Business owner and coach, Franks is a part of Havelock's fabric

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013 at 07:13 PM.

“It was a real wild bunch we had,” Franks said. “It was a lot of real wild things going like you’d see on TV, generally just tearing up things that we shouldn’t have been. We took all the bolts out of the stalls in the bathrooms. The principal took them out. We never had any stalls in the boy’s bathroom after that. The kids were lighting the trash cans on fire. We’d turn all of the Bunsen burners on in the lab and all of them would be blazing the gas out when the teacher come in.”

The students would take unofficial, unapproved field trips in the woods adjacent to the school on some days, he said.

“It was just a wild time. David Miller, who is one of my best friends, and his friend, David Seaton, caught a big copperhead and they snuck him into our class and until they got caught they milked that snake every day,” Franks said. “They had a jar and a piece of linen cloth and they would take this snake out every day and, just like you see the professionals do it, they would take that snake’s head and milk the venom out of it every day. We were freshmen in high school.”

After high school, Franks had a decision to make about what he wanted to do with his life.

“I was given a choice to get a job, go in the army, go the school or get out, so I hit the street walking and the first place I stopped was an upholstery shop, and I took a job there for $15 a week. I was 18,” Franks recalled.

In 1964, Franks did a brief stint in the army and when he got back, he got married. He tried a job at the post office but didn’t like it, so he took a chance and started his own upholstery business.

That was 1967. He has been at his present location at 611 East Main St., since 1970.

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