By Jennifer Wimmer
Greg Franzman, professional drummer and therapist, moved to Hawesville in 1969. He finished his eighth grade year at Hawesville Elementary School, and graduated from Hancock County High School in 1973.
When he arrived in Hancock County to live with his uncle, the late Clay Quinn, and his wife, Shirlene, there were a lot of bands playing in the area.
He quickly jumped on the music scene, and frequently played drums with bands, such as at sock hops, and other events at the Lewisport Community Center.
He is self-taught, and started at age 12. He had never owned his own drum kit, and when his Uncle Clay and Aunt Shirlene saw how much he loved playing, and how well he played, they purchased his first one only six months after he’d moved in.
“Hawesville saved my life,” Greg said. He lost both of his parents at the age of 13.
When the opportunity was presented to him to live in Hawesville, he was eager to accept. “Thank God, for Clay and Shirlene,” he said. “I don’t know what would’ve happened to me if I had stayed in Louisville.”
He was in concert, marching, and pep band, and played for school musicals at HCHS. He played “Baby Baritone” for a time, and mostly drums.
His father served in the Army, and Greg had attended 9 different schools, before he moved to Hancock County.
His family lived in Germany from 1959-1963. “I used to hate changing schools,” he said. “I really appreciated being able to stay in one place, and finish out my education in Hancock County.”
After graduation, Greg attended Brescia for a year, and then took a break to go on the road and play music full-time.
In 1980, he moved to Owensboro, and began a job as a production worker at Commonwealth (Aleris). He worked there for 31 years.
While working there, he earned 3 degrees from Brescia: an Associate’s in Human Relations/Psychology, in 1991, a Bachelor’s in Sociology, in 1994, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology, in 1995.
He then earned his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, from Western Kentucky University, in 1999, and passed his exams in order to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor for the State of Kentucky, in 2001.
He also completed a 2-year program in Reality Therapy as well, from Glasser Institute.
For a year and a half, Franzman was Vice Chairman of the Employee Assistance Program Committee at Aleris, and was Chairman for two and a half years.
He was also a substitute teacher for the City of Owensboro, and Daviess County Schools, for ten years, while working at Aleris.
Greg retired in 2011, took a week off, and then went to work for RiverValley Behavioral Health (RVBH) for ten years.
He worked as a Qualified Mental Health Professional, in Therapeutic Child Services (TPS), and did out-patient psychotherapy – all for over 5 of those years.
Franzman started at RVBH in Daviess County, and then moved to the Ohio County clinic where he was a Clinical Supervisor for three years, at Ohio County RVBH.
During his three years as a clinical therapist, he also worked for the Critical Stabilization Unit – an emergency room for mental health.
Greg had started earning his doctorate in 2016, and resigned from RVBH, in order to complete it.
Franzman earned his Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling Degree from Agape Seminary, in Louisville, on June 5 of this year.
He is not trained in the seminary, he said, however, he is a devoted Christian, and recognizes the importance of the spiritual aspect in therapy.
Franzman has been a member of the Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA) for over 20 years, and said that he always noticed that the spiritual aspect of counseling was missing, but said he has “noticed a shift” in the last few years, and is thankful.
Growing up, his mother, the late Norma Jean Quinn Franzman, took he and his siblings to Catholic church.
His father, the late Norman Franzman, also took them to the Methodist church, through which Greg became involved in Troop 1 of the Boy Scouts.
When he was around 12, he was earning a merit badge requirement by volunteering at the Kentucky Blind Association Conference, at The Brown Hotel in Louisville.
He was helping a blind man back to his room, and the gentleman said, “Can we just sit for a moment?” They stopped and sat together, and he took a genuine interest in Greg’s life – asking him all kinds of general questions.
Greg started really pouring it out, because he said, “He really seemed to care.”
He then escorted him back to his room, and told him that he would be back the next morning to help him get from his room to breakfast.
The next morning, his scout master called saying that he wasn’t needed at the conference that day. Greg was beside himself. He wasn’t going to be able to help the man to breakfast as he had told him he would.
“I felt like I let him down,” he said. “That was the weekend that I discovered compassion for another human being.”
Greg has plans to open a private practice in Ohio County with his colleague, Sarah Wilson, and a few others.
He sometimes utilizes music in therapy, and initiated the start of music therapy with drums for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) diagnosed children, when he was substitute teaching.
He conveys the message to those he counsels, that they are the most qualified expert on who they are, and that approach is empowering and uplifting to them.
“I go to where the client is. I don’t go in with an agenda. I listen,” he said. “And, I let them know that they’re the expert.”
Franzman served over 300 clients and many of them, over the years, have told him that they’re so glad he continues to further his education. When he asked a few of them why, they said, “Because it means you’re still learning.”
He plans to apply for a year-long, online course at the Institute for Applied Jungian Studies. When he completes it, he will be certified in Jungian Therapy, as well.
Frnzman has played with many bands, such as The Fairlanes. He even had the opportunity to tour with Buck Trent, famous Hee Haw banjo player, and did live shows and concert dates with him for about a year.
He currently plays with 6 different bands, a few of which are: The Velvet Bombers (cover band), The B-Bombs (an unplugged version of The Velvet Bombers), and Charlene Blay & 2nd Edition (jazz band).
Greg’s grandparents are the late Marquis & Alma Quinn, of Patesville, and the late Oscar & Nellie Franzman, of Cannelton.
His siblings are: Mark Franzman and Cindy Link. They both live in Louisville.
He is blessed with one daughter, Natalie. She and her husband, Vadim Dale, live in Louisville. They met when she was chosen to be on the show Outback Jack. She won, and the two fell in love.
Natalie is a successful Hair Stylist. Vadim is originally from Victoria, Australia, and is a former U.S. Marshall, and retired Police Officer for the Louisville Metro Police Department.
They have blessed Greg with 3 grandchildren: Hunter Bella-Grace, Eden Victoria, and Chloe Sophia.
Greg said he believes that trust, love, hope, and faith are the main things in life, and that as you get older, it is faith that means the most.
Being a drummer, he says he is well aware that in life also, “Timing is everything.”