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Fric and Frac wins hearts at Maris Grove

Show mingles humor with wisdom

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Neither Dick Slater nor Bruce Grant has a star on his front door, but the Maris Grove residents are bona fide celebrities dispensing wit, wisdom, and satire on Fric and Frac, their television show on Channel 11, Maris Grove s in-house TV station. The team s on-screen notoriety came about as things do at Maris Grove, the Erickson Living community in Delaware County, Pa. they had a dream, and Maris Grove staff helped them achieve it.

The back story

In July 2008, Bruce and Vilma Grant moved to Maris Grove from a small retirement community that didn t offer as many activities as they wanted. A few months later, Bruce listened to one of his neighbors recount his WWII experiences. Bruce thought other residents should hear those experiences too, so he asked Heather Baver, Maris Grove s community TV lead coordinator, if he could interview WWII veterans on camera. She readily agreed. Since then, Bruce has conducted nearly a dozen WWII interviews for Chanel 11 s Through the Lensprogram. His second interview was with Dick Slater. Following his interview with Dick, another opportunity presented itself. I saw an opening, Dick says. For years he d been jotting down humorous or thought-provoking tidbits of interest he came across. He asked Bruce to collaborate on a TV show to air those tidbits. When Dick proposed the idea, I jumped on it, says Bruce. So did Baver.Fric and Fracfirst aired in August 2010. Dick, who named the show, is Fric. Bruce is Frac. The names come from a comedy ice-skating team of two Swiss skaters who toured with the Ice Follies beginning in the late 1930s. Our audience has grown beyond our expectations, says Dick. He mines the Internet and his email for material for the show. The duo also brainstorms by discussing what s on their minds and figuring out ways to package it for the show. Bruce scripts the program. There are obvious restraints on the material, says Dick. We try to stay away from politics, religion, things you wouldn t talk about the first time you meet someone. The show intersperses humor and wisdom with wisdom dispensed in the form of information. Even the show s theme song bounces from serious to zany. Dick chose Spike Jones Cocktails for Twobecause It starts out as serious, pleasant, relaxing music, he says. Then the horns blow, whistles blow, and bang the thing breaks out. Fric and Fracisn t the men s only volunteer activity at Maris Grove, but it is their claim to fame. Why do they do it? It s fun, says Bruce. Actually, deadpans Dick, We re in it for the money.