No, not Frank McCarthy, our popular classmate. This is another Frank and his first name is about all I know about him.

Frank was a tall, lanky guy about my own age with a headful of snowy white hair. I would see him sitting on the Unitarian church bench on my pre-bedtime nightly walks. He carried a hiking stick and wore a floppy brimmed hat, looking for all the world like the Appalachian Trail hiker he probably was.

At first, he startled me as I heard his voice coming out of the darkness, but I soon came to expect him and often sat briefly on the bench with him. That’s where I leaned his name was Frank. We always chatted whenever we met, but mostly impersonal stuff like the weather or the traffic on Concord Pike. I knew nothing about him other than his name, and only his first name at that.

Then one summer evening, before it got dark, I saw him sitting on the curb on the opposite side of the street, surrounded by about four standing police officers, one of them a woman. He was looking down and seemed dejected. No one was speaking. The police seemed to unsure of what to do next, waiting for someone to show up or call back, looking around, waiting for instructions.

I did not stop. I did not go over to ask what was going on. The width of the street was enough distance to convince me to mind my own business and not get involved. I regretted not stopping ever since.

That was the end of last summer and was the last I saw of Frank.

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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