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2004.06.17

Frank

IMG_7940_web_cropFrank was a seemingly permanent fixture on the corner of Bedford Avenue and N. 7th Street in Williamsburg. He was there almost every day โ€“ sitting on top of the newsboxes outside the deli, on the steps of the pharmacy across the street, or on the ground talking to a friend and playing with a dog. He had a shiny black motorcycle, and that's about it...except he also had severe diabetes. He was homeless, but well taken care of by the people of the neighborhood. Once a collection was taken up for Frank when he needed medical treatment. The deli kept his insulin, and people offered him food and cigarettes. He always had a smile, a friendly hello for everyone, and an opinion โ€“ he loved to tell us what was on his mind.

IMG_7936_webFrank had complained about his feet often during the past few months and mentioned needing an operation. Then he disappeared on his motorcycle one day. The deli owners thought he had gone upstate, but instead he was in the hospital. The pharmacy received the news a few days ago that Frank died in the hospital from his extended illness.

Now a makeshift memorial to Frank is growing on "his" corner. People stop, stunned, as they realize that he's gone. Cards, poems, flowers, and [of course] beer and cigarettes have been placed near his photograph, along with candles lighted in his memory.

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Here's what one friend had to say:

DEAR FRANK!!!
YOU HAD LEFT "BEDFORD AVE AND NORTH 7TH STREET" BUT YOU NEVER LEFT THE PEOPLE WHO SAW THE TRUTH IN YOU. I 'M VERY GLAD I HAD A CHANCE TO MEET A PERSON LIKE YOU IN MY LIFE. YOU GAVE ME "EYES" TO SEE THINGS THAT I THOUGHT I SAW BUT DID NOT BELIEVE IN THEM. YOU MADE ME BELIEVE.
YOU WERE ONLY A BUM TO PEOPLE WHO WERE/ARE BLIND AND CARELESS. I HOPE THEY WILL FIND THEIR WAY SOMEDAY, BUT IT WILL TAKE THEM A WHILE IF THEY DID NOT GOT IT UNTIL NOW.
WATCH OVER US AND BE STILL WITH ALL OF US IN OUR HEARTS MY DEAR FRIEND. I'M VERY HAPPY THAT U MADE WHAT YOU HAD TO MAKE AND NOW YOU ARE WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE., LOVE YOU, AND F*CK THEM ALL, LIKE WE USED TO SAY AND LAUGH.

-- ANIA

Frank was a truly unique person, and a neighborhood character who will be missed by many. If you have a story about Frank you'd like to share, please click on "comment" below.

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Posted by Glowlab in culture :: subculture | Permalink

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