There are people who are in our lives even though we don’t truly realize they’re there.
Those people are called stalkers.
But there are also people who are a part of our lives – even if its only in the background – and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, if only for providing a sense of continuity. As a part of Breakfast Television Toronto, Frank Ferragine has been in the background of some of the most significant days of the last few years of my family’s collective life. Anyone within BT’s broadcasting range can say the same.
Think about it for a moment.
We all do it; we put the TV on in the bedroom when we first wake up and then in the kitchen as we’re getting ready to begin our day. The events onscreen and the personalities who make them soak into out subconscious. Frank and his cohorts have been there when we were getting out daughter off to her first day of high school. When my father-in-law’s health began to truly deteriorate. On days I’ve been afraid to face the world. They’ve been there when I’m at my worst and when I’m at my best.
Yes, there really are days when I’m at my best. Shut up.
And not only is Frank a very serious individual, he occupies a very special place in the BT line-up: he’s the guy who influences what we cover our bodies with.
No, he doesn’t have vast hypnotic powers that transcend the television medium. Frank is BT’s – and the city of Toronto’s – weatherman. He’s the guy you rely on to give you whatever clothing armor you need to survive Mother Nature’s many mood swings. That’s a lot of power and influence, kids. But Frank wields it responsibly. There’s a good reason he’s won The Toronto Sun Reader’s Award for Toronto’s Favourite Weather Personality eight years consecutively – and it’s not just because he promised everyone who voted for him their own personal rainbow.
To top off an already impressive résumé, Frank is also a superhero. Seriously, he leads a double-life, but right out in the open. To many, Frankie Flowers is Canada’s most popular and trusted gardening expert.
What have you done lately?
Just kidding, you’re all awesome.
At any rate, Frankie Flowers has established a mini-empire around his vast expertise of all things Green. Best-selling books. Commercials. Personal appearances on other TV and garden shows. Frankie has them all under his gardening belt. Success often makes people turn a bit sour or egotistical but Frankie is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet in person. The Earth is the ultimate living organism; it pulses and thrives with life. Frankie Flowers appears to be one of those people who channels the Earth’s very life force, that’s how happy this guy is.
When he’s not advising people on what to wear and what to plant, Frankie somehow finds more than enough time to raise a family. Scratch that last part; there’s never enough time with one’s family is there?
Still, Frankie must have more than just a green thumb going for him… his wife Laurie is gorgeous! Seriously, to use a term from my childhood, the lady is a fox.
All right, now that I’ve risked offending my guest (my specialty), let’s get to the actual interview portion of this interview, shall we?
ONE) You’ve dedicated a significant portion of your life to the Green. What is it about being a part of helping something grow that appeals to you and gives your life meaning?
I’m a product of child labour! No joking but seriously, I’ve been growing along with my family for my entire life. Growing builds great community, great people and really good food. Growing keeps me close to the ground, keeps me dirty and allows to see the fruits of my labour at harvest time.
When you grow you become better.
Life is a garden, sometimes full of weeds but if you tend to your garden your life will always be colourful!
I’ll say it for you… Awesome!
TWO) If you could be any type of weather system (tornado, hurricane, heat wave, cold snap, etc.) what would you be?
High pressure system – full of sunshine and smiles.
THREE) You’re a dedicated, inspiring father but what gives you those, “I’m losing my mind right now!” moments all parents face?
My number one job is being a Dad! Pinball Clemons said it best. “You can be a successful man but that doesn’t mean you are a good father, but if you are a good father you are a successful man!”
FOUR) If you could trade places with any of your Breakfast Television colleagues for a day, who would you choose?
Dina, because she eats really good food!
FIVE) Did Han shoot first, Frankie? I’m vintage, born in 1972, so in my world Han was the only one who shot!
And on that nerdy note, that’s all I have for you today. I want to thank Frankie for slumming on my little blog and of course, many thanks to all of you for joining us.
See you in the lobby, kids…