Lyle's Blog

Frank....er Francine?

Monday, March 8, 2010

His name is Frank. Most people know him here in Central Oregon as that big guy with the crazy car. His latest car is a Chrysler Sebring convertible. You might have seen him driving down the road in a snowstorm with the top down, his dogs and cats hanging out the side. He has glued a montage of things on his hood and trunk attempting to turn his car into a work of art. I am kind of surprised that he has not been pulled over to insure that nothing will fly off going down the road and hit the car behind him.

Frank has been to just about all the churches in town. I recall the first time that I saw him, years ago in my church he was making demands that people needed to feed him. A few years back, he began playing a guitar down town close to the Pine Tavern and I actually thought that was OK. At least he was earning his keep.

He has come in in the evening a time or two and although has been demanding and annoying, he has not given me what I would call true cause to ask him to leave. Even lately, with his newest attempt at either art or making a statement. Frank has decided to become a cross-dresser. We all just pretty much ignored that...just as long as he didn't bother anyone.

This morning, as the Band of Brothers began to filter in, Cindy warned me that he was there. I looked and saw him in the entry way but it didn't look as if he was going to stay and I figured if he goes into the back room and just eats, who cares.

I was making a coffee round and the room was filling up when I noticed him. He had brought a chair over to the entryway to the main floor. He sat down on that chair, facing the guys on the floor. Hiking up his short dress, he sat legs spread right out so that all could see his fishnet stockings and blue panties. His blouse cut clear down to his belly button, with gaudy necklaces and ear rings dangling down. He had make up on and had combed his hair in a sort of bangs.

I walked up to him and asked him to move. I told him that he was blocking the entrance which was very much the truth. I hoped that he would just leave or at least go into the back room and not cause to much of a scene. But no such luck.

The next time that I came into the room, he was talking to Zin about joining the group. I grabbed Zin and asked him to follow me. We went into the waitress station and I explained that I was going to have to do something. "This is going to get real ugly if I don't, you know that.", I said. Zin agreed to back me up and one of the girls yelled into me that I needed to do something now as a couple of the vets were just about to take matters into their own hands.

I stepped out onto the floor with Zin on my back. Frank was explaining to Lauren, our vet who takes the pictures that when he takes his picture, he wants a full on shot, not just his face. "Frank!", I spoke, louder than normal. "Please follow me." I lead him to the entry way and out one of the doors. I was so glad that he agreed to follow me because I was in my mind preparing for if he refused. I knew there were enough big vets in that room that if we needed to we could just carry him out.

I was happy to see Tony, another friend and brother standing at the end of the building. With adequate backing, I made my announcement, "Frank, I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and I am now refusing service to you. Please leave and don't come back.". Now I have heard that Frank has an anger problem but he could easily see that he was far out manned with the two marines by my side. He started to walk away and then turned around and said, "But, they let gays in the military now.". "I don't give a damn about that, Frank, you are not welcomed her. Please leave and do not come back.".

With that, he left. I stood there shaking from the ordeal. I turned to Zin and said, "I have been in this business over 30 years now and I can count on one hand the number of people that I have said what I just said to him. In all my years, he is my third.". I went back into my office to help calm my nerves. I am sure that my face was quite red from it all. Judy stuck her head in the door and suggested that I call the police to at least get it on record of which I did. They told me that the next time he comes in to call them and they will make it official. After that, if he comes back in, it is criminal trespass.

As I walked through the floor pouring coffee, vet after vet thanked me for doing what I had done. But, through it all, I have no anger or hatred for Frank. Only sadness and sorrow that he feels the need for attention so badly that he does what he does. I just only hope that he heeds my words and that we don't have the need for another confrontation.

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