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  Ray and Barbara driving toward Eileen Sopanen   and Mel Vigil’s place in  Rio Chama. Eileen has been a friend of Franklin’s since they both were   working on a film together back before Franklin met Jean Michel. Then they all lived next door and near each other in Rio Chama during the ’70’s to early ’80’s before Frank and Jean Michel went off to San Francisco. Finally, Eileen and I are connected again in time to put some of Franklin’s remains in the Rio  Chama.

   Here is Ray and Eileen on the way to the  Chama river with ashes from Franklin’s New York City memorial in late spring 2008 that Magda gave us at the get together of friends of Franklin  in Manhattan Feb. 2011.

Here is Eileen and Barbara getting ready and then   pouring  the ashes into the Rio Chama  near to where Franklin built his Hobbit House and Jean Michel built his adobe  with a  Moroccan  Horno  fireplace  where they lived until the early 1980’s.

Then we came to Eileen’s Musala a special place that Mel built -an Islamic Study and Prayer Place.

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Nearby  the great Egyptian architect, Hassan Fathy, designed and oversaw the building of Dar al Islam, a North African style mosque, with an attached madressa (school), and library near Abiquiu, NM.  Hassan Fathy was in his late 80’s when he arrived in New Mexico along with an 80-year-old Nubian dome builder.  Together they taught the native New Mexican builders the art of dome building.

Frank Macfie was closely connected to the Muslim world – due to his passion and his travels in North Africa.

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When we got back to Mel and Eileen’s house, we saw  a Macfie  New Mexico Crucifix (possibly the only remaining one for sure in existence) titled “Black Christ /with Peter”. The way Eileen remembers it -Franklin was destroying the whole series but she saved one, Ray and I appreciated them at the time and are happy to see this one. There may be more out there!

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Some of Franklin’s  ashes had gotten spilled into the bag -perhaps when  airline security decided to open my suit case and inspect every thing in it, unwrapping the bottle of ashes.

So, reinforced by  recently finding a true story I wrote about finding a snapshot of a raging Chama River in flood season in the high desert paradise behind our  house in Chimayo- the snap shot  had fluttered into my hands while walking in the high  desert  in 1989 . On the back of this photo  of the Chama River  in Franklin  Macfie’s  handwriting   was the date 4/28/84. Then I found out that while I was walking Mel and Eileen had just unloaded a pick-up full of Franklin’s things to be stored at our place but  that day was not noticeably windy- so still a mysterious phenomenon.He had been out of touch with us all for a long time. Soon after this snapshot of the Chama was  found in the desert .the Macfie  Santa Nino ( saint of things lost) fell out  a book, then Franklin  called  from NYC and we got togather again.

So Ray and I spread this last bit of F. ashes with some Holy Dirt from the Santuario  de Chimayo  out in the high desert in the view of the Pinnacle!

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