Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Memorial Site for Gary Franklin

Dear Los Angeles and Beyond,

Mr. L. E. McClintock, my dad's blog guru, has suggested that this might be an excellent place to remember my dad. I agree.

Although my father has not been publicly active these past years, his legacy lives on. It never occurred to me the extent of his popularity, until I noticed that the people on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand seemed to constantly stare at them. We joked that his bald head perhaps reminded the locals of their beloved Buddha. However, the real reason is that he made such an impact on Los Angeles households in the 1970's and 1980's.

His fierce independent streak probably started when his parents insisted that he roam Leipzig, Germany BY HIMSELF, in the 1930's. His parents were worried by the doom of their future and wanted him to be able to survive on his own. Finally, immediately after Kristallnacht, a German police office approached my grandfather and told him that he was in danger, and to get out immediately. My doctor grandfather treated Germans for VD and had friends in strange places. After the SS destroyed their apartment and threw my dad and grandmother down the stairs, my dad had to go crawl back into the apartment with toppled furniture and get the last of the money stashed away.

Fast forward to the Korean War, my father had the time of his life stationed in Tokyo as a cameramen. Much of the real footage recorded during this time was from the work of my father, friend Bob Hummel, and Bert Stern (of Marilyn Monroe picture fame). Photography later became his passion.

After many stints in the radio and television business, including, Norfolk, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland (PBS), at ABC news (a writer) in New York, WIND (all news as a reporter), and KYW (a much despised job as a News Director), he moved on to "Car 98" at KFWB. I can't tell you how many times my mom got mad as we dashed home smelling like a forest fire. He loved Los Angeles. The schools were outstanding and competent. The LAPD was world reknown. Stephen Speilberg once told him that he was the "Forest Gump of Journalism".

Finally, he ended up as the local LA film critic. I still see his quotes on movie rentals.

To steal Councilman Zine's words this morning. "Car 98 Out!"

Thank you to the mayors office for assisting us with the death of my father. I have never experienced something so traumatic before, but thanks to the support from the people of Los Angeles, I am at peace..and so hope the same for my father.

No memorial service is scheduled.



Chris Reed said...

So sad to hear this news this morning, and my condolences to you and the rest of the family.

I grew up in L.A. with the Franklin Scale, and Mr. Franklin later guest lectured in one of my journalism courses at Cal State Northridge.

I always enjoyed his passion for his opinions, and he will certainly be missed.

Chris Reed
Henderson, NV.

hebeasor said...

My condolences to you and your family.

I too, listened to Gary on KFWB while growing up. But, I'll remember him most by his portrayal of a reporter in the movie Rollercoaster.

Logan Gawain said...

I love that scene of his at the end of Roller Coaster. :)

Someone should post that on YouTube.

By the way, if anyone has any video of Gary doing reviews, please post them up to YouTube. I'd love to link to them.