grandfather's name was Frank Hall. I never knew him.
He died in an accident years before I was born, but
when anybody in the family ever referred to Frank Hall,
they were talking about Grandpa and not me. He was "THE"
was known as "Frankie" in my home town of
Bakersfield. But, then I wasn't "THE Frankie"
either. That nickname belonged almost exclusively to
Frank Sinatra who was just emerging as a Super Star.
So, my mother called me, "Frankie Pancho"
(she took a course in Spanish to get a promotion at
the Southern Pacific Railroad)
High School I was simply "Frank" but in 1954
when I graduated and matriculated a hundred miles south
to the University of Southern California. The Quarterback
for the Trojan football team was named Frank Hall. And,
he was only a year ahead of me, so, for my entire college
tenure when someone asked me if I was "THE Frank
Hall", I was forced to say "no." I have
to admit I tried to impersonate him a time or two in
order to impress some coed, but, my real identity was
always discovered to my total humiliation.
those days it was the custom for Sororities to introduce
their new "Pledges" at an event called "Presents."
They may still do it for all I know. All the freshmen
girls would get "dolled up" in their ball
gowns and stand in a receiving line to shake hands with
and be ogled by a bunch of goofy Fraternity boys.
one memorable "Presents Night" I was advancing
down the line of young ladies at the Kappa Alpha Theta
House, (The "Thetas" were way above my station)
when I was introduced to an absolutely gorgeous young
said, "Hi, I'm Frank Hall"
said, "Sure, and I'm Jon Arnett" (Jon was
the star of the football team.)
even showed her my driver's license, but she would have
none of it. She had met the real Frank Hall. She also
knew that fake driver's licenses were as common as bobby
pins around the Theta House. I put that in just in case
you think Jenna Bush was the first girl ever to doctor
her Driver's License.
and mercifully, THE Frank Hall and I both graduated.
The last I heard he owned the Coors distributorship
for the San Gabriel Valley. I met him once, years after
we graduated – a memorable experience for me but,
I'm sure, eminently forgettable for him.
graduation I entered the banking business as a collector
in the bad loans department at Crocker Bank. For two
years I used a pseudonym ("Frank Smith"),
common practice among "bill collectors" to
protect themselves from irate guys whose cars have been
I finally was promoted and given a business card I discovered
I still wasn"t "THE Frank Hall" because
there was a huge insurance company known as the "Frank
B Hall Company." It was so big it was listed on
the New York Stock Exchange and you couldn't open Time
Magazine without finding a full page ad for the Frank
B. Hall Company.
such ad ran for several years proclaiming, "Frank
B. Hall is a Skinflint." Tellers in the branch
banks I managed would clip out that ad and post it on
the cafeteria bulletin board just before time for their
annual evaluations and merit raises.
1970 I became a fundraiser for Desert Hospital in Palm
Springs, but that didn’t improve things much.
this point I should mention that my middle initial is
"R", not "B". But for 30 years people
who introduced my speeches would introduce me as Frank
B. Hall. When I pointed out that it was incorrect, they’d
sometimes argue with me. It was so subliminally ingrained
in their psyche; because of all the ads they'd seen
over the years, that they thought my resume contained
when people met me they would say, "Are you THE
Frank Hall, I buy your insurance." Some bitched
about service they received even after I told them I
wasn't THE Frank Hall. They were just happy to have
any Frank Hall to complain to.
moved to Hoag Hospital in Orange County and discovered
the company kept a post office box in the Newport Beach
Post Office where I also maintained a PO Box for my
outside consulting practice, "Frank R. Hall and
Associates." Invariably large checks meant for
me were delivered to them by mistake. When I confronted
the Postmaster, he implied I must be an imposter.
don't know what happened to the Frank B. Hall Company.
I guess I could "Google" them to find out.
One day about 15 years ago I checked the Wall Street
Journal and they were gone. I hope they didn't go broke
leaving a bunch of creditors to pester the rest of us
the time the Frank B. Hall Company disappeared I accepted
a position with St Jude Medical Center in Fullerton,
part of the St. Joseph Health System. By that time I
was teaching a lot of classes and making a lot of speeches.
One evening at the Annual Awards dinner at the Association
for Healthcare Philanthropy's annual conference in Orlando
I sat next to a man who asked, "“Are you
THE Frank Hall?"
always said "No" when someone asked me that
said, "You mean you're not the guy with St. Jude
had finally become THE Frank Hall. It took over 50 years,
but, I'd made it.
now you understand why I was so excited to learn that
none of those other Frank Halls had bothered to take
the domain name frankhall.com. So I took it.
when people click on frankhall.com,
I'm THE Frank Hall