The last time we heard from Frank, just a few weeks ago, he left a message on our phone that told us he had gone on “a retreat, of sorts, a bad idea,” and he wanted to know if we could pick him up and take him home. He was in Highland Hospital. Now Frank is gone.
Frank Palazolo was the new kid in our junior year of high school but he immediately launched a campaign for school president. He was the only student in my class with a mustache. He put his face on the posters and won. We were in the high school play, “Teahouse of the August Moon.” Frank played Colonel Wainwright to my Captain Fisby. He had a mischievous sense of humor. During dinner at my parents’ house Frank would say things to embarrass me.
Frank worked for an ad agency and wrote a book called “Presentations Unplugged.” He became a sought after speechwriter, writing for top executives at Kodak and Xerox. We helped Frank with his website and videoed him giving a presentation to Christa Construction executives on how to be an effective salesperson. He wowed them and us.
When I was asked to give a talk on my art at the Memorial Art Gallery, Frank insisted I come see him for advice. One thing he told me that I think of all the time was to not thank the organization for inviting you at the beginning of your talk. I remember him saying, “You will never have more of their attention than you will at the opening of your talk. And as soon as you start thanking people they start daydreaming.”
His website, originally set up to market his book, morphed into his blog, “Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion,” where he gave us his opinion on everything. Peggi and I drove Frank to the last high school reunion. Frank came to most Margaret Explosion shows. He was one of kind and we will miss him.