When Frank’s mother, Susan, rang me up to discuss the Dana situation, I also heard from Frank’s father, Gary. Below, Gary rings in with his take on Dana and her mother, as well as other girls on A Basement Affair. More importantly, he shares what filming was like while he was feeling the effects of pancreatic cancer, and he gives us an update on his health.
So, what’s your take on Dana’s interview?
After watching the show and seeing some of the comments she and her mother made, first of all, they’re the complete definition of white trash. Here’s a woman that came into the house yelling, screaming and ranting. Who would come into somebody’s house she doesn’t even know with that attitude? I’m not trying to make excuses, but I just had surgery a couple of months before, big, major surgery for pancreatic cancer, and let me tell you something: if I would have felt a little better, I’d have put on rubber gloves because I wouldn’t want to touch her, grabbed her by her arm, and escorted her right out the front door. If it would have been today, thank god I’m a lot better and things are going well for me, that’s how it would have gone down. I don’t even give a s***, but I only wish that I could confront her. When you don’t feel good, it seems like nothing matters. You’re kind of just going through the motions because you’re just sick, and it’s hard to even enjoy things that were enjoyable.
I thought participating in the show was a really nice thing you did for your son, being that you were so sick.
I always would have liked to have been in this kind of atmosphere and get a chance to get on television, and because of Frank I got my chance. Even as a kid, it was something that I dreamed to do, but when the time came, I was thinking of not even doing it and just letting my wife go. She didn’t want to leave me home alone because I really wasn’t in shape to stay here alone. The producers were really nice to me, but I still felt obligated there. I’m not sorry I did it, though. For my children, all my children, my wife and I have sacrificed. The only thing in my legacy when I’m gone is that I’ve always been a good family man. I love Frankie. Frank is still living here and that’s not a joke. He’s still living here and we’re helping him out.
What did you think about the girls on the show besides Dana?
There’s a couple that belong on Charm School. Jenny is one. Maybe not even Charm School for her — maybe a boot camp. Annie, another one I found out about. She needs a little bit of training. The two girls that I thought were the nicest there were Melody and Melissa. Two sweethearts that were genuine. Kerry, too. But really Melody and Melissa, they might have been the two most down-to-earth girls. Renee wasn’t bad with us, and most of the girls were nice with us, but Renee seemed that she had problems with everybody in the house, so sometimes when you have problems with everybody, it’s not everybody, it’s you. Although I do believe that she might have really been there for Frankie. I don’t think most girls really were there for him. And I’m not knocking anybody, because you know, Frankie went on I Love New York, and sometimes you want to get on television, and there’s nothing really wrong with that. I just think that Renee might have been the one that really cared for Frankie, and maybe that’s why the girls had a problem with her. She just didn’t know how to relate back, as far as I’m concerned. I also think that my wife might have jumped the gun with Mandy. If I was well, I would have talked my wife into not being so harsh with Mandy, and maybe Mandy would have stayed longer. We were under the impression that Mandy filled the water bottles with vodka and put them back in the refrigerator. And I was taking medicine, a lot of medicine, and that could have really hurt me. I know how young people are, I didn’t know if she was taking that alcohol to save it for herself. I’m not saying that’s the nicest thing to do, but it’s a whole different thing than filling up water bottles and putting them in the refrigerator. As soon as Mandy came in and they were taking pictures the first day with all the girls, Mandy made a mistake and said my wife would be lucky to have her in the family. That’s all you have to tell to my wife, and she takes it like it’s literally. I love her, but sometimes she wants to be like Judge Judy and her decision is final, you know what I’m saying? I’m sorry about that, because I don’t think Mandy was that bad. I really don’t. And she’s the only one of those girls that cleaned up all those girls’ mess. The other girls laid around and did nothing.
I had never seen anybody on a reality show cleaning up before.
I didn’t think she was that bad. Like I said, I spoke to her a little bit. I didn’t intermingle that much, I wasn’t feeling that good, but I kind of felt bad for her. I don’t know what would have happened the following weeks, but I think the problem with my wife, that was one of the reasons. My wife thinks none of those girls lie. If lying was the criteria for leaving the show, then they all would have left the first day. I mean she doesn’t get it, they all lie. So I just think with Mandy maybe there was a little rush to judgment. That’s just my opinion. I mean, my wife differs and I couldn’t say much there, but now I’m feeling better and I can really say what I want.
It’s really good news that you’re feeling better.
I really am. One of the producers asked my son Sal, “Who is the most dominant voice in your house?” and Sal said, “Well if you asked me now, I’d say mom. But before my father got sick, my father was the most dominant voice.” That’s one thing sickness will do for you, it will humble you. Thank God things are going well for me. I still ask people for prayers, because you always need prayers, but I’m feeling so much better and I’m doing so much better than I was when we filmed the show. If we ever get the chance again, I really would like to confront some of those girls and say what I had to say. And I think Jenny was a phony girl. Even when Mandy left, she didn’t leave without class. Jenny left without class. All the girls actually liked us, and as a whole, I liked the girls, too. I really did. I see a little bit now…like I didn’t know Dana was as vicious as she was, but let’s be honest, Dana had the greatest teacher. Her mom taught her. I didn’t want her to get what she wanted: a fight. If she would have come there and said that she had concerns about her daughter, about being with someone that doesn’t have a job, I could have understood that, because you want to know something? Those would have been the same concerns I would have had for my daughter had they brought home a boy like Frank. I always said, “I love you Frank, but I wouldn’t want you for one of my daughters.” And he’s my son, but I tell him that all the time.
And Now, a Word from Susan
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