Saturday, April 12, 2008

Meeting Frank McCourt

© Mark M. Hancock /

Mark wanted me to post a more pleasant, classic photo of me smiling and looking Frank McCourt in the eyes. I chose this photo because of a Mark-Fayrouz Hancock inside joke.

Mark always says the simplest things can make me happy. Meeting Frank McCourt on Thursday night definitely made me happy. Thanks to the Spring Academic Lecture Series hosted by the College of Education and Human Development at Lamar University in Beaumont.

I first heard of "Angela's Ashes" in the late 1990s. Originally, I thought it was just another book that made it to the No. 1 bestseller. It wasn't until my colleague in Sydney came to work one day and told us, "I went to the beach yesterday, and you can't believe how many people were reading 'Angela's Ashes' on the beach." She was already halfway through the book. So, I bought the book out of curiosity. And, I fell in love with a miserable memoir that made me laugh out loud.

The book made my daily train commute to work more exciting. I simply fell under the spell of Frank McCourt. As expected, I introduced the book to my friends in Sydney, and we all became fans of the lovable Frank McCourt with a twisted Irish sense of humor.

I took the book with me on my trip to the U.K. in 1999. My brother-in-law, who's Irish, told me how the book was a No. 1 bestseller for more than a year. So, I discovered the global phenomena of Angela's Ashes.

Then came Frank McCourt's "Tis" and "Teacher Man." There's nothing better than listening to Frank McCourt read my favorite chapter of "Teacher Man" live to us on Thursday evening. It was more enjoyable to see Mark enjoying McCourt's lecture, humor and jokes. Another simple thing that made me happier.

Frank McCourt, thanks for the memories.

Angela's Ashes


Teacher Man

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