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Russell Frank

Russell Frank worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at newspapers in California and Pennsylvania for 13 years before joining the journalism faculty at Penn State in 1998. He roots for the Yankees, plays blues guitar and harmonica (badly), bikes and hikes for physical exercise and does The New York Times crossword puzzle for mental exercise. He is, by academic training, a folklorist (Ph.D., UPenn), which means, when you strip away all the academic jargon, that he loves a good story. He is the author of "Newslore: Contemporary Folklore on the Internet." His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.

Articles by Russell Frank

Greetings from 'Alabama'
Column
Greetings from 'Alabama'
1 day ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I came away thinking that I live in a strange land. State College is no hotbed of liberalism, but it is surely an exception to Clinton crony James Carville's famous formulation that "Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Alabama in the middle." [Read More]
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
Column
News You Might Have Missed While You Were Down the Shore
1 week ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
"Penn State uniforms have long been described as 'vanilla,'" said Creamery manager Tom Palchak, "but in light of the proposed uniform changes we think even vanilla might be too intense. An ice cream that truly reflected the spirit of our football program would have no taste whatsoever." [Read More]
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
Column
To Weed, or Not to Weed?
2 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Just the other day she held up a tangle of thin wires she found in the shed. "What are these?" she asked. "Old guitar strings," I said. "I thought they might be useful for something." She couldn't imagine what they could be useful for. Truth be told, neither could I. [Read More]
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
Column
A Rough Reentry, Then the Pine Creek Trail
3 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Having sat idle for several weeks, our car was deader than downtown State College between Arts Fest and move-in weekend. Then there was the pile of unpaid bills, the mirror that had leaped off the bathroom wall as if it had lost all sense of purpose without anyone gazing into it. [Read More]
Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
Column
Here, Friday Night Lights Refer to Sabbath Candles
4 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
One of the first things I noticed about Irina Zborovskaya was the back of her cell phone protector. It looks like a piece of a matzo. Irina's phone tells us something important about life in Ukraine's third-largest city: Odessa's Jews are not afraid to be Jewish. [Read More]
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
Column
A Tale of Hunger Among the Ice Cream Eaters
5 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
Benmayor first learned of many of his father's death camp experiences from a newspaper story written decades after the end of the war. Like many survivors, his father hadn't wanted to talk about what he had endured until he realized late in life that if he didn't remember, the world would forget. [Read More]
Of Japanese Toilets and Greek Breakfasts
Column
Of Japanese Toilets and Greek Breakfasts
6 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
My friends apparently had many fine experiences on their trip, but what they talked about most, or at least what I remember them talking about most, were the wonders of the bathroom in their hotel. Other countries might have a thing or two to teach us. [Read More]
Nice Places to Visit, But ...
Column
Nice Places to Visit, But ...
7 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
In the bus station of this small port city in northern Greece I met an American woman who has spent the last two years looking for a place to retire. Not long ago, my own version would have taken me on a tour of the world's seaport towns ... [Read More]
On Turning 21: Goop, Gum, Geysers and Little Men
Column
On Turning 21: Goop, Gum, Geysers and Little Men
8 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I didn't know a soul in Denver, but I was too tired at the end of the workday to do anything other than scrape tennis court goop off my body. After an hour or so I would have transferred the dark, oily speckles from my skin to my pink porcelain bathtub. [Read More]
Sleepovers: A Blast from the Past
Column
Sleepovers: A Blast from the Past
9 weeks ago - StateCollege.com - Russell Frank
I have fond memories of sleepovers at my friend David's house. The big treats were chocolate shakes and Jiffy Pop. The big adventure was climbing down the side of David's house using a heavy rope looped around the leg of the bunk beds in his second-story bedroom. [Read More]
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