A Tale of Two Franks

Today is the last day of school in my town.  And in the spirit of my last few posts, I'd like to thank two Franks for making it another wonderful year.

First there is Frank the crossing guard.  Yes, I know his last name, but to me and everyone else who crosses Elmwood Road, he is just Frank.  He's the guy who knows every kid, every parent, and every pet by name.  (He always has treats for his four legged friends who are out for a walk).  He keeps our kids safe, not just by crossing them safely across the road (which gets more treacherous every year as more people speed by ignoring the fact that there is a school).  He watches out for them as they walk away.  If a parent isn't there, he knows.  He says hello to all who walk by and quite often, cars will slow down and passengers and drivers will shout out "Hello Frank."  They may be past students or just locals who have come to know Frank as he has been on the same corner for so many years.

Is it any wonder that today, this last day of school, he in addition to his "Stop" sign, he was laden down with cards and gifts?  And that when school starts again in September that kids and parents alike will be running up to him, eager to greet him once more and tell him about their summer adventures?

The other Frank is rarely addressed as Frank.  To all he is Mr. Albano.  Well maybe not to all, after all, besides being Principal at Laning Avenue School (which for those of you who don't know is on Lanning Road...don't ask...we don't know either) for the past 13 years, Mr. Albano was once a student in the same town.  Maybe that's what makes him so good at what he does.  He knows the town and the heart of the people.

Mr. Albano, like the other Frank, knows every child and parent by name.  He is always at the door in the morning to let them in.  Once the first crowd is in, he will go out into the street and help direct traffic (again keeping "his" kids safe).

I'll never forget the time we took my son in to register for kindergarten.  We took our paperwork into the school office and Mr. Albano made sure to come out and introduce himself to my son.  Even before he was a student there, Mr Albano was looking after him; making sure that he would be comfortable in his new surroundings.

Today marks the last day of Mr. Albano's "reign" at Laning Avenue; like one of my favorite former teachers, Ms Varallo (http://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/50-is-magic-number.html), Mr. Albano is retiring. It is well deserved, but I'll have to selfishly admit, I wish he'd waited two more years until my son was finished with elementary school.  I am sure in the fall that Laning will have a fine Principal, but we will never have another Mr. Albano.   No one can fill those shoes; I wouldn't want anyone to even try.

Thankfully, our beloved crossing guard Frank will be back at his post come September.  To have both men leave us at the same time would be too much.

Mr. Albano, I wish you all the best in your retirement.  Know that "your" kids will never forget you.

And Frank, have a wonderful summer.  One of the best things about the return to school in the fall is to see your face and know that all is well with our corner of the world.

Thank you Frank and Frank for being there for my child.  You have both helped him to grow into the third grader he is about to become.  My family is blessed for having you both in our lives.


  1. Nice one! You know I can't imagine living somewhere where there is a crossing guard-not many can say that anymore!


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