The Living Histories of Athens: Margean Franks

To watch Richelle’s interview with Margean, please click here.

Margean Franks was a part of the 250,000 protesters during the March on Washington in 1963, she attended the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, is the mother of an accomplished son and daughter, and has over thirty five years of experience working in the federal government. However, she says one of the greatest things to ever happen to her was the discovery of Instacart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was the best thing in the world. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store and buy stuff I didn’t need. I didn’t buy ice cream for a year!”

Ms. Frank’s simple pleasures have been a constant source of happiness throughout her life.

She grew up in Manassas, a small town near Savannah, GA where she spent most of her childhood until moving to Washington DC at the age of twelve. She was number nine of eleven siblings in her family, but she says her mother always had a way of making them all feel special.

Margean explained, “I didn’t realize until I was in my 30’s that everyone didn’t have the same type of home life I did – a mom and a dad, a mom who sewed their clothes, wanted to celebrate everyone’s birthday, bake them a cake, and love them. I was in a bubble of happiness because that was my household.”

Once in DC and starting school, she found herself attending business vocational school after the 9th grade which ultimately led her to work for the federal government for forty years in various places from Oakland, California to Denver, Colorado. Of those years in the field, she said she only ran into three coworkers who caused her trouble.

Even when talking about their issues, she spoke of the silver linings. One of them introduced her to the writings of the great author Maya Angelou, and years later she would even get the opportunity to see her in person at an AARP event.

Silver linings and simple pleasures help Margean Franks go with the flow of life.

“You have no control over things you don’t know are going to happen, so you might as well go with the flow and see where it takes you.”

She applied this message to her situation when COVID hit. While she missed going to the YMCA four times a week, seeing her esthetician, and going to church every Sunday, she found new excitement with ACCA’S virtual vacations, a new online church, and weekly walks with her neighbors.

And if she does find herself feeling sad sometimes, she says the best cure is to help someone else out or just talking to someone.

“The worst thing in the world when you are feeling down, is to be alone… You can’t let your problems overwhelm you when there is always someone there to help.”

She’s a strong supporter of counseling, an advocate for healthy aging, and a woman of prayer. In the end, Margean Franks is a lover of life.

-Interviewed by Richelle Matarazzo

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