Posted by: penpatience | July 31, 2020







WRITERS WORDS: “Oh a leopard can’t change his spots/and oil and water can’t mix/ but I recently heard an old dog learned new tricks.” – John Rox





     I’ve heard many times an old adage, “a leopard can’t change its spots.”  It’s true for a leopard, but for people making lifestyle or other changes in life for better and, hopefully, not for worse, it may not be easy. I muse, it’s a Yes or No answer for changing human spots.

NO– I can’t change. Why should I? I’m fine. Besides change costs too much, I tried to change before. I’m too busy right now. I’ll sleep on it. It’s too much trouble.  It’s a good thought, but impractical. If I think of anything, I’ll consider it…Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

YES– Let’s do it! Okay with me. We all need to freshen our “psyche” once in a while. I’m all for change. I really can’t think of anything, but I’m open to listening…. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

            Can a con-artist, imposter, liar and thief change his spots?

     I was fortunate in May 1988 to attend a former employer’s Annual Meeting in Chicago where the company’s Keynote Speaker was Frank Abagnale, Jr.—- a con-artist, imposter, liar, with numerous other “spots” on his deceitful carcass.  I quote from the book, “Catch Me If You Can” written by Frank with Stan Redding, “Frank is the outrageously daring imposter who practiced law without a license, performed surgery with no medical training, flew a Pan Am jet, taught at college, passed himself off as an FBI agent, and became a millionaire before he was twenty one.”

     Frank, Jr.’s first-victim was his father, Frank, Sr. A sixteen-year-old just discovering girls, Frank’s dad gave him a truck with Frank finagling a credit card from him to fund his exploits with the opposite sex. Frank’s debt was discovered by his father only after a debt collector contacted him in person. His father was more concerned about Frank’s response than the accumulated debt when Frank, Jr. replied, “It’s the girls dad, they do funny things to me. I can’t explain it. This libido and greed-tainted response set the tone of his life until his imprisonment.” (Wikipedia-07/15/20) I won’t discuss Abagnale’s troubled childhood or the many fraudulent escapades as the information is available online, in his book, and of course the December 2002 movie, “Catch Me if You can,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, and Christopher Walken.

     Bad guys, eventually, are caught and Frank, Jr. was no exception. He spent 12 months incarcerated in a French prison, 6 months in a Swedish prison and sentenced to 12 years in a U.S. federal prison for multiple counts of forgery. After approximately five years in the American prison he was paroled on the condition he’d help federal authorities, without pay, against crimes committed by fraud and scam artists.

     After parole, while working a host of ex-con menial jobs in between, Frank began a legitimate life as a banking security consultant. Later, he founded Abagnale & Associates advising the business world on fraud and payed back everyone he scammed throughout his criminal career. I muse: a criminal who evaded capture posing as an FBI Agent earned a thirty- year relationship teaching at the FBI Academy and lecturing at FBI field offices throughout the country. It appears Frank Abagnale, Jr. a naughty leopard, changed a few spots while transitioning from the bad to the good side of the law.

     Food for thought: Perhaps we can emulate “the dog that learned new tricks and alter a spot or two on our human hides—for the better of course!


Dear Readers & Writers: Be Well! Stay Safe! Wear Your Mask!



  1. Very good read. Does this mean there’s a chance my age spots may start to fade instead of becoming more noticeable!? 😂. I’m hopeful for that kind of change. 😂
    I love stories of redemption and rehabilitated lives. I remember an episode of Biggest Loser many years back, when the coach asked the contestant ‘how badly do you want it this change?’
    And there you have it. A++ 👏☕️🥰✅😉


  2. Diana, Ioved your response. However, about those age spots…..


  3. very enjoyable reading!


  4. Thank you Millard. Glad you enjoyed it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: