Dear Ed

Happy Birthday, pop. You would have been 64 today, and I gotta tell you — I would still need you, I would still feed you. I would still be sending you a valentine, Birthday greetings, bottle of wine. I miss you all the time, and double on your birthday.

I had big plans for a poignant post, which I even started writing; it’s all about old geezers and what a great old geezer you woulda been, and how much it sucks that you barely even got to be a middle-aged geezer. But as luck would have it — and perhaps there is an afterlife and in some subtle way you can affect this — it’s been a crazy busy day and I haven’t had a free minute to spend on maudlin thoughts of how it was your last birthday, when you turned 59, that was the last time you were out of the hospital, and you got to have an ice cream sundae. I guess being so busy is fitting — you would have told me there wasn’t much use in sitting around all sad even if I do still miss you. Of course I still miss you. We all do. But yeah, I guess it’s fitting to be busy, and especially busy with the sometimes peculiar work of textile evangelism.

But your birthday doesn’t get to go by unmentioned and unmarked. Let the record show that I still miss you. And man, what a year it’s been — so many things I wish you could have been here to see, like Nilda, Paulino, and Aquilina at SOAR (not to mention 3 generations of Franquemonts), or me writing a spindle book, or your grandson’s first band concert or him getting an electric guitar for his birthday, or me giving in and knitting a sock because Chad asked. And we saw that NOVA that you were on; first time I’d heard your voice since you died. I cried. I’m lucky to have that. Lucky to have all of it, and lucky to have had you for a dad.

I miss you, Ed. Don’t take any wooden nickels.

36 thoughts on “Dear Ed

  1. I had no idea and I talked to you half the day. No wonder you couldn’t get off the phone. Maybe that was good. I think I would have liked Ed and you’re definitely making him proud with all this fiber evangelism. 🙂

  2. I met Ed at MAFA (took a class there with him), Convergence, Complex Weavers, and the Textile Museum here in Washington DC. As my guild’s then-program chair, I was in the process of working with him to find a convenient date for him to come to our guild to give a program & workshop when communication with him stopped. It was only much later that I learned how ill he had been and that he had died of that illness. Ed was a great teacher and a great communicator of his love for textiles and for the peoples of the Andes. What a loss for his family and the fiber community.

  3. Oh, that’s a beautiful tribute.

    I spent yesterday with my two favorite geezers, my dad and Alden, chatting by the wood stove in AA’s shop. Your dad would have enjoyed their company.

  4. Abby, Imagine how startling it was to go to your site for the first time and see your “Dear Ed” entry. I miss him, too. There are many times when the memories rush in and I remember all those wonderful moments with your family and everyone else that helped shaped today.
    I love your site! It is great to see you doing this amazing work. Barbara

  5. I met Ed when he lived in upstate NY – maybe the first time was at the Trumansburg Library? Anyway, some place not at all fibery. Somehow we wandered into talking about Peru. I said I always wanted to go there, and he asked why and I said, ‘lots of reasons, alpaca for one’ never dreaming this stranger would have any idea what was special about alpaca. I could not have been more wrong, of course: he started talking about fibery stuff and we didn’t stop for over an hour. Partway through that hour I found out I was talking to *Ed Franquemont* whose articles I had read and who I never dreamed lived nearby, let alone would be someone I would meet casually! He was so generous sharing his time, stories and knowledge about the Inkas, weaving, spinning, dying, fiber – we talked about a lot that day and a few other times. He was a great guy. I am so sorry for your loss, but also glad you had such a wonderful dad.

  6. Dear Abby,

    I think of you and your Dad often, I think because I think of my Dad and me often. My Dad died in 2005 so I understand the times when their presence comes to us on special days or special moments that we want to share. It sucks. It makes me cry and even though the time passes and it gets easier. The missing doesn’t seem to go away. It is truly the wanting of something we can’t have and I hate it, but I see him in you even though I never met him. He would be proud of you and I think that you evoque his spirit and he lives their standing next to you. At least when I look at you … it is what I see.

    Your post is beautiful and full of heart.
    Ercil

  7. Still think of your dad. I recently have rekindled my love of backstrap weaving he introduced me to many years ago at a workshop. Laverne Waddington helped me know what I had in a bag of samples I started then. I have since pulled out several unfinished warps and am breathing new life into them. My very first one has recently become a lanyard for my name badge where I work. I will be seeing Laverne again at a workshop next month at Martha Stanley’s home. I know Martha knew your family well. We all miss your dad too but are so glad you are continuing on your on path in his footsteps.

  8. I remember your dad, fondly, from when I was at Earthwatch, and was googling him, to find out what had become of him, and was thrilled to read of Nilda’s amazing work. I have a beautiful chinchero belt that he and Chris sold at the Brazelton – cutting gallery in Cambridge..a great guy…best,
    Blue

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