Reflections on a Reunion

A memorial to Frankie Garcia, who died in December,
and to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Nik’s death.

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See “Memories of Frankie”

See photos from the reunion by Norman Ader & Peter Koletzke and by Jimmy Seawright

Frankie's passport photo

The decibels would have delighted Nik.  Take 100 or so persons who are familiar with the nooks and crannies of each other’s personalities and bodies, who have been apart for — maybe — years, and who are drawn together to remember a beloved friend and you do have decibels.

On March 22, 2003, at 6 p.m. we were convened to salute the life of Frank Garcia.  Phyllis Lamhut and Janis Brenner wrote and phoned, plotted and planned.  Mimi Garrard and Jimmy Seawright opened their home.  And they came — from California and Italy, Illinois and Ohio, the Bronx and New Jersey, Utah and Florida, and all points around and between.

We met and chatted with Frankie’s family and each other, ignoring for the most part the delicious pot luck offerings.  We were just too busy reveling in the familiar niche of the Nikolais/Louis family.  Phyllis spoke of Frankie, lovingly and a bit tearfully; Murray filled in details of his meticulous costuming as did Carlo, recalling, among other details, Frankie’s delight in the company’s postcards from the “edge,” especially those naughty French ones.  Joanne spoke of the concert tour of Nik’s work to celebrate his art on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death.  Janna and Gerald talked of the plan for a “Nik symposium” at Hunter.  Jim set up Gerald’s laptop computer to show the slide show gallery of snapshots of Frankie as a boy, as a soldier, and of the many friends who were gathered in his memory.

I turned into a pumpkin (or a mouse?) at 10:30.  The decibels had hardly diminished.  And there were plans afoot to continue it all at Gerald’s the next afternoon.  A number did indeed arrive at Gerald’s Sunday afternoon, some bearing sets of slides, and the party continued on.

Helen Kent sent me a note that expresses the feelings of many:

Ruth — I’m still recovering, reflecting, remembering, and reconnecting with all the wonderfulness of Saturday night.   It was such a fabulous show.  And we all were great.  To see all the generations together in one space was really a tremendous feeling.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  And, in fact, for me, the world stood still while we partied.  Thank you for being this organization’s conduit.   — Helen

Frankie, dear, it was such a great celebration for your 74th birthday.  You would have loved every minute of it.

— Ruth