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Finding Francie: My 1960 solo adventure around the world

Finding Francie: My 1960 solo adventure around the world


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Finding Francie is a memoir about a year in the life of a very naïve and adventure loving young woman the year after she graduated from college in June, 1965.


Like so many of her fellow graduates, she was graduating without a job, car, or financial savings. Her college roommate Barbie, had done the responsible thing. Since she had her elementary teaching certificate, she began immediately applying for teaching positions even before graduation. She was hired by a school district in Simi Valley, California. She tried her best to convince Francie to move with her to California.


At the same time, Francie’s boyfriend Mike was beginning medical school in Chicago. Mike’s suggestion was a much more practical one. He thought Francie should move back to Kansas City, live with her parents and visit him every few months or so. If she was in Chicago, he said she would be a “distraction”.


Clearly she was feeling pulled in several directions. It wasn’t until late August when her summer job ended that she finally made a decision. She was going to take a risk, move to California and let the chips fall where they may. She wrote Barbie a letter explaining her decision, packed her backpack and was on the train heading west before you could blink an eye. Little did she know what laid ahead in California, however.


She was beginning an adventure that no one could have predicted.

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