I am told that Joe Frank is dead. My parents are both in their early eighties. Joe was 79, and according to all reports, has been dying for quite some time. I think this is the benefit one is likely to get from
- A. Having doctors (who will guess how many months you have to live).
- B. Eating your veggies. and
- C. Being athletic enough to recognize what kind of damage and destruction your body can actually take.
On that third point, I feel especially sorry for the guys who wait until they are 47 to do any exercise, and then declare in front of the After Camera that after six weeks, they are in the best shape of their lives. That proves only that he was never an athlete and it has only taken him 35 years to use the pair he grew and face some actual pain in order to gain. I don't know what Joe's case was, but he could see the writing on the wall from his position.
There isn't much to say except to be glad that Joe didn't die in complete obscurity. I'm thinking that there are still only 50,000 people who read what I've read and internalized the monologues of those who have inspired me in the English language. We are not the chatting class in its entirety, those gates have been clambered by a larger mob than us, and I can't say that I've met any sizable subset of them or their sponsors. So I rattle off a set of names and they all lead me to the same kinds of characters, those of us who would be served and satisfied by a rebirth of the blogosphere or whatever its bastards become. I remember the radio. I remember the arthouse. I remember Spaulding Grey, Joe Frank, Henry Jaglom, Wallace Shawn. Does anybody?
It doesn't matter. Joe is part of me.
When I die, I hope that I have enough runway. Maybe then I'll do my best work.