Frank Fusco has led an eclectic life. He discovered the world of creativity when, at age thirteen, he began a career as a professional newspaperman. After high school, some college, and four years in the U.S. Air Force, Fusco returned to his Illinois hometown and continued his newspaper career. Later, he became the editor for a chain of sixteen Chicago-area suburban newspapers, and then moved on to the Chicago Tribune. After several brushes with death during the 1960s civil rights years, he and his wife moved to southern Indiana and went into the retail business.
While in Indiana, Fusco opened a shop that sold muzzle-loading rifles and became a student and re-enactor of the American Revolution.
In 1976, Fusco moved his family to Arkansas, where he engaged in several vocations, including property management and raising Maine-Anjou cattle.
Fusco and his wife had three children: Evan, who is a physician living and working in the Springfield, Missouri, area; Brent, an exceptionally talented writer, who passed away at age twenty-seven; and Danielle, who is twenty-one years junior to her big brother, Evan.
Once Danielle married her high school sweetheart, Frank found time to officially retire and pursue other avocations. The Fusco home, set in a semi-rural location in the woods several miles south of Mountain Home, is a perfect setting for relaxing and concentrating on either woodturning or writing. Fusco has published articles, essays, and poetry, and is working on his third novel. Fusco is a member of the Ozark Wood Turners, The Pen Shop, and the International Association of Pen Turners. Also, he is a member of Twin Lakes Writers, Ozark Writers' League, and Ozark Creative Writers.
Woodworking and woodturning takes part or most of my days. The pens here are just some of the woodwork and turning that I enjoy doing. I like making pens because they are both useful and challenging. A fine pen is not just a writing instrument. For the owners, it is a statement that they enjoy fine things. Additionally, a turned, handcrafted pen is usually made from materials that will never be found in mass-produced items.
I use woods from Arkansas and around the world. Some of my favorites include burls from many different woods, Bethlehem olive wood (the Holy Land woods), African blackwood (a relative of ebony), the ironwoods, Osage orange, and many others. On request, I will turn pens with "heritage" woods. These pens are from wood that has special meaning to individuals. It might come from sources like great-granddad's barn, the fireplace mantle in the old family homestead, or a tree with historic meaning. History and nostalgia can live in such pens.