1. Froelick Gallery
I used to work at a CPA firm in the Pearl, a posh neighborhood in Northwest Portland. On my daily commute I'd walk past the Froelick Gallery, and it gradually occurred to me that this would make a good name for a character. Only later did I realize that "Froelick" was an Americanized version of the German surname Fröhlich, most likely appended at Ellis Island.
In English, "Fröhlich" translates to "blithe, happy, joyful, merry, [or] gay." Given my layperson's understanding of German, I'd expect it to mean, "the tempered sense of contentment one may experience on a Tuesday afternoon, provided that Wednesday remains at bay and Monday is long since forgotten."
2. Bill Froelich, Jr.
If you search for "Froelich" and "ladder" on Amazon, the results will yield my novel, Froelich's Ladder, and Up A Ladder, an autobiography by Bill Froelich, Jr.
I've purchased a used copy of Mr. Froelich's book, which had a second printing in 1992. In the prologue, he promises the reader "a narrative of pain, pathos, and at times reversals, and then there are periods of jubilation and self-satisfaction at times of successful accomplishment. It is a compilation of anecdotes, happenings, and behaviorisms in a travail on a pathway through an average life style."
Mr. Froelich was seventy-one in 1992. I doubt he's still up his ladder, so to speak, but his written word ("no ghost writers nor professional amanuenises involved in this writing") lives on.
3. Froelich Engineers
I recently received an email from M. Froelich, a local engineer. He'd seen my interview in The Oregonian and wondered if I could sign a copy of Froelich's Ladder for his dad. Sure, I said ... for $100.
No, not really. I wonder, how many Froelichs are there in the continental United States? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? I hope to hear from more as time goes on, so long as they don't write any books. That's my bailiwick, Froelichs -- lay off.