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Tag Archives: Franklin Macfie Art

 

“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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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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A Santo Nino made by Frank MacFie

A Santo Nino made by Frank MacFie: found art-collage (with various bits)on the inside of (gold colored ) aluminum 7up can

We hadn’t heard from Frank Mac Fie for a long , long time. In 1991, we were packing to move back East Coast to take care of Ray’s mother. Our daughter Susan was already back there. So, at the end of the school year, our son Philip was in school, I was teaching – some how the Found /Collage art piece made by Franklin, (which included a halo of ? franklin’s pubic hair from sometime in the 70’s) that had long been lost, just like Franklin MacFie as far as we knew was lost, it was the Santo Nino de Atacha – a favorite saint in Chimayo, the patron saint of The Lost., resurfaced. This piece with the DNA of Franklin flew out on to the floor from no where after 2 decades of being lost as was Franklin. It seemed like it was heralding Franklin’s call from New York City two days later saying he was back! BStevens

Back to the tapes done in April or so -2008). I ask when /where he got AIDS He says. “It could have been Jean Michel -I think we both could have gotten it in San Francisco in 1981 or 82”. I mention that it was his friend Eileen’s theory that you got in a perverse /reverse stance and “kept it zipped up” during that great time in San Francisco and didn’t get it .. where as Jean Michel did……I didn’t quite say all of that but got a bit of it out …. Franklin’s patient response:.” Everybody has a different response to it. His- Jean Michel ‘s was not too good – it just killed him- in the late 70’s early 80’s when it wasn’t known, and at that point in the story -everyone was having as much sex as they possibly could. We both were highly active and we went to the Baths (bath houses) and I was working at a gay bar. My friend Terry Stephenson , like Jean Michel- their bodies weren’t strong enough to fight against it.”

“I didn’t go to the doctor because I felt sick but because I knew I had it. People get symptoms and go on for a long time and then just die ( those that didn’t get the cocktails.) There is an enormous variety in this sickness……(More before ) The Cocktails….the AMA and DDC worked very hard and as fast as they could and lessoned the degrees …. Well, some people got an got it quick and died and some got it and held it and held it and it finally popped out they died. I didn’t know what it was until a couple of weeks before (JM) he died.”

Re: Jean Michel sick in Paris,”They didn’t tell him but they told me and I told them (the family)- he wanted to know why every one was whispering. So I told him, His mother yelled at me for telling him he was going to die. I would rather know, Jean Michel would rather know. I told him and he was very quiet for a couple of minutes he didn’t say anything…so I said well tell me something I’ve just told you that you are going to die soon… and he lifted his hand and very gently rolled it along my face, and he said no only half of me will die- so that immediately put me into tears.”

“Over there, when a person died they put a sheet on the door. I just went in and they said il est decidee I said he is decided quoi! Finally she used the word mort so I understood that. so I went in and saw him wrapped up in a winding sheet -just his head/face exposed… still handsome. He looked like a Huguenot Priest (well, his mouth was closed, he had only one tooth left) I never saw him again, next was the casket. That’s it, he died and I went on – I didn’t (die). I decided not to!”

We begin to talk about the “trip” he told me about recently -He had found a drug growing in New York one time while we were in Amsterdam..(between 2006-2008).Datura ( discussion followed re: was it Loco Weed, something from Castenada) Franklin says “Georgia O’keefe has all those beautiful paintings of the Datura…and I found one here in the park – there’s a tiny park right across the street from me – its not very deep its very steep and very narrow park. (BS -whats that parks name) the Jackie Robinson Park.I found this plant and recognized it right away, I couldn’t remember how to get high from it . I had read the Don Juan books and he’d been using them all the time – they are Brujo plants and you should not use them unless your a Brujo . Anyhow I ate the leaves, I ate the stamen and nothing happened. I ate the whole flower and nothing happened, finally some prickly seed pod came out – they don’t call it prickly pear but some kind of pod -that makes them almost ….. they want to repay you, almost attack …. you have take them off very carefully, I mean you have to have something to take them off with, because you cant just pull them off.. a round seed pod. size of 50 cents.. they came at the end of the season… I tried them (the plant) one year and nothing happened — then (trying the seed pods the next year) so I very carefully took them home and had to slice them with something else so they wouldn’t hurt my fingers and I started eating them the first year..”. end of tape.

Re:The story of the Datura experience in NYC on tape-what’ s missing is the transition from eating the seed pods and — then to seeing people in his apartment! Franklin says: ” Those people were imaginary of course. But at the time it was as real as can be of course, I talked to them , I saw them . When the police came (he had called them to come get the people out of his apt.) I realized they had hidden because the police couldn’t find them. – ( I tell Ray’s memory of when he said that the New York City Police said -“now you give us a call if they come back , But Not too soon!” We Laugh, he says “they’re great, the New York City Police- even if they do shoot people with 50 bullets. but in general with what they have to deal with they do it very well…”

I ask for more outrageous trips, he expresses the idea that “f I can remember then it becomes —- I can’t feel it (any) more …that I am just repeating stories that I have told..”

He remembers a lamp he made out of a top hat – then says “no, it was a fedora – can’t remember the lamp but can remember making it….(then I remind him of the one – the Wooden Fountain he goes on:) “wooden piers -4 or 5 pieces of pier .. it was beautiful – I ran water down it through pieces of pipe -lit it- a simple light bulb down at the bottom…one of best things I’ve ever done – it had both antique and slightly modern quality-magnificent…”( And it truly was- Wish we had a photo.)

There was a conversation( on the tapes) where we were talking about his friend Kate who lived next to him when he made that huge wooden “lamp”/air conditioner/ fountain out of cast off pier at Liberty Marina.* (Ray Stevens and I have a wonderful MacFie lamp made from a smooth hollow log the size of a table lamp, it has a light bulb down in it and the light glows from a huge, curved real bulls horn emerging from it.)

Ray and I met Frank’s friend Kate R. who lived through a winter – with a small wood stove- a year next to him in her beautiful but small old fishing boat -next to his house boat where the great lighted fountain was able to make the boat cool in the hot summer at the Liberty Marina in New Jersey . In view of the Statue of Liberty and the twin towers, this would have been in the mid nineties. My story is about visiting them there, and enjoying the customary early evening event of Franklin and Kate rowing the dinghy across to the large tugboat where their friend was living with her young daughter ( she had once been a pregnant tugboat captain!) . Then they would enjoy the sunset glowing golden on the surface of the twin towers .

Also in the November 1997, while Franklin was living on the house boat… put together as an art piece as usual, he had a great 60th birthday party. He Rented a Show Boat…in the Marina, and put on a great spread – We got to meet some of the family. It was a wonderful party.

Franklin dancing with Susan

Franklin dancing with Susan

Franklin and BStevens at Susan's wedding

Franklin and BStevens at Susan's wedding

1998..Sept 20th, Franklin Mac Fie along with Carolyn Brady and Bill Farrar and his wife Vicky Chapman were able to join us for Susan Stevens and Dug Birdzell’s wedding .

There were many visits back and forth mostly the Stevens went to New York- a couple of times Franklin came to Greenbelt, one visit around 1994 was when Ray’s mother was dying but when Franklin was visiting us, Ray’s mother, Alma, had this one amazing incredible good day!

But also that was the day when he heard that Michael Maslansky had died so he left right away for Los Angeles.

Ray and Franklin at Pat's house in 2000

Ray Stevens and Franklin - 2000

In 2000, we were in New Mexico and Franklin’s friend Lena from Sweden and Portugal got Franklin to visit New Mexico with her. So there in Santa Fe, Franklin must connect with lots of his “best ” women friends!: Lena, Nancy B. and Ellen, Barbara Stevens, all at once! were there any others there? It was too much.What I do know is he was a bit green with AIDS , as the cocktails were not perfected as yet, and he missed one important one, Eileen … he just didn’t manage to get up to north to see her.

2006 Carolyn Brady died and we all had celebrated her life at the Quaker type ceremony at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, but Bill Epton was very ill with a fast moving bad case of Parkinson’s. When we would drive up to NYC/Brooklyn to see Epton IF we could get Franklin to go with us we COULD make Epton laugh, talk, be himself for the duration! Franklin was the component that could dispel for a while Bill Epton’s Parkinson’s!

It is hard to figure out this MacFie magic, his way with people, the power of his friendship. Maybe it’s life as theatre. I do know he made always his surroundings into art, Art as Life, Life as Art, Life and Art as Play!?

One of the last tapes Franklin talks about -getting ready to go to the hospital… has to clean his apartment.. so when he comes back he will come back to a clean apartment…. then we start talking about how he is stretching canvas – he is painting with house paint we discuss that its thick acrylic… a real IN THE MIDDLE OF LIFE talk about making the paintings..for example ..” I am using very basic colors, red, yellow, blue and white and green.. making up the various skin colors but I never have enough , so everyone has different color skin -have to do the whole thing over , it looks they have a skin disease… anyhow I am enjoying it a lot. Unfortunately the one thing that I have been working on for a long time and made many, many changes on … its a beach scene- with a clothed figure – a man standing- it suddenly looked like a Magritte – I loved the clothed man standing there.- everybody is is mostly naked the girl the boy, the other guy. But this clothed man with the black hat. I suddenly saw someone’s going to say ah , like Magritte.”

A life -time of Franklin Macfie’s Magic has led me to this blog. The Franklin MacFie who when the entire Stevens /Birdzell combined families with the Brady- Eptons and the Chapman/ Farrar’s sprung for a state of the art computer for Frank MacFie- that, Franklin, may have just on some occasion or other, might have just thrown that very computer out from his 6th floor window! well it did disappear.

HA! MAY HE LIVE ON on the INTERNET!

Someone needs to describe Franklin’s wonderful last New York apartment, where the Datura people visited, and also his last show. The apartment belonged to Abby McGrath, his New York, Bard friend, who had invested in Harlem Renaissance Houses – giving Franklin a chance to get off the house boat and in to the city – for medical/financial reasons, and he could do his thing, fix it up -(as in restore, though.)

So the last apartment in NYC for Franklin was “the find of the century,” Abby bought a rent controlled co-op at a miraculous price and Franklin could afford the monthly fee, even – huge, with cross ventilation – old and beautiful, funky of course -way up the top of 6 flights and and way up in Harlem.. 119th …. across from a Park! (where the Datura grew), a long subway ride to anywhere..Franklin!

Barbara Stevens Oct. 2009

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