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“Franklin’s memorist piece about mother, father and sister is likely very much what he felt and saw. From everything he ever told me, it was his sisters who stood up for him.

Of course Franklin would lose the video camera the same week he got it. He probably left it on one of the bars at Fire Island while he was gabbing away with someone and then walked out without it. It didn’t give him an angst. It was just something else he didn’t have to carry around anymore was his probable reaction whereas everyone else on this planet would be racing from one place to another looking for, what they considered a precious possession.

JACK DOWLING Nov.13,2011

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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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NEW YORK CITY  FEB.2011 . FRIENDS OF FRANKLIN HAVE A PARTY — ABIGAIL   MCGRATH BROUGHT A CIGAR BOX OF FRANKLIN,s full of favorite pictures-thanks Abby!

Hosting the Party with Ray and Barbara was Harriette Phelps, who’s daughter is a professor at NYU and has a fine apartment on Washington Square Park and travels a lot, hence Harriette has met Franklin when we stayed there before. Harriette unbeknownst  to anyone- no one knew it! , took a few  little videos,  Thanks so much Harriette!

THOSE PRESENT:

MAGDA STULL Soul Mate w/ franklin last 10 years of his life.

EAMON CONNOLLY  A great long time  friend (F. told of some glorious Bar Fight stories)

JACK DOWLING  Friends the whole time since Franklin was 17 !

this one is so great … can we persuade Jack to let it be here – who does it hurt? Please Jack give us permission to post this!

ABIGAIL  MCGRATH AND TONY MCGRATH   Abigail  went to Bard… a Bardian..along with Michael Maslanksy  therefore with  Franklin  since college days. Benefactress  for Franklin with great NYC apartments… after 1997- 2008! (Thanks for Cigar Box photos!)

BILL FARRAR  A Bardian as well, long time friend  – New Yorker ,  was at the “Farm” often in the 60’s, Story Teller! collector of fine piece of Macfie Art.

Recent NYC Belladonna Story

RAY AND BARBARA STEVENS,  friends since the very early ’60’s because B. went to NYC from Oklahoma with Carolyn Brady and Bill Epton -Carolyn made connection with Franklin when they both worked at Jack Prince Studio. Franklin lived part time at Ray and B farm in Maryland, all lived  in New Mexico at the same time .. Stevens moved back to East coast when F. returned after ’91.

HARRIETTE PHELPS ( secret videographer!)

Franklin’s Magic  ( Barbara interrupts!)

SO, NOW LOOK  AT A LOT OF THE  FRANKLIN MACFIE CIGAR  BOX PHOTOS………

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1.LOTS OF POST CARDS, SOME HAD HAND WRITNG AND STAMPS, SOME LIKE ON THE LEFT HERE WERE CHOSEN BY F, 2.FAVORITE BOOTS. 3 FRANKLIN AT YOUNG AGE.

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1. HOUDINI IN CHAINS SENT BY SOMEONE WITH CRYPTIC SIGNATURE. 2.MICHAEL MASLANSKY IN JACKET, FRANKLIN IN FRONT, AND  WHO?. 3. PAINTING BELONGED TO JMB (F.M  SAID IT REMINDED HIM OF BSTVNS)

””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

1.FRANKLIN’S FAVORITE, BILLIE HOLIDAY. 2.CHRIST FROM CHARTRES. 3. MACFIE AT FIVE.

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1.HAS TO BE ALI, AT MOROCCO  COASTAL CAVES. 2. POLAROID ART, MACFIE MADE OF JEAN MICHEL. 3. POST CARD SAVED BY F.M.

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1. NO WRITING ON BACK -ANDY WARHOL AND BASQUIAT. 2.SISTER AND FAMILY  OF MACFIE (A NEPHEW)SEE BELOW: MAGDA STULL’S  COMMENT  ON PHOTOS 3.MACFIE AND NANCY IN PHOTO BOOTH( SEE BELOW NANCY BARICKMANS COMMENTS RE: LOTS OF PHOTOS..# ON PHOTOS NO LONGER CORRESPOND!


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1. CASABLANCA  -F. SOUVENIR CARD. 2. FRANKLIN AND WHO?  STANDING IN FRONT OF FRANKLIN’S MEDANALES, NEW MEXICO HAND MADE HOUSE “CHURCH” WINDOW. 3. PHOTO ’84 BOULIMAIME (?) MOROCCO.

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1. FAMILY PHOTO.  BLUE MASK  -MACFIE 1980. 2. POLAROID PORTRAIT OF JMB.


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1. FRANK WITH HIS BROTHER JOHN  AND SISTER-IN-LAW ON LONG ISLAND 2. SEEMS TO BE THE SAME DAY (SEE NANCY B.COMMENTS BELOW) . 3. CHURCH ART FROM VEZELAY CATHEDRAL-NOTE FAR RIGHT GUY – A LITTLE LIKE MACFIE.

2015 note: Re The middle photo of from the  60th birthday Party on  the Show Boat at Liberty Marina in 1997  Franklins grand nephew -Nina’s grandson  Jim Dragon writes:

“Franklin was my uncle and I was at his party on the boat in NJ and remember that picture of my grandfather with the huge video camera.  I never got to know him that well, I was born when he was in Morocco, but he was always memorable when we did meet.  One of his other sisters, Winnie, just passed away, and I hope they are having fun together.”..

“My memories of Uncle Franklin are sparse. …. I can’t really say much about Franklin from my grandmother’s generations perspective, but from my mother’s generation and mine, he was loved by all. I know he was my Grandmother’s favorite brother, she would talk about him with a smile any time he was mentioned. Jim adds this Side note: Franklin and Nora died a few days apart in the exact same manner. Aspiration Pneumonia from broccoli . Bstvns (?!)   Ray and I remember how close Franklin felt with Nora.

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1. LINDA EPTON WINRICK…SEE HER  COMMENT BELOW. 2.1997 60th BIRTHDAY PARTY FRANKLIN THREW ON THE SHOWBOAT IN THE LIBERTY MARINA  IN NEW JERSEY, FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AROUND AT THE TIME. (B and Ray Stevens behind center pole) 3. MAYBE A FAMILY WEDDING?

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linda

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1. NOT SURE WHO OR WHEN OR WHERE. 2. SEEMS TO BE IN NEW MEXICO BUT WHO?. 3. ANOTHER PICTURE  OF 6Oth BIRTHDAY PARTY ..ANYONE WHO CAN COMMENT ON WHO IS IN THE PHOTO- OR WHO WAS THERE ?

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1.WHO IS THIS? 2.FRANKLIN :ON WHAT LOOKS LIKE MOVING DAY-HOUSE BOAT IN LIBERTY MARINA.3. THE HOUSE IN PORTUGAL /WITH JEAN MICHEL BELLUC WITH ADDITION BUILT BY FRANKLIN ( AND LENA’S HUSBAND ? HOPE TO HEAR FROM LENA)   * NEW 2015:  Now a New Photo sent by Ali’s younger brother : Left is Ali, his father and another brother..

photo below:          NOT ALI- after all..so no one knows who the policeman and  others are….

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1.JACK DOWLING HELPING FRANKLIN WITH THE HOUSE BOAT PROJECT. SEE JACK’S COMMENTS BELOW.2.NANCY BARICKMAN AND FRANKLIN 1997. SEE N.B. COMMENTS BELOW. 3. NOT SURE OF THIS PHOTO, BUT THINK OF ALI AND FAMILY.

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1.  THIS IS IN PORTUGAL IN THE PART OF THE HOUSE FRANKLIN BUILT BUT DONT KNOW WHO THIS IS? 2. THIS MOST LIKELY IS LENA WITH FRANKLIN IN PORTUGAL(SEE JACK DOWLING’S COMMENTS BELOW THIS POST.) 3. NO ONE CAN IDENTIFY-ANYONE KNOW WHO HE IS?

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1. PORTRAIT -FRANKLIN, WITH NANCY B, LENA, P. 1997  SF VISIT. 2. F. HOUSE IN NEW MEXICO – labeled ” Going back in time——–Settlement 800 BC”.3.?

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1.NEW MEXICO 1997 COTTON WOODS ALONG THE CHAMA WHEN LENA  CAME FROM PORTUGAL  TO NYC AND TOOK FRANKLIN TO NEW MEXICO . 2. FRIENDS IN PORTUGAL ? 3. JEAN MICHEL BELLUC -WHEN, WHERE?

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1. P. AND FRANK. 2. ANYONE KNOW WHO THIS IS? 3. FRANKLIN AFTER 1991.

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1.MACFIE IN STUDIO OF LAST APARTMENT. 2. WHO IS HE? 3. JMB – IN THE CHAMA MAYBE? 4. WHO ? DEFINITELY HE IS VISITING FRANK’S PIGS IN MEDENALAS AT THE MOMENT.

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1.FRANKLIN AT THE BISTRO WITH JOHNNY MOSISMO (SEE MAGDA’S COMMENTS BELOW). 2.FRANKLIN AND MAGDA . 3.ON BACK OF PHOTO IS WRITTEN FRANKLIN AUG. ’38 -1 YEAR.

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Jack Dowling sent the photo he mentioned at the party of  Michael Maslansky and Franklin Macfie

“It is credited on the back to Terry Stevenson, a friend to all of us.…On the back is the date, October 1970. So this is well before Jean Micheal and probably taken in NYC  and before, certainly, Michael had his stroke which took him from us and kept him in such a devastating place for so long.” Jack 

THERE ARE MANY IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN MACFIE’S LIFE THAT THE FRIENDS OF FRANKLIN MACFIE KNOW AND HAVE NOT BEEN IN TOUCH WITH . ABIGAIL GRAFTON -CALIF., EILEEN IN NEW MEXICO, FRANKLIN’S FAMILY MEMBERS, KATE ROUNDS IN NYC, LENA IN PORTUGAL, TO NAME A FEW!  PLUS ALL  THE MISSING NAMES OF PEOPLE IN THIS POST! HOPE TO HEAR FROM MORE.

FRIENDS COMMENT HERE OR CONTACT STVNS@GREENBELT COM

NEXT POSTS : ANOTHER PARTY?- A POST FROM A MEMORIAL IN NEW MEXICO AND RE; ABIGAIL MCGRATH’S MACFIE COLLECTION AND PROPOSED MEMORIAL GALLERY IN UPSTATE NEW YORK.

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(Uploaded to Vimeo w/permission)

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Franklin at the bar

“I miss my best friend Franklin every day, we had 10 years of such a great bond. When we met we felt like we knew each other all our lives. Everyday we met and we both went through health problems and were always perking each other up. We laughed an awful lot and called each other every night to say goodnight. We went to the movies sometimes the theater, boy could he snore loud in the movies. He had a wonderful apartment, I cleaned it once for him .He loved his plants and worried when he went to hospitals if they would be still alive when he came back. Many weekends he used to go to his brother on long island and was deeply hurt when he was not welcome there anymore, he never got an answer why and that hurt him the most. I was invited on fire island at Jacks where we had long walks and sailed around and I cooked dinner and we all got stoned and laughed some more, listened to music. He was so brave and deep within so scared, he loved my kids and grandchildren and his friend Larry from the Bistro never was the same anymore after he died. They did the crossword puzzle together and smoked cigars. Sometimes we went out for lunch to a French restaurant and pigged out and made believe we were in France we just could fantasized forever all the things we were going to do when he felt better, I was going to take him to Italy etc. Now I have his ashes in a beautiful glass bottle in my window a bottle without a cork because he has to be free with two cute little buddhas next to him and flowers and more colored glass bottles around it and he is overlooking 7th avenue I took some of the ashes (just a little) to the museum in the city because we used to visit museums at times. I can go on and on, he gave me strength and love and friendship as I never felt before. I talk to him everyday as if he is here and I am so glad we are doing something on the website. He was such an incredibly talented human being.”

Franklin at Magda's retreating  from a poker game

Franklin at Magda's retreating from a poker game.

“When I went to Fire Island with Franklin and Jack, it would all go better because they didn’t fight. I was in between and they wanted me to come all the time. Jack’s place was a beautiful home, a lot of art work from Franklin, some things he made, a lot of pottery. Jack is a lovely guy. They used to argue a lot like it was with Franklin and Amon. He was the instigator all the time, you know. Oh, and that story with the Flowers! He called me and said there are people in my apartment! and I said no they are not ! Call the cops. It was the middle of the night.!”

“When Franklin was young and he worked at a laboratory at Columbia University, he loved working with that Professor! When he was little, his mother use to go to the race track and she would park him somewhere and say I’ll be right back. And he would wait and wait and wait and wait -aah! such a good feeling when she’d come back! His sister used to work at the CopaCabana and she would come home with pockets full of tips. In the morning when she was sleeping he would pull his hands through the drawer and he would have pocket money.”

F with nephew in high chair

Franklin with his sisters children

F holding baby

Franklin holding his nephew

“He was a very great man and he was very sick. I bought some of his work (from the exhibit at Jack’s Gallery), they are hanging in my apartment. He was an incredible artist and storyteller. I miss his arms around my shoulders. We used to sit in the window, like two old cats in the sun in the afternoons in the Corner Bistro. We made up life stories for the passers by. We enjoyed each other.

Franklin and Magda

” I am so happy making this memorial . He’s back, alive! And he is in my window with flowers all around. I have his ashes here and I am going to Morocco and I will take some ashes with me. I am going for 3 weeks in April. He was my soul brother.”Magda Stull October 2009

In June I went to Morocco  with Franklin’s ashes  and  left some of his Ashes in Lisbon, Portugal
he loved it there.and his mother was Portuguese, the rest  in the Ocean in Morocco…..

Magda Stull November 13, 2010

Magda in Morocca with Franklin's Ashes

into the Ocean


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Jack and Franklin

Jack and Franklin

This is a photo of Franklin and myself at Fire Island (off-season (obviously). He came out to stay with me on a regular basis both summer and fall. Now when I am there I miss his presence.

I met Franklin and Michael Maslansky in 1956 (?) at the San Remo bar. They were both just out of high school.But, he was in his teens.

We spent a lot of time together, I visited him at New port when he and Michael were doing summer theatre and there were times that he stayed with me between apartments.

More recently, since I have a car, when he was living in the houseboat in Jersey City, I was the designated driver to bring him kerosene for his stove. But eventually that plastic sided craft became too cold and in January/February he came and stayed with me. This would have been 8 years ago or so.

He was very broken up at the death of Carolyn (Brady) and I, an artist and great admirer of her work shared that grief. He often mentioned  Barbara and Ray Stevens, but Franklin liked to keep his friends separate and it was rare that he would introduce one to the other. I knew Abigail and Tony from Westbeth and so it was “OK” that Franklin and I went together to visit them at Oak Beach.

When he lived in the various houses that Abigail was buying in Harlem I would move him. When he finally settled in her coop on Broadhurst I helped him there. Whatever brother John was thinking I don’t know. When I asked about Franklin’s things in the apartment he simply said he left everything for Abigail to deal with. They had an odd relationship, Franklin and John.

For some reason I have not seen or spoken with Magda since that heartbreaking gathering at the bar which all his long time friends found appalling. But it was where he hung out the last couple of years and, as you know, Franklin was a “ladies” man, a charmer with women, a more difficult friend to men.

He and I had a rocky friendship. There are many funny stories, many not so funny. Many times when he and I would have fights and arguments. Nancy knows about that. Nancy Birickman also came to Fire Island and the three of us had a great time. Franklin came as often as he could to Fire Island -the last years.

He told me he had to go in for a minor repair just before I left for Europe in May of 2008> I was staying with friends who had no television, cell phones or email and looking forward to this I never left a contact number in New York. Magda Stull walked to my building to find me and left word with a friend about Franklin. But I did not return until weeks later.

He worked for me at the gallery which I direct and I gave him an exhibit which was quite successful of his gauze pieces. Here are two pieces that I own. From the Mask Series when he was attending Greenwich House a few years ago. He did some pottery heads and then this development. (below).

Franklin. Mask series. 2004

Franklin MacFie Mask series. 2004

And this one  piece from the Gauze Series. What happened to the rest of them I have no idea but they were stunning.

Franklin. Gauze series #1 2005

Franklin.Gauze series #1 2005

In March 0f 2006 I put together, as director, an exhibit at the Westbeth Gallery in NYC titled “Directors Choice”,of Franklin’s gauze hanging pieces. We worked out a method where they were slipped on rods and hung from simple hooks, so they hung freely in the light air that came through the windows. There was a good turn-out but not what I think Franklin had hoped for. Many of his old friends did not come. Abby did; his brother John was there with Mickey and, of course, Kate Rounds from the houseboat days at Hoboken.

He actually sold a number of pieces and to people he didn’t know which delighted him. That someone outside his crowd saw merit in what he did was, in a way, a revelation. He had been building odds and ends of structures, pieces of boats from the waterfront and so on but this was the first I had seen in all the 50 years that I knew Franklin that he devoted himself to developing a style and carrying through with it to the point the work…many, many pieces… were exhibited in a New York City gallery.

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THESE SHOTS (BELOW) WHEN THE TWO OF US WERE IN MOROCCO SHARING CAVES IN THE 1970’S  ARE MY FAVORITE.

Jack Dowling Oct. 19, 2009

Franklin  1973

Franklin 1973

Franklin 1973

Franklin 1973

Franklin 1973

Franklin 1973

Fire Island July 4, 2006

July 4, 2006 Franklin, Liz and Jack at the dock on Fire Island.  Liz is an old friend of mine who was visiting on the Fourth. She had met Franklin years before on the many occasions that he stayed with me between……..well, just between. Jack


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Posts by Barbara Stevens:

f in sunglassesBeginnings and Endings

1960s- NYC

MacFie and Maslansky

The Farm 1965-1968

Various Trips 1959-1970

Out West 1970s

Out West ’70s – ’80s

1990s – May 2008

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Franklin MacFie by Jack DowlingFranklin 2 1973

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Franklin MacFie by Magda Stullf with nephew

Franklin at the bar










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VIDEO: FRANKIE AND NANCY AND DREDLIGHT

BY: NANCY BARICKMAN & ELLEN CASEY (AKA: DREDLIGHT)

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NEW YORK CITY  FEB.2011 . FRIENDS OF FRANKLIN HAVE A PARTY — ABIGAIL   MCGRATH BROUGHT A CIGAR BOX OF FRANKLIN,s full of favorite pictures-thanks Abby!

Hosting the Party with Ray and Barbara was Harriette Phelps, who’s daughter is a professor at NYU and has a fine apartment on Washington Square Park and travels a lot, hence Harriette has met Franklin when we stayed there before. Harriette unbeknownst  to anyone- no one knew it! , took a few  little videos,  Thanks so much Harriette!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBXXY7txils

FIRST OF 4

THOSE PRESENT:

ABIGALL AND TONY MCGRATH , BILL FARRAR,

EAMON CONNOLLY, JACK DOWLING,  MAGDA STULL,

RAY AND BARBARA STEVENS  WITH HARRIETTE PHELPS


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBXXY7txi
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FRANKLIN’S ASHES: RIO CHAMA, New Mexico May 2011 – EILEEN SOPANEN & RAY & BARBARA STEVENS

  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.

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NOV. 13, 2011 FRANKLIN DID A “FAMILY ” (Mom, Dad and Sister) VIDEO!    

Contributed by JACK  DOWLING     click here  Letter from Jack Dowling