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WWL>Topics>>12-10-13 3:10pm Angela remembers Frank Davis

12-10-13 3:10pm Angela remembers Frank Davis

Dec 10, 2013|

Angela remembers the life of television icon Frank Davis with the help of WWL-TV's Eric Paulsen, Sally-Ann Roberts, Meg Farris, and Dominic Massa, as well as former WWL-TV news director Joe Herring, WWL radio's Don Dubuc, former wildlife & fisheries secretary Joe Herring, and Nora Dejoie, Frank's former assistant in the kitchen on WWL-TV.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well say the name frank Davis and nine out of ten people in New Orleans will say I love him. He's been part of our community for more than four decades. First as a writer for wildlife and fisheries. Then as host of the outdoor show on WWL radio Thursday night six to 8 PM and Saturday mornings from five to summoning him. After that frank did something most broadcasters can't imagine. He was a marathon man on radio hosting weekend's live Saturdays from 9 AM to 6 PM. And Sundays from noon to 6 PM. It's focused on outdoors. Broadcasting live from fairs festivals and fishing rodeos. Bringing his caravan of fund to the people and community he launched. It also focused on indoors with folks like chef Paul Prudhomme. The regional broadcast chef cooking amazingly -- in -- dishes live on the radio. Plus theater and community causes and events. After feeling -- larger than life personality to the radio. TV came calling. That's when frank left -- real radio for WW LTV. And we're still -- And naturally knowledge was born as well as has ever popular fishing game reports. And he and Mary clears cooking demonstrations. On WW LTV's morning news. Frank Davis connected with people with his folksy style and his authentic New Orleans way. He was the Flutie the cook the fisherman hunter the concerned citizen the writer the husband to his beloved Mary Claire. Father to Amanda and grandfather. The real new world -- And the thread that ran through it all. Frank was a naturalist who knew the terrain and waterways of Louisiana like we know the inside of our homes. Frank Davis was -- Is us his legacy will be for ever his genuine love for New Orleans and for people. Frank we will always love you. As you loved us abundantly. How -- we go along. Don Dubuque. Don Dubuque he sort of passed the -- time. He did Angela and that's certainly a pleasure to be here with -- but I wish it would be on the better circumstances and nausea little. Here come the TI and I can certainly understand that all the years he's been on the set with frank. What a wonderful guy and as I told you they used to BO. Reader's digest I think column called the most unforgettable characters -- frank certainly was someone who -- did that and I was fortunate enough to know frank work a little bit with frank fish with frank kid with frank hang out with the and I actually got to follow in his footsteps and a couple of things reasonable one the radio show that I've done now for 25 years is following frank then he was. He was gracious enough to recommend me to -- WW LTV management to take his place with the fishing game report in normal -- take Frank's place but. Certainly continues tradition it's quite. -- -- Yes he was on whether he was always -- and you know that the man face many problems that his life. But to talk to him as it was -- with carefree. He loved life he loved having -- he loved people he loved food he loved fishing at. He just was the whole ball of -- He was -- type of person it didn't matter if he was speaking to a group of kindergartners. While he was speaking to a bunch of fission Romney's -- if he was stationed tool. Talking to a group of biologist -- by people connected with Frankie connected with them. They guiding me he was funny he was enlightening. But there was a lot of our information that frank passed along to too many people for a lot of years. Tremendous information and someone who will certainly know that are actually two people who know that -- Daschle law who was the wonderful wonderful. Shaft helped to francs in -- kitchen for what eight years -- Yet allowed Frankie just. Total -- fine I'm fine. -- to get up that early to do that morning shuttle yeah I had to have a good the good sense of humor number one but two just in. His energy I think that's what it is he just had it all around him. I would meet you on Monday at eight. Kitchen inside -- we go to shopping but the joke talked all of its community rating -- economy. Cheney is director -- are just saying we go back. We cook every being murdered it would come back into each that you want them and eight Q what -- a lot that we. Need critique direct BP in we pack our. Like to do -- morning. Let me make this show on Tuesday morning it yet on instructions print out the mean like I want. Capital on pot on the -- bar I want the players on the right are -- opens door to it it he was just so so. The key to everything. Yes what a perfectionist. Yeah I think only look at frank we think none of this guy just roll with the punches no none none and now I think this is a man very much in control. Of -- because you wanted it done right. Is -- the pitch up the Katrina he's not all of that paperwork and stuck -- -- -- -- you know -- it lacked Wear out our book. A -- -- ready to collect people are ignored Libya and while I was working for. I've made -- the copy like he hand -- grocery on is the trucks and at every stage. An opportunity to leave it means get brought to you could be to be not all of the important item. Oh what a treasure that must've been when he -- debt. No thank you know -- very much Joseph -- retired secretary of the Louisiana wildlife and fisheries. He was a bright spot in your life to. Fisher was and you called me this morning to tell me -- news of Franklin. Certainly shocking. No price for many years -- worked with him several years it was important oil ventures. And frankly certainly. A talented individually -- Problem the most talented and they do have known. But just a writer you conservationists. It was a that's bigger. City. I was able to musicians and found that out one night did a lot of the it was at an apartment laws -- A lot of preparation conventions. And -- one of the guys. As the men would that are against our. And they reduce cancer and so people later. Went through so more. And it went all right frank and I'll walk in together. From called him. -- then there's doubt it'll take a break he was -- one of them federation members was ultimately. Players thanks I appreciate it. Frank was. You know that guitar players here and one Japanese city did an attack. No -- -- -- Say that he had that talent. And what voters. And so there. Every once in awhile he would do a story on the naturally knowledge where he would sing and he really did have a great -- -- right but. I guess an end -- relation to what you were thinking he was to all of the sudden pick up a guitar built on a number. You have caused -- to gather that you have as a matter of pressure on. Conservationist. And well it is an outdoor type gap. And also that it takes a -- guitar which is put upon chair and starts saying yeah. Hey Joseph that this is Don -- to -- are doing great -- you know who was there ever any way to keep Frank Davis work and wildlife and fisheries that was no way. You can harness that guy and keep his nose of a -- that the department was he loses. Too big of a larger than life to keep. They activated. -- -- ms. cook book even. Which I have a copy -- -- -- accomplished admitted brands. Start to Augusta out of the year ago. And -- they've been -- at all sorry couldn't do it. And a if it was but I have first loud so it was just their blessing and no -- -- It's a beautiful way of putting it I can't think both you and -- for for calling in as we really pay tribute to a very special human being in our community. Now lost but always remembered stay with this as we continue right after this. The whole community has launched a friend. But someone very special -- Lost a very big difference is next fair assessment. Not only shared an office with Frankfurt. Had such an enormous compassion and -- an interest in what. Ultimately got him. Men -- as Angela how lucky I was. To share an office with -- and I know -- it's -- forgive me if I get choked up that you know point Davis. Love to what you saw on TV. But there was so much even more to love behind the scenes and you know I know when when someone passes away people have nice things to say but I really do all have a nice things of wonderful things to say. I'll tell ya remember the first time we we -- show way back Wang called good news frank and I did that was on videotape in the videotape stores. And we broke onto once and he took me for the first time to rocking Carlos. In saint Bernard parish and Angela I'm telling you it was like the scene with Charlton has in the Red Sea hearted look at -- Frank Davis walked in I mean. I don't think there was any other person who could have walked in who. Would've -- you know part of the Red -- -- Carlos is Frank Davis did he was just so so prologue to. Very beloved. And you know in our crazy industry which has nothing but terrific people but some of them aren't as nice and I think frank well. Just so stoked about the crown there was what could you say to insult not on now I know and you know an awful lot of people -- that. There are two sides Frankie was a shrewd businessman and I mean that as a compliment I mean he used to try to get me to stiffen up when it came to. You know negotiating things and on the other side he had a heart like Q would not. Believe just a heart of goal and we used to sit in the office after deadlines for over and we would tell all New Orleans stories like the so pop star -- Darby on -- on wisdom or and and sometimes just got belly laugh but then we get very serious you know very. -- deep emotional side and he said toward. -- Jordan when I tell you adored Mary clay or his wife and Angela I just don't know anybody else like that. That has a lot of story that goes friendship and love for that many many decades and you know I think. Clearly came through on this Tuesday morning's column that -- a real partnership. Friends. Angela. And I'll tell you and and not I will choke up on this. Every single day every single day I mean there wasn't a day that didn't go by. When he was ready to leave each shot off the computer he'd pick up this he doll Mary Claire ho. And he'd say hey -- -- get right to leave what's for dinner and she would answer and then sometimes you hear and say okay -- take this out of the freezer whatever. And then every single day Angelo with sincere heart and soul he says I love you Mary -- And that's something that I need to -- because. There are no regrets they -- because the two of them said it you know how many times people say why did not say this in someone's gone. -- they set it every day a true love story. You know they adopted their beautiful daughter Amanda she's a grown woman and attorney. And she is married with four children and that's the second act of love that idea it was adopted child and now look at the law that got back when frank was sick. And now Mary Claire has all this love to support -- because of that one act yes the taking and this this beautiful -- You know we were a Don and I we're just talking about that frank thank heaven that Mary Claire was in his life. Thank captain that the daughter is now in her life and and the beautiful grandchildren McHugh went to Houston and not covered the story on. This very debilitating disease that he was stricken. I'll tell you Angela what's so interesting when I'm learning just today from talking to doctors CI DP. -- I was flooded with email on messages from all over the southeast Louisiana and the country. After the story ran of people with CI ADP and who were cured. And or not easily cured but at least in remission and they are doing well and -- frank this given this I took this side did this. I did -- see we -- conscience what I learned today was that Frankie. And most people with this rare condition do well. With a good life they have to be on this medication. You know a regular. -- infusions but they do very well and the fact that francs attacked his breathing. And was so aggressive is extremely. Rare and they don't know what causes to. But during that at what how long most of a year and a half that he was in Houston -- let's say well he retired in December 2011. So that will be two years. Now but I I don't know exactly when he moved there but he moved there are so his family could help them and -- could be with the doctors there but. His situation and this happens often is it was misdiagnosed he was a diabetic diabetics get neuropathy. And his they thought for very long time was that so. The key is early diagnosis. And it -- all these changes in health care want people to understand this message. You know your body you know something's wrong you go to a specialist and the people I talked to today. Who went to a neurologist their primary care doctor sent him to a neurologist. Early on. Were diagnosed early and treatment has been effective francs in its common this is misdiagnosed because it is so rare so. Other doctors told me that that often happens but to me the specialists see it so they're more likely to diagnose early. Don -- which is telling me -- fairly recently. He was communicating and -- -- -- getting fish up there and dying essentially fish up. Yeah our all of francs -- fishing buddies I got together and got a politician packaged them up and set him up there and -- class and personal accident she really appreciate that he was glad to get them. And that you know we thought he was doing fairly well and I've heard that the economy a little bit of -- recovery on -- but. Evidently it he lost his battle. And you're right heat that was the thing. It was working a little bit but he had this extra rare part of -- very rare illness where it attacked his breathing. And that's that's what what finally happened. With -- you know I was thinking and -- talking about vikings love for his daughter our member Angela it was we were doing a live shot. You -- to we we were all out on New Year's Eve 1999 to 2000. Doing a live show that whole night and I was co anchored with with frank. And my mother was nervous wreck that was going to be out in -- -- park on the riverfront. Armed with falling bullets because you know we have those reports of falling bullets a year before. Frank Davis went to an army surplus store and got me. And himself Vietnam era -- mean they must hundred pounds helmets army helmets. And to make me feel comfortable. He he we were all dressed up he was in his black Todd talks I listen you know gold and silver and you're out right before -- that we put on these helmets like I said wait a hundred pounds they were real. Army. Helmets. And you know what deep down we made a joke and we laughed I knew that he got one for him to make me feel better and really Angela. He was a father who had a daughter. And he really took it to heart that I had a mother at home warming them falling bullet was gonna hit me. And he made the whole thing funny and a joke but deep down he was not he was making sure my mother had peace of mind watching me on TV. At night. That's a wonderful story really. Capitalizes. A very special man meg thank you always for joining us and thank you for being his good friend to. Thank you will be right back but now let's go to Don names in the newsroom this that is we are about the loss -- Frank Davis I think what we're really doing. Is celebrating celebrating that we knew someone that's special. Two people who are. WW wealth to the core and who loved and knew him well Joseph duke. Former news director and Dominique Massa -- -- our special projects director both on the -- -- think. And Joseph correct me Don and I we're trying to figure this out. Where usually news director who put him on the year. Know our I wish I had been that brilliant honestly in my life but had no I was not right here to strike it was. Was thankful for. And you all have a great relationship. We we did it and you know of course -- gifted and such a creative story calorie. He had great enthusiasm. It's and we would flow of ideas and and accomplish -- woods. Some some way storytelling point of view particulars he was unmatched. And an incident stories he acted in almost any idea he could and he would take it make you so much better. What I ever envisioned it could be he just went -- on everyday and it showed. And he was able to laugh at himself. Which not everybody in our industry is -- to become. -- I mean that that's right you know working. -- he didn't take themselves seriously he didn't do -- wise he is that he was. Person like everybody else and I and I are often thought that the beauty. Tree and actually in New Orleans segment was that sort of Lee introduced ourselves to ourselves day. And show how could be word how good we could be. And how special yes. Donna Massa and honored to be with all the honor is ours but. You know you would do all the special projects and you were sort of the one that's what was not yet to guide. Frank Davis that probably the most -- action. I would I would say as you said he wouldn't have an idea he'd come up with some days walking him. How it would be champions and I paint today what can I do today that was the beauty of what he did he would go out -- a quiz of you know what you. What do you think this is what does this mean king -- maybe it just it would take picking can go with you know fifteen babies who are outside. All. He did he did he had he had the big -- makes him the K okay with a baby in every piece and -- -- divided up and then. He would he would bring people live and it would and -- would -- was saying you know when you get to locate and it would -- -- of course and -- sort. Okay well who wants -- -- you can -- and you know what -- -- -- -- pretty -- game. They were all -- -- little -- like you know what are extra export. So that was the jaw are out there you know figure I think you dummies and we're gonna. They've been keen to extend the listening room this week it well you'll see that was on the when the army and that army during he was content to be. We were trying to come up with something that was sort. Interest enduring yet suitable amino final four weekend he'd just put a basketball. Goal -- some rig something up. Downtown and had the and he would just talk people -- bothers you typically get that's more -- people -- You know I would -- -- -- -- -- guys in business suits you know lawyers. Guys were sloppy acts. Yeah I would it was a privilege audible. I've been in the newsroom today on the telephones and it's been very touching to hear people calling in and sometimes with tears in their voice as you've heard on your show people. From all walks of life just saying how much they loved him and appreciate what he did. You know some surprise and hurt an update lately you know what's going on with Franken just it's touching -- the different people as you said he can relate to anybody anywhere anybody from the the mayor to -- you know to the meter maids in the in the French Quarter. But you know we would sit on the set when you talk about the contest it would do her. Try to stop people and then Dennis and I would sit up there and he wouldn't give the answer to. -- always love that it's socialist you know the answer you're an audit if you don't what is it a look at how accurate. I think and and value with disabilities have a fan letter that wrote to frank young men and teenagers and have his response which pulled out. Last night as it was two years after a long night. But hero attributes and it's. Beautifully written as he was beautiful -- congratulations -- on the decision to get into broadcasting it's very warning most innovative and highly creative at least from my area of socialization. And he goes on and don't let the state -- use the -- -- for showtime affect that English and journalism agrees to pay off every which he did. And it's what you wanna do if you wanna specialize in feature production which might wanna look into its with a big money uses thanks let's go to Oprah asked that was something right -- I decided to act that's with a big money. He -- love what he did it was nice to write a letter back to. Didn't -- doesn't surprise me though Dominic you're really doesn't because I think it. It was the one on one that Nathan special to so many people are. I I agree it would be pretty such -- -- at such an interest in impact on things that he did you know much. On the patient game report. Mean he went fishing mean it was it was good weather out there he went fishing it at the target for would point out. Sometimes pointedly if it was raining he went fishing but you know Archie would leave. He would do in the marina on good mornings. Sometimes the camera quick turn around and looked. Behind him and it would look like the Spanish armada just. The marina at all the boats had gathered to seem to try to follow frank that you were gone it was it was funny. -- -- and Dominique this is done to become -- replacement trying to feel his big -- -- well I gotta tell you Joseph and Dominique you know I belong to Ryder associations of broadcast outdoor associations across this country. And I don't know one station. That send somebody out patient in the morning and then brings it to that -- Ramon 6 o'clock news. That is an anomaly and franks thought of that and upheld it and believe me that is very very unique most of those shows that take days weeks if not months -- -- And so are you got it and I'm not that's not an easy thing that's not an easy thing to do to accomplish every week out. You know people certainly as well positioned well you know what the question and get back in Tampa but something on the -- and you know the how -- you can -- -- It's a top job you know well Franken make it you know it can be channeled. -- -- way -- doing well. Eat that apple. Slider handled some. -- -- -- -- -- -- Story our the current the other thing with who has the cooking Indian practice on on cookie. One time during very early in the early show. He did. Recipes during some holiday season and it was. Twice baked duck caller what does -- break break twice what -- call it. And and so he it was a it was -- it actually -- -- must not directly -- them but does the funny thing about the story to me was. Was -- -- and called. Thirty minutes the children on the air insert. So next time we got to do something like that what you Latin because. It it was sold out every and every where. Across the region by the but that being. I believe. Unbelievable like I can't think both the future and -- for calling in thank you and I think we'll all just remember if you talk about the fishing game. As he would end every one kissing that finished. Stay with this. I'm Angela I'm better than you well. Well two people who knew frank about as well as anybody could no different I think when he gets down to the television world. For the people who worked with him for umpteen years on that morning news we're talking air Paulson and selling and Robertson I know I watched you all today I mean. Nothing but love in your hearts. Oh yeah I mean. We -- -- you know. They were gonna come. It's just such a shock when it actually does happen not talk and -- are a little while ago. And she pretty much felt the same way just. You know we all knew was coming. It's just such. Heavy burden when it actually happens. Part because he's so. Yes Angela do you feel there has never -- and it will never be another great day such. And one of the things that aren't -- My privilege. Being with frank. Up for all the years that we work together I learned some lessons from now I'm one of the lesson is be yourself. I didn't try to be anyone else see you did put on there wasn't one thing for one person. One thing -- the camera was rolling much heat. -- -- -- Can sell and and at the the plane current I learned. You help others where you hand. I was bigger than life -- he was -- was -- -- but he only share the spotlight with those around him. No actually knowledge report she took people who might not have been noticed by the community and shown the life amendment. And he will always be remembered. You know I'm reminded when you're saying that selling your absolutely right so many of -- naturally knowledge pieces work. Everyday people who had something special it would it could've been the woman in Gretna who had a doll collection that -- three rooms. That you wanted to say. I would find these people they would find him. Just special. And you know frank -- not. The typical television personality. By any stretch of the imagination -- when -- first -- -- I know a lot of the Mandarin channel four was going you -- really want this -- here and -- -- -- -- -- -- -- you don't -- If I can really well and I remember when I was doing. Marshall PN magazine I do -- and frank what was so before -- came here. When he came out with a first cookbook. -- and a it was just stood in your it and. Eric I'm reminded also have a very dear friend of mine now now deceased but. Called me and sent you know channel for his certain standards. And -- that I don't think this new -- fits here. I'll tell you with consistency. On the back and -- I'm wrong. This guy is very very special. -- Report it worked well but. The strength it. Natural he brought you. Wouldn't do -- I could walk into that studio in the morning and feel -- on Tuesday morning when I went to church he would make me laugh and the person to of people turning on the television that matter what you were going to turn on that TD that. And are what make you smile he'd make you take your mind all your trouble and Hewitt. Just make you feel happy to be part of the community feel like -- That's right -- open I'm so bland that -- brought up the fact that. We don't look at him that way but everything he did was was an example looked. -- I'm talking about he was a very Smart businessman Barack created spices he wrote those cookbooks. I was at one book signing for someone else there's frank sitting mayor signed. Syria and for his. And didn't know he'd learned about it yes. It -- And it has been that with absolutely. Zero experience. And he mastered it and you were brilliant and you know he could do so many things to cook eat it. Secret. -- I think that frequent flyer playing at Yankee. Talk. That he's. Fine or. Couldn't make it. -- -- -- -- -- He couldn't do any wrong Sally and Eric I got the story second Hank is -- wasn't -- habits from one on the cameraman Brian Lucas who got it from brits who was his regular cameraman yeah. The one day one of pranks on glass -- pieces fell out of his glasses. Indeed take the entire feature with one or anyone I covered. In when he got back in saw a lot of theories that it's not did you let me look like that accident but that was his party's. Think -- ever a lot of rank was serious. I don't know that I'd go with -- -- adult children -- -- -- -- know you could. I thought. It felt like I can and cannot beat it around so much on the year in. Yeah it's important element that people wondered what you guys capable and all. It. It is just it's just like family and such and frank who will always be a part of this community because so many. -- -- talking to people on the string at each of them. Have their own story of how great impact of their life and even now lives here in not to because. Out the people that he visited the school that he -- prediction that the lives he personally touched. The -- -- master sending. A high school student a letter -- her. Actual rink where he was constantly like Google Earth Angel looking. -- place that where he can tell. That's a -- to wrap this I'm telling you that's the word we use you as an earth Angel thank you Eric and settling -- so much for for calling. Thank thank you ranch or we'll be right. A lot of things on -- -- of being here on a tough day happy -- -- Victory. Wonderful man Frank Davis will always remember. That -- is not named in the.

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