrian safely cross. Let our actions for one day or even an hour, reflect what Frank gave to us by just being himself.

READ  Paulette A. Campbell, 68

Let’s all slow down and be Frank.

The obituary for Frank Meletti Jr. can be found here.

Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For five years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.

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One Comment

  1. Rosy

    November 5, 2018 at 8:30 am

    He truly was a kind soul. Loved him and my daughter thought the world of him. Always a kind word and hello and of course a treat for the neighborhood pets. He was loved by all!

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