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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. You got my eyes moist, I would of liked Ed. Your doing him proud though, thats for sure.

    Beer -O-clock gets to come early at your house today. Hugs.

  2. Hey, Happy Birthday, Ed. I will never forget that you gave me my first job in construction. Or how you were the other dad who was home for the kids after school. Or how you suggested we try eating crabapples because you wanted to see our reaction. And I missed seeing you sick, so I will always remember you as the healthy, funny, weird man of my youth.

  3. Hang in there Abby. It does get easier as the years go on…some.


  4. Why do I have the feeling that your dad and mine have met in the afterlife and are having a *grand* time together. My dad passed away nearly 25 years ago and I still miss him. Ellen is right, though, it does get easier…. some.

    Take care of you and yours.

  5. He sounds so wonderful, I teared up.

  6. Abby, I love your birthday posts for your dad. My father has cancer. He’s doing well for the moment, but someday it will be bad – it’s one of those kinds of cancer. Your posts make me reflect more about my own father and appreciate him more right now.

  7. Hugs to you Abby. You’ve certainly done your father proud.

  8. Dads named Ed are extra cool. Yours sounds like he would have gotten along famously with mine. I’m hoping my little Eddie turns out half as cool as his grampa.

  9. That was lovely.

  10. I miss Ed too. I met him at Soar in 1994.

    I wish he had lived long enough for me to tell him that I got to go to the Andes, and that one of my best friends here in Houston is a woman who grew up in the Andes.

    And I still wear the hat band that I made in that Soar workshop.

  11. Oh, hell, I think I’ll call my dad. He’s 80 and doing just fine, but still …

  12. Having just passed the second anniversary of my dad’s death, I understand completely. It does get easier…well, maybe not easier. It gets different. And one day you find yourself recalling your dad’s reality more than the loss of him and you realize, in the words of the MTM Show, that “you’re gonna make it after all.” And, BTW, the phrase you used to end your post was a favorite goodbye of my dad’s…which puzzled and amused my kids each and every time he said it! Thanks for bringing back good memories.

  13. My Dad left us just before Christmas & what would have been his 85th birthday is in 2 weeks & my parents 59th anniversary is just a couple weeks after that.

    Your post has really touched me & the tears are very close, but I wanted to tell you what a wonderful post & tribute to your dad this is.

  14. My husband of 25 years died on 12/24/08 and he would have been 66 on the 19th… just 2 days from now.

    I’ve just begun the “missing him” part, but I will always celebrate his birthday.

  15. Here’s to Ed and the terrific things he did. I wish I’d gotten to meet him. Really glad I go to meet you.

  16. When someone dies, the biggest tribute I can ever give is to say “Shit, we only had ONE of them!”

    The world clearly only had one Ed Franquemont.

    (It’s only got one Abby Franquemont, too.)

  17. “Slower by the Hour, Faster by the Week.”

    They’re alive as long as they’re remembered.

  18. Abby, I really, really believe that your dad is still with you, and is proud of who you’ve become. *hugs*

  19. Abby,I met your Dad at SOAR and he was a most knowledgeable teacher. You are part him and the many other people who have shaped who you are. Now you have shared all this and are part of my life from SOAR. Both you,Ed and your stories will live on in my stories.Your Dad was wonderful and now we have you. 🙂

  20. My dad’s birthday was on Feb 5. It was rough, only my second without him. Your letter said a lot of the thing I feel. Thanks.

  21. What a beautiful tribute to your dad–I’m sure he’s proud of you!

  22. That was lovely. I teared up for sure. I miss my dad, too, something awful.

    I just have to ask – did you get the title of your new book from the film “Magnolia” with Tom Cruise? Of course, he’s exhorting his pals to respect a different sort of er, stick…it just struck me as funny and with the little I know of you well, I wondered.

  23. Awe…what a great tribute post. Hope you are doing well.

  24. Happy Birthday Mr. F.

  25. OUCH. So young. Gone so quickly. Not fair.

  26. 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. 🙂

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. Yep, he’s still around. He’s the kind that leaves a living legacy. And sticks around to watch how it plays out.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. This is moving and quite beautiful. I’m sorry for your loss.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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,

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