The Best is Yet to Come is the title of this prolific writer’s latest endeavor. An author of some considerable note, Murdock lives at the Gables in Monrovia and suffers from macular degeneration. Despite this seemingly enormous obstacle for a writer, Franklin Murdoch refuses to let the disability put a crimp in his life and work. His work is deeply religious and thoughtful.
We caught up with Murdoch at his home at the Gables in Monrovia last week as he was putting yet more research into his 15 hour days. We found Murdoch to be a charming and likable man with a truly colorful life and wonderful sense of humor.
Murdock has outlived three wives and says he has somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 plus grand and great grandchildren and step grandkids. One of who is the famous hockey player Luke Robitaille who is a grandson by marriage.
He spends his days and nights studying the bible and analyzing the text therein. His office is littered with reaseach books, manuscripts and papers studying the word of the Bible.
His first poem was published in 1937 and his work has since appeared in numerous publications in cluding The Salt Lake Tribune, Desert News and Deserette News as well as his own publishing house.
His life’s work has been a journey thanks in no small part to his mother and her strong religious beliefs. Teaching Franklin an early lesson in life. his parents were Mormons . When he was about 5 years old and after attending a service at the Mormon Church, Franklin told his mother he didn’t like it at all. To his surprise, she accepted his young but learned decision not to return to that church and taught him about prayer at home.
Franklin Dale Murdock, was born December 15th 1920 in Salt Lake City, Utah- Murdock is the fourth of five boys and one girl and graduate of West High School with the class of 1939. He volunteered his service to the U.S. Navy early in 1944 and spent one year in intensive schooling studying radio and radar electronics; serving on two different surface vessels before being discharged early in 1946. Following military service, he went to work for the Douglas Aircraft Company as a technician in the study of radio energy propagation and development of flush mounted antennae. During employment Franklin took extension courses sponsored by UCLA and attended refresher courses at a local college. He was general foreman of all engineering research and development laboratories before accepting a position of design project engineer for electronics and weapons systems for the A4 SKYHAWK airplane used by the Marines, U.S. Navy and several foreign countries. He retired after 34 and a 1/2 years; after the last of the A4 SKYHAWKS had been delivered. Mr. Murdock is the author of 4 books: My Life in Poetry and The Absolute Truth, My Father’s Wondrous Love, Blessing or Presumption and recently the updated new, revised edition of My Life in Poetry.
Now working on book number 3, Franklin Murdock also has a Facebook page which re readily admits doesn’t visit that often as he’s too busy researching and writing. He does, however, like millions of us, rely heavily on e mail communication and occasionally that ancient old contraption, the telephone.
When you step into Murdock’s office/bedroom you’ll be amazed by the enormous amount of technology that helps drive this man’s creations to the final paragraph. The Magi-sight enlarger helps his read and research manuscripts he otherwise would be able to. Two other computer stations with fancy yellow keyboards help him weave his way through the internet with ease.
Murdock doesn’t throw his religious beliefs on any one unless they ask questions. His philosophy is simple, “remember to spend time with your loved ones and tell them everyday how much you love them.” He continues…”they won’t be around forever” Give a warm hug to the one next to you, he tells me ” because it is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a penny.”
The VA gave Murdoch a unique system using two different setups (hardware and software) that enables him not only to read, but write and correspond via e mail through a voice recognition software.
One is a Closed-Circuit TV system called MagniSight, created/founded by Brian M. Smith , who was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration, to use for everyday reading, research, writing, etc. This system helps Murdoch see the words he’s researching and helps him write where he might otherwise might not .
The other is a program on his computer called ZoomText by AiSquared that comes with a special ZoomText Keyboard that provides high-contrast/large lettering. This program also speaks to him and reads the data directly from the screen.
Franklin is currently working on new manuscript tentatively titled The Best is Yet to Come. As we were leaving his office Franklin said Luke: 52 had a wealth of knowledge therein and believes that the Bible is a private letter of instruction to all of us.
Franklin Murdock maintains a blog at http://franklinmurdock.blogspot.com/ and you can “Friend” him at Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/franklin.murdock. His books are available all over and, of course on Amazon.com.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of unique individuals in our city. We like to call it The Beacon Spotlight Falls On ( whomever)……If you Have suggestions on who might me a worthy subject for an in depth interview, please let us know. Emails only please to: firstname.lastname@example.org