My wife Karen and I moved to CA from NJ six years ago. The job would be about 20 minutes from where Frank, Susan and Frankie lived. Before we moved I phoned Frank whom I hadn't seen or talked to since he was in the Marines in the late 60's. At that time I think all the Foti's were still in Brooklyn.
Anyway hooking up with Frank in CA was wonderful. He hadn't seen any of his Foti cousins in quite a while and was excited to hook up with this part of his family. I was equally as excited for I hadn't really been close to any of our cousins as we had moved outside of NY as well. Frank and my father were the 2nd and 8th children of our grandparents respectively, so this was no small crowd.
Frank showed us around LA county and really was instrumental in finding us a place to live.
He showed us great mountain hiking places near LA. We had no idea how great the mountains around LA were. Frank took us to car shows, Santa Monica and the amazing Griffith Park, which offered a cool observatory, solar system museum, train ride, hiking trails and zoo. Many of these trips were with Frankie and/or Susan.
Frank and Susan were excellent parents. I watched as Frankie grew from a small friendly kid to a smart talented young man.
Frank was the most selfless, caring, interesting and smart person I had ever met.
Frank taught me about, Los Angeles, astronomy, tennis, hiking, California parks, Hollywood and life. While I never cared that much about the entertainment industry I found myself on the edge of my seat while Frank told us priceless stories from his acting days. He was still doing some acting work at the time.
Frank encouraged me to join the Sons of the American Legion where I joined Frankie in this group. There I spent many evenings shooting pool and meeting his friends. He was as expert in pool and he was in tennis. We also would park there when he took us to concerts at the famous Hollywood Bowl.
We spent 4 years on the West coast, moving away in August of 2011. We stayed in touch. Frank, my wife and myself went on a weekend trip to Vandenberg Air Force Base to watch a NASA satellite being launched. We also explored the area including an ostrich farm that Frank got the biggest kick out of. After the farm a Who song came on the radio. It came out that the Who were in my top 10 favorite bands while Frank thought they were overrated. We had a good natured “argument” about this for about a half an hour.
We didn't exchange Christmas gifts as a rule but one year Frank bought me a really cool Who tee shirt. After I moved back to the East coast whenever either one of us heard a Who song we were reminded of each other. Typical phone call: “Hello”; “Hey cousin, just heard a Who song and was thinking about you”. Or we would just call the other one while putting the phone up to the speakers. I don't wear my Who shirt because like my memory of Frank I don't want it to fade. Frank became my best friend while we were in California. He still is.
God Bless Susan and Frankie.