Community crowds tiny hot dog joint in support of owner with brain tumor

Published: Friday, March 8 2013 9:20 p.m. MST

Joe and Jack, Calvin Crandall's dogs, get Danger Dawgs for a treat at Kranky Franks in Springville on Friday, March 8, 2013. John Dangerfield, owner of Kranky Franks, recently underwent brain surgery to have a tumor removed. His children opened the hot dog restaurant to help pay for his medical bills in what may be the last weekend that it is open. Calvin Crandall has been a neighbor of the Dangerfield's for 14 years. After a full day of moving cattle Crandall thought his dogs had earned the dawgs.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SPRINGVILLE — The smell of sizzling, grilled hot dogs was not the only draw Friday at Kranky Franks, a tiny hot dog joint on Main Street.

Since the restaurant's owner, John Dangerfield, underwent brain surgery to have a tumor removed, the community has showed up to give support in the best way they know how — buying "dawgs." 

"It’s indescribable, really, seeing everyone come out and support us," said Dangerfield's son, Stephen. "It’s good to know that there are people out there willing to help good men like my dad. It means a lot." 

Last week, John Dangerfield went to see a doctor on account of memory problems and trouble walking. Doctors discovered potentially cancerous fluids in his brain.

Kranky Franks was closed in light of the news, but Dangerfield's six children, ages 12 to 27, temporarily re-opened the restaurant to help pay for their father's medical bills. 

“Hundreds upon hundreds of people were there today,” said Lyle Mortimer, a family friend and neighbor. “They must have sold over 1,000 hot dogs. … It’s the most amazing thing in the world to know that you live in that kind of a community, with such astounding people."

Then again, he said, it's not surprising.

“It says a lot about John, the kind of guy he is," Mortimer said. "For those entering Kranky Franks, nobody goes away hungry.”

For Marcie Crandall, a previous neighbor now living in Mapleton, buying a hot dog — or in her case, three hot dogs — is the least she can do.

“We’re here to do anything we can to help,” Crandall said. “They are in our prayers.”

“It’s tragic. It’s a terrible thing to happen for any family,” said family friend Kandy Curtis, who came to help serve.

“I got here at 10:30 (a.m.), and I’ll stay until they need me,” Curtis said. “I know they would do the same for me.”

John Farris said he and his family can’t show enough support for a family they’ve known for 11 years.

“This is my second time today,” Farris said. “My three older teenagers have been here, my wife and I came for lunch, and now we’re here for dinner. … We’ll probably eat here a couple of times a day until they close down — breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Stephen Dangerfield said the community support overwhelmingly spoke the merits of his father.

"He's the best man I know," he said. “He’s always there for everyone, just a phone call away. He has taught his kids well, and no matter what, we will always respect and love him.”

The almost 5-year-old hot dog restaurant will be open for possibly the last time from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

For those unable to make it to the Kranky Frank’s, donations are being accepted at johnneedsyourhelp.blogspot.com or through the Kranky's for a Cause account at Wells Fargo banks.

Contributing: Jennifer Stagg

E-mail: rlowry@deseretnews.com

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