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Fun Facts 

I forgot our 40th Anniversary. To make up for my snafu, on my wife’s birthday, I took her to a favorite restaurant. I'd given her a handwritten note, Happy Birthday ... Love, Frank. She said  it was the best card she'd ever gotten. But it got better. I led her into a private room where 35 of our friends awaited her at a surprise birthday party. 


Catalina Island got my attention when I was in the Marines. Visiting it decades later, I rented a car that someone dinged. I covered the spot with mud and turned it in. I got away with it.


When visiting Canada one time, there was a fire alarm in the hotel in the middle of the night. We had to go down 19 flights. The lobby was loaded with people in PJ’s and robes, just like me and my wife. An hour later, we could return ... but the elevators weren’t working. Up we went 19 flights!


What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I was swimming in a pool in a Las Vegas hotel. When I climbed out, my wedding band was missing. Diving back in, I couldn’t find it. Contacting security, thinking I would get some help. The look I got back was priceless. Lesson ... what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Three minutes can make a difference. A group of teachers and students were on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. At the end of the trip, a few students didn’t make it to the parked buses. Another teacher and I returned to find the missing students. Nature called and a restroom was within steps of the door. I used it and returned within three minutes. During those three minutes, the teacher found the missing students and escorted them to the buses. I waited for about ten minutes then looked for the buses, but they were gone. They had assumed I had already boarded one of the buses. I took a cab ride to return to the school. My bad, the school didn’t reimburse me.


Halloween, 8th grade ... I’m dressed as a cowboy—hat, boots, toy pistol on my belt. Turns out that 8th graders weren’t supposed to dress is costume for the day. My day was filled with snickers from my classmates ... and not the Snickers you can eat. Moral ... pay attention to the teachers ... they did tell all of us in my class not to dress like the little kids. I vowed that I’d start listening to the teacher instead of fooling around. That lasted for about a week.


I was holding four tens. I was playing in a Poker Tournament sponsored by the Chicago Charitable Games. The guy opposite me had gone all in. I knew I had the winning hand. I called him  and confidently laid down my cards. The guy opposite me laid down a straight flush. I was knocked out of the tournament. I headed to a cash game, where you play with your own money. But my unlucky streak continued. I lost $400..


Returning from Las Vegas, I deplaned and headed for the restrooms. Moving quickly through the entry door, I saw three women and realized I had gone through the wrong door—I was in the Women’s Restroom. I was in such a rush to get out, I tripped on the railing separating the entrance and exits. Now I’m on my hands and knees. All I could do was get up and run out, never looking back.


In 6th grade, we had recess inside on a rainy day. We played poker for pennies. One of the guys said, “I’m raising you a dime.” A dime was a lot for me at that time. (This was in 1959)  I dropped out. When he laid down his cards, he had nothing—it was a bluff. I’d learned my first poker lesson: scared money don’t win—you need a good bankroll to play. Remembering the experience, I replayed the scene in my novella, The Ultimate Bet.


The school where I taught was getting an addition added on. I forgot something in my car, which was parked a block away. The addition site was surrounded by a chain link fence. The kids would be let into the school in about ten minutes. To save time, I climbed the fence. I swung my legs over the top rail to jump down, but my right pant leg got snagged on one of the tips on the top rail. It ripped open a tear about a foot long. I asked a few teachers if they had a needle and thread so I could  sew up my pants. They didn’t have them.


I was out of time. I called my wife to bring me another pair of pants. The kids were coming in, lining up outside my classroom. It took Gloria a half hour to get to the school. Until new pants arrived, I stood behind my desk instead of walking around the classroom as I normally did. 


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