• While reading this, with smiles and hahas, I got to thinking, “What will we learn that Frankie is doing today?” But yes, it was a great story. Just the kind of read to break up the seriousness of many days! Thanks so much Paul! And thank you Susan for guesting (is that the word) Paul on your blog.

    • Thanks Patricia. Regrettably, I don’t know what he is up to these days as I left for greener pastures and lost touch. I would not be at all surprised if he is still painting as, once he got the hang of surface preparation, he became quite good at it.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Being a writer, all I could think of is how this might make a wonderful little novel:) Paul…my admiration for you grows with each post and Susan, this was a great one for you to share:) I’ll remember that these are the best 7 words in any language:) But like Patricia…I’d like to know where Frankie is now???

    • Hi Jaqueline. Thanks so much. I value your opinion as you know what you are doing. I expect that a series of school tales might be quite entertaining now the statute of limitations has expired !

  • Mary Stephenson

    Love the story and a great take a way is that everyone has a purpose and each is useful, if only given a chance and guidance. It made me laugh.

    • Thanks Mary. Even Miisguidance Counsellors occasionally get it right !

  • Brilliant Paul. What a hilarious tale, and amazing that the PM’s office bothered to reply, and clearly in the spirit of the thing too. Great post.

    • Thanks A.K, I actually worked briefly for the London Treasury and allowed the taxpayer to fund me through the L.S.E before deciding to make an honest living. The dry sense of humour of the senior civil servants remains one of my warmest memories of the time.

  • So clever. Paul, I am a little cynical and wondering how you may have embellished Frankie’s story just a bit to make us enjoy it. (And enjoy it I did!) I also wonder if part of you is Frankie … 😉

    • Thank you Leora. I will freely admit to seldom letting the facts get in the way of an anecdote but in this case no embellishment was necessary. I was amazed at the effort and detail he put into the letters and would bet he never wrote anything so lengthy before or since. Probably the part we most had in common stems from both having changed schools many times. I was the academic swot and he the polar opposite so for each our propensity for mischief was on some level a means of fitting in.

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    As if we didn’t know Paul was already quite the writer 😉 It’s great to see you taking on multiple areas of nonfiction. I used to always love it as a teacher when a more academic student such as yourself would take time with a Frankie or two. I don’t doubt his drive in writing those letters one bit. We’re all driven, it’s just a matter of tapping into what that one “thing” is.

    • Thanks Jeri, My dad instilled that we can learn something from everyone we meet if we allow ourselves to do so and it may have been the single most valuable lessons I learned from him.

  • Debra Yearwood

    Loved Frankie’s story. As a former political assistant I have received some crazy letters from constituents and have answered them all. Frankie’s would have been considered a treasure. 🙂

    Paul you are always so funny and clever and this story is no exception. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thanks Debra. Its too bad that privacy considerations would prevent a collection of such letters to government being published. I imagine it would be hilarious !

  • maxwell ivey

    Hi susan; first, you don’t have to sell me on paul. I hav ben reading him for a while now. He nevr fails to deliver wisdom and laughs. this story was one of his best ever. i laughed until i cried. and i am impressed by your total disregard for th truth and th obstacles involved in getting franky a job. my dad would have called you a promote or an instigator and he was a world class story teller. Paul, i think you should submit this to one of those short story contests. you would probably win first prize. and i bet this story gets you invited to partis or gets you out of buying a few rounds in your favorite watering hole. Paul, thanks for sharing and susan thanks for having him on. both of you take care, Max

    • Hey Max, as a kid I never questioned that the end justified the means so having got him into quite a few scrapes through that outlook, the least I could do was use it to help him out. My watering hole companions all subscribe to And Have Some Fun In The Process so the anecdotes are definitely a two way street !

  • Oh how I loved this post I am going to pop on over and have a look at Paul’s site now because I am awesome like that…………lol Also I like to annoy and stalk new people

    • The stalker becomes the stalked ! Thanks Jo-Anne !

  • What a fabulous and funny story, with some sage sharing as well! “Every job applicant, however delusional, should have the courtesy of a response.” I couldn’t agree more.

    • Thanks Michelle. I have seen a good many delusional ones over the years but the small amount of time it takes to provide a prompt and courteous response promotes more goodwill, avoids more ill feelings and probably raises more self-esteem than most would imagine.

  • Pat Ruppel

    Loved this story by Paul, Susan. Thank you for sharing him with us. I love that persistence played a big part along with working hard to help him do it right in spite of being an accomplice to misdemeanors.

    I also like that Paul didn’t squelch his high expectations for employment. It says a lot in how much he cared for him and went a long way in how he may have turned out.

    • Thanks Pat, I don’t think it is ever our place to dismiss someone’s aspirations but rather to help them achieve whatever they can

      • Pat Ruppel

        You’re welcome, Paul. So true in helping others achieve whatever they can.

  • Let me express my great appreciation to Susan for the opportunity to guest on her wonderful blog. As this my first such invite I’m not sure of the protocol so hope that I will not outstay my welcome if I respond directly to comments as is my habit . Thanks to all for allowing me to visit And Have Some Fun In The Process !

    • Paul, it was my pleasure. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you were able to keep up with the commenting. My life has been nothing short of a blur of challenges of late. Your post was a God send and I loved it. 🙂

  • Brilliantly done, Paul! A modern day fable, indeed, but one with a strong lesson to set your goals high and modify them as necessary. Thx to you and Susan for sharing.

    • Thanks Doreen, I think you have the essence of it. A shortfall in one goal can often be soothed by achievement of another

  • Meredith Wouters

    I truly loved this story, as well as the seven words. I would love to hear more of Paul and Frankie’s adventures together. They brought a big smile to my day and I’ll remember the lesson for sure!

    • Hi Meredith. Perhaps at some point I will record some more of the youthful antics. For sure the Seven Words would be readily apparent in all of them

  • Paul what a great story. I have to laugh when I read your story as I have written a post asking for you define your brand in 5 words. I guess great minds think alike. Great material for a book. It kept my interest, but I have to Paul your posts usually do.

    • Thanks Arleen. I enjoyed your post and though I rely on only 2 words for the brand … integrity and innovation… these 7 are definitely the byline !

  • Paul and Susan, neither one of you ever disappoints. I love reading your stories and this one was another wonderful one – funny yet with the odd tug on the heart. I like the saying “have fun in the process” – that does make life so much more interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Lenie, Susan’s is certainly one of my favourite blogs and I really had fun in the process of guesting here.

  • What a fun story, Paul! He was right that politicians would benefit from an apprentice program. The folks in Washington sure don’t know what they’re doing most of the time! I would venture to say that the politicians in other countries could learn a lot from Frankie too!

    • Hi Jeannette, I thought at the time that PM Harold Wilson had set a new record for cluelessness but as they say, records are meant to be broken and for the subsequent years the bar has been lowered beyond my worst nightmares !

  • Holly Higbee-Jansen

    Fun Story and certainly teaches a lesson to go out and grab what you want in life!

    • Thanks Holly. We were never shy to take what we needed !

  • Lisa Voncino

    You appreciated the unique qualities in this boy and did not cause him to stumble by setting up roadblocks in his way. I am disappointed that Frankie did not receive a response from the Vatican.

    • Hi Lisa, he was energetic and loyal with a heart of gold, not the worst of qualities for a papal candidate !

  • Laurie Hurley

    Now that was excellent. Such a smooth read and, of course, I loved the ending. I don’t think people have enough fun and laugh as much as they could. Frankie and you definitely made quite a team and the lesson of always responding to a letter (email, post, etc) is not one that should be taken lightly. Totally enjoyed that story and kudos to you for giving Frankie something loftier to which aspire.

    • Hi Laurie, I take both of the lessons very much to heart. Strangely, I have run into several buyers over the years who had previously received a polite and prompt rejection from my companies and who made reference to the fact before giving us the order ! That is certainly not the prime reason to be courteous but it does reinforce the karma !

  • Kudos Paul. This tremendously delightful story reminds me of a number of youthful misadventures. I laughed at the letter to the PM. Maybe while Frankie paints, he can climb the ecclesiastical ladder. I can see it now… Bishop Frankie repaints the Sistine Chapel. 😉

    My seven words: Always persist in the face of adversity.

    • Hi Bill perhaps we should collaborate on a collection and let readers guess which of us perpetrated each ! I trust the current pope appreciates that he could not have been Francis 1st if Francesco had not cleared the field for him !