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2005-02-05 - 6:32 a.m.

Honeymoon With My Brother

Tucked in the announcement of the marriage of the older son of a good friend I found this notice: “Franz’s book, Honeymoon With My Brother, will be released in February. There will be a Davis book signing at Soga’s restaurant (217 E Street) on Sunday afternoon, February 27th, 2005 (1:00 – 4:00 p.m.) Please join us in celebrating this exciting event. Books will be available for purchase at the 2/27 signing thanks to The Avid Reader. For additional information on national signing dates and other events surrounding the release, please log onto Franz and Kurt’s website: www.honemoonwithmybrother.com”

As the story goes, when Franz’ intended (Annie in the book), with whom he’d been together for nearly a decade, delivered the news the wedding was off just days before their Sea Ranch wedding, he was stunned, but not entirely surprised. This unexpected cancellation brought up more than the usual number of questions, as houses for out-of-town guests had been rented, as well as a Costa Rican honeymoon planned.

Franz’s younger brother, Kurt, always up for a party, immediately suggested they have the Sea Ranch celebration anyway, but just without all those silly bridal party outfits. To hear them tell it, over the years the brothers had grown apart – Franz in Southern California and Kurt in the real estate business in Seattle. Kurt, recently divorced, left his home in Seattle to join Franz – on his honeymoon in Costa Rica.

That “honeymoon” turned into a series of travel adventures to fifty-three countries over the following two years. Both brothers sold their homes and all their belongings, quit their jobs and headed for destinations unknown. Franz says, “It was not without some hesitation. It had all the ingredients for a disaster – a brother you barely know, big expenses, zero income, limited planning and few objectives, other than to see what’s out there, plus no job at the end of the trip.”

I hope they didn’t lose too much sleep over that part of it. The book promises to be a huge success with book signings lined up across the country. The two are scheduled to appear on the ‘Today’ Show on February 15th. Franz has signed with Sony Pictures and Screenwriter Kevin Bisch, whose most recent work is “Hitch” with Will Smith. Franz jokes, “It’s funny, he goes from writing “Hitch” to writing about getting “unhitched.”

I should have guessed a book would come out of this. Every once in awhile, their mother, Joyce, would send me an e-mail story they’d written from some foreign port. Franz, former press secretary for California governor Pete Wilson, clearly showed talent as a writer; Kurt shot pictures along the way. While I only knew the boys as youngsters, their gregarious mother has never met a stranger. I can only imagine from reading a few of the essays on their website, they grew up to follow in her footsteps.

Joyce and I went to a City Council meeting together one night several years ago. I don’t remember just why we were there, but a group of young men from a neighboring fraternity were all set to make a plea on a noise abatement agenda item. I remember being struck by the ease with which Joyce chatted with them as though they were old friends. And, of course, they were after about ten minutes.

Which brings me to the subject of tomorrow’s entry. Tune in.

P.S. And you don't need to feel too sorry about Franz being "dumped"! Last month he married Tracy Middendorf, an actress who most recently starred as Amber Frey in the television movie "The Perfect Husband: The Lacy Peterson Story."

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