On May 17, 1992, two armed men with ties to neo-Nazi groups attempted to rob the Green Parrot Night Club in Salt Lake, and fatally shot an employee. The tragic event shattered many lives. Frank Page and his brother Paul were two of the lives most affected by the heinous and senseless murder, changing them forever, and forging an even stronger bond between them.
As a University of Utah professor for more than 20 years, Frank Page holds a seat on the Undergraduate Committee of the Sociology Department, is a member of the Religious Studies Program Steering Committee at the College of Humanities, and is Associate Professor and Lecturer in the Sociology Department. He belongs to a host of professional organizations, is an entrepreneur, short story author, and now a novelist. His most recent accolade is the publication of his book, Fiver and the Psychology of Rabbits. His brother Paul is his publicist.
“I use the word psychology in the title,” Page tells me, “not just in reference to understanding rabbits, but rather, to address all that humans have in common with other species and with nature. It is fiction, but a number of events in the novel actually happened … Fiver was my dog, and as the reader will see, he taught me much about life and nature,” Page explained. “The rabbits come into play … along with modern technology, and are central to the plot and the many themes in the book.”
Page wrote the book for people of all ages, who, as he says, “are trying to chart a course in a world overwhelmed by machines and ruthless corporations.” In other words, a world not fit for a dog. “And of course,” he elaborates, “there’s the rabbit that mysteriously guides and inspires.”
In summation, Page says, “This novel is about a man and a dog both contending with modern realities. As an adventure and a love story, my hope is that you find it exciting, yet touching, while often funny and extremely controversial. Written with humility and honesty, may it spark imagination and appreciation for all of life.”
Page is known for more than his acumen as a professor and writer. An accident involving his brother Paul many years ago still follows them both to this day, and casts a shadow on both of their lives.
“My brother Paul and I ran a business together many years ago. While I was in college working on my Doctorate in Sociology, he was in a serious car accident that left him partially paralyzed and on crutches. However, being the indefatigable person he is, while still recuperating, he purchased and opened a now famous club, The Green Parrot.” (Formerly located at 155 West 200 South in Salt Lake City).
In the 90s, after the notorious murder of Merritt Riordan, 29, a chef at the Green Parrot, a reenactment of the crime was broadcast on America’s Most Wanted, giving the story a nationwide audience. Riordan was shot to death when he surprised the gunmen in the basement of the club. Paul later sold the Green Parrot and began a career in real estate.
“My brother Paul is now a very successful real estate agent for Time Real Estate. Known for his courage and optimism in dealing with his injuries and constant pain, he is loved throughout the valley. When I published the book, he became my publicist of sorts, and to this day,” Page says modestly, “many people know me as Paul’s brother.”
Paul’s accident and the effects of the murder at the Green Parrot left an indelible impression on Frank, and another book entitled Green Parrot is in the works. It will detail the events at the club that have altered so many lives for so long. Another pending novel, Out of Order, is a true story with existential overtones that takes place in Salt Lake City during the late 60s and early 70s.
In addition to his two published short stories, Dancing at the North Yard, which was published in the Salt Lake Tribune, and Stars and Stripes Forever, a tale of angst and hope in the 60s, Page will continue to write and publish more short stories.
What else does Page’s future hold? “With some luck,” he says, “I also plan to travel and spend more time outdoors. I may play a little piano too, just for fun. Oh, I did play and sing at D. B. Cooper’s and other places in Salt Lake, and at the resorts. I played four nights a week at the Cinegrill for years until they closed. Outside of being Paul’s brother, some people know me from there. And I did work as a mechanic for a while at a wonderful old Volvo shop. That is a story in and of itself.”
To buy Fiver and the Psychology of Rabbits in print, digital or audio form go here.
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