Daryl and Mickey France have resided in Canyon Lake for the past six years. Daryl was born Topeka, Kansas. Mickey was born in Chino, California. The couple met online eight years ago. When they met, Daryl was living in Culver City and Mickey was living in Hemet.
“It seemed a lot of people were finding love through internet dating sites at that time, so I decided to give it a try,” says Daryl.
Daryl has two children, Jared and Mandy. Mickey has four children, Bruce, Melisa, Lori and Michelle. Their ages range from 30 to 46 years old.
When Daryl and Mickey met, Daryl had been divorced since 1993 and Mickey was a widower. Mickey’s wife passed away from uterine cancer in 2001. Daryl says, “I was looking for a family man – family is important to me. The fact that Mickey raised his daughter by himself after his wife passed away really meant a lot to me. He is so devoted to his family. He stole my heart.”
After two years of dating, the couple married and moved to Canyon Lake. “When we came to Canyon Lake to look for a home to purchase, we were barely in the gate and people were waving to us even though they never met us. We saw people riding around in golf carts, boating and walking. There is a sense of community here. Knowing that everybody is participating in something makes Canyon Lake a fun place to live,” says Daryl.
Mickey, who has a degree in Police Science from Chaffey College, is a retired Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy. He’s worked in law enforcement for 24 years. Before working for Riverside County, he worked as a police officer for the Chino and Pomona Police Departments.
While working for the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Mickey started a costume business in Hemet called Backstage Costumes. He owned the business for 17 years and made most of the costumes himself.
“I made the first 600 costumes myself. I worked as a deputy during the day and purchased fabrics and sewed costumes at night,” he says.
After retiring from the Sheriff’s Department, Mickey worked as a contract detective for the cities of Banning and Beaumont. He also earned a real estate license and opened three real estate/property and management offices in Hemet. For 23 years he taught real estate courses at Mt. San Jacinto College.
From 1968 to 1971, Mickey promoted shows for Wolfman Jack, a famous disc jockey known for his gravelly voice and film, television and music career.
Daryl has a degree in Theater from Denver University. She’s been acting since she was 13 years old. “I’ve done plays, TV commercials, voice-overs, improvisations and stand-up comedy ,” she says. In 1997 and 1998, Daryl sang the National Anthem for the Denver Rockies, now known as the New Jersey Devils. She continues to paint sets, something she’s been doing since she was a teenager. Daryl says, “I just finished painting a set for a play in San Pedro.”
Four years ago, the Frances opened up three yogurt stores in Central California – two in Fresno and one in Clovis. Daryl says, “We wanted to open our yogurt stores locally but the market was saturated here. Mickey’s daughter Melisa is our manager and manages all three stores.”
The Frances say they named their businesses after Mickey because Mickey is a happy name, and because every other name that they thought of was already taken.
Mickey’s Yogurt is a self-serve yogurt store where people pump their own yogurt and add their own toppings. The cost is determined by weight. “It’s a fun business,” says Mickey. “Everyone who comes in is in a good mood. How can you not be happy eating yogurt?”
Daryl and Mickey are active in the Canyon Lake community. Daryl is a member of the Woman’s Club, and they get together once a month with other couples in the Canyon Lake Dining with Friends group. They are also active members of the Car Club. “We own a 1954 Chevy Sedan Delivery and a 1965 Ford Falcon,” says Mickey.
About five years ago, Daryl and Mickey wanted to have their Ford Falcon painted, so they took it apart and put it back together themselves. “It took about six months,” says Daryl. “I’ve never done anything like that; it was really fun.”
The couple participates in the Car Club’s annual Garage Tour, and puts their cars on display each year at the Canyon Lake Car Show in October. They also volunteer as drivers for the dignitaries in the Canyon Lake Fiesta Day Parade. “Last year we drove POA Director Bruce Yarbrough; the year before that we drove Canyon Lake Mayor Randy Bonner,” says Daryl.
In 2013, the Frances participated in the Canyon Lake Woman’s Club annual Holiday Home Tour. “Our home was one of the stops on the tour. That was fun, but it was a lot of work. We started decorating our home in October,” says Daryl.
Daryl and Mickey live on the East Bay. Anyone on the lake who happens to see them on their back deck should stop and wave hello. Their home is the one with the 4-foot-tall chipmunk on the back patio.