Alan Frank: ‘I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to die today,’ and that was it.’

Melissa Dilley

When Alan Frank describes his experience on May 4, 1970, he can’t help but switch the subject to his father, Glenn Frank, who was a geology professor at the time.

“He saved my life that day,” Frank said about his dad.

After Frank witnessed the shootings, his dad told him, ” You get the hell out of here,” but he didn’t leave.

Frank stayed near Taylor Hall, starring blankly when he came across Jeff Miller’s dead body.

Frank realized that the situation was more serious than anyone thought.

“I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to die today,’ and that was it,” Frank said. “There was nothing he could say to make me change my mind.”

There were many other students like Frank who stayed on the hill. His dad, who was a faculty marshall, stood in front of the students and told them to leave.

Frank said he can’t remember what his dad said, but whatever it was, “it must have been magical, because everyone just got up and started moving away.”

Whenever Frank comes back to Kent State for May 4 commemorations, he said there are people he has never met who say they owe their lives to Glenn Frank for getting them off the hill on May 4, 1970.

Frank said his father, who was a Marine, had always been conservative. After May 4, however, Frank said both their views had changed.

“My dad would say, ‘This isn’t the country I’ve served and believe in,'” he said.

The majority of what Frank considers the truth about that day has been relived through his dad’s writing. Before he died in 1993, he had been working on a book called “Anatomy of a Tragedy” about the conspiracies surrounding the unrest on campus in May of 1970.

The book, which Glenn Frank had worked on for 20 years, is still in its manuscript form.

Since Frank’s retirement 10 years ago, it has been his goal to one day finish the story his father began.

Contact student politics reporter Melissa Dilley at [email protected].