Updated: Jun 8, 2019
I don't remember when I met Frank and his wife Barbara, but I do remember it was on Royal Street and it may have been that I cut their hair and they decided that I was gonna love them no matter what. I had a hair salon one block from the building they owned that is now Fifi Mahony's.
When we (French Quarter-ites) came back to town after our month long exile for Katrina, we were desperate for any semblance of what we used to do and go to places we once went. There wasn't much open after Katrina. I remember walking by CC's every day to see when they were going to reopen. God bless the day they did and we were all able to get together for morning coffee and conversations about life in and out of our city. Frank, Barbara, Lucy, Tracey, Sarah and anyone else who wanted to put up with our opinions and share theirs would meet every morning to have coffee. As bad as the city was at this time, I look back on this time as very special. We laughed through our trauma and ourP.T.S.D because we understood what happened to each other and to our city- we spoke the same language.
Unfortunately, Barbara passed, but Frank has remained and carries on. He is one of the funniest, most honest men I know.
Frank and Barbara lived in the lower quarter and he tells stories of being neighbours with George Dureau, the photographer and painter, and how George would try to drop flower pots on his head as he walked under George's balcony. George was known for photographing rough trade who were handicapped with limbs missing or little people who's mother had taken Thalidomide. George photographed and had sex with them and rewarded them with money. Sometimes George would close the shutters because he didn't want to be bothered and because the little person couldn't reach the doorbell. Barbara once asked George to ask his "trade"to not play basketball at 3 o'clock in the morning in Cabrini Park which was right across the street from their houses and keeping everyone up all night. George retaliated by calling her anti-semitic names.
Ruthie, the Duck Girl who was known for walking around with a trail of ducks following her was always looking for a a Kool cigarette- "one for now and one for later" and a draft for her and her duck who would drink out of the glass. Frank once went to her house to help her do something and found some ducks, which had been dead in her bathtub for months.
Frank now hangs with a group at Rose Nicaud for coffee talk on Frenchman and believe me he will leave you with a big smile after.
I love you my friend.