Monday, June 09, 2008

received from Phil Frank in 2003

The coffee is prepared in such a way
that it makes those who drink it witty:
at least there is not a single soul who,

on quitting the house,
does not believe himself
four times
wittier than when he entered it.

Charles Louis De Secondat

1689 - 1755

click image to enlarge

I had sent an email to Phil sometime last
year and did not receive a response.
I thought he might be busy, or, since
he retired, that perhaps he was out enjoying
himself somewhere with his family.
I only found out yesterday, that he died
last Sept only a few days after retiring.
If you click on his name above
and look to the right, there is a short clip
of him in Sausalito. We were neighbors
in town while I lived there, although separated
by many blocks. On Halloween, he'd clear his garage out,
put a coffin in it, and lay inside. When people would walk in to
take a look, he'd pop up and hand out candy.
Word always got around and many a
crowd came to see his Dracula impression.

We last saw him in '99 before we opened
our coffeehouse. He looked and sounded
good. He had a houseboat also, which was where
he would go to draw his cartoon. He enjoyed local history
and always a good laugh. Although our interactions
were brief, I truly enjoyed his company and
outlook on life. As mentioned above, in 2003
we received this drawing from him
for our coffeehouse.

I was glad to have known him.


Bob Dylan said...

rest in peace, Phil Frank. Love his halloween humor.

robin andrea said...

What a wonderful remembrance of a grand artist and very good man. Roger always read Farley and was a very big fan.

I love the series of cartoons you chose to run. I remember those merger rumor days.

Kurt said...

Reminds me of my SF days.

Merle Sneed said...

The cartoons are very funny.

Didn't Alan Watts have a houseboat in Sausalito, back in the old days?

Unknown said...

This is a fine commemoration of a departed friend. Your words tell me that he is someone I wish I had known.

Coffee Messiah said...

bd: It was quite the draw.

robin: The two week strike we were in and the eventual fallout is why I left when I did. Not to mention Lisa out here.

kurt: How long were you there and what area were you living in? I may have seen you around and didn't realize it.

merle: Yes, and in the days he was there, Sally Stanford, and a few interesting artists (can't remember their names) were all hanging around with each other. The boat they hung out on I believe was the Valhalla and many stories came from those interactions. I have a radio post I want to do sometime and Alan Watts is part of it.

nick: If you see the video with him, you'll see why he was such a likable fella.

DivaJood said...

What a great tribute. The last strip you show sums it all up nicely: Journalism is going to the dogs.

Bobby D. said...

Kurt was living across the street from the ocean in a multicolor VW van that was up on blocks--It had a sun roof and sometimes a pot plant was sticking out of that.

Coffee Messiah said...

diva: After the strike in '94, many of the local writers were given new areas to write about, ones unknown to them. One friend who wrote about local events was told to write about "shoes" and such. She left not long after that. They were sad times, and of course neither paper is doing well these days compared to old times.

dc: Well, near Playland, Sutro Baths, under the Golden Gate Bridge.....could have been any of these places and more I guess.

cbb said...

That is such a disorienting way to discover someone's death, I think - learning it was awhile ago. I think in some ways it intensifies the loss, as if in the time of not knowing we are somehow at a double loss.

If this doesn't make sense, I apologize. I may have to work on what I mean. And what I originally intended to do before I was sobered by your post was pass along this Mae West quote I just discovered (which, Coffee Heaven knows, you may already be familiar with). Anyhow, she said:

'If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.'

P. S. Sounds like you're in the Bay-ish sort of area. Did/do you know Kafe Kafka?

Coffee Messiah said...

cbb: No problem. Since I was in the bay area, but haven't been in years, it's been a bit harder to keep in contact with old friends. So, it was crazy weird to realize the circumstances and missing them. Makes you realize, you just never know.

The Caffe Trieste was my hangout, cause there was one in Sausalito where I was living and Sf when I worked. Heard of the Kafka but had never been there.

Muddy Waters in the Mission District was another favorite.

When In Seattle, we went to Vivace where their roaster was.

Thanks for popping by!

Miles said...


thank you for remembering phil frank., a wonderful cartoonist, social commentator, and from your description, a wonderful man. he is already missed.

Coffee Messiah said...

miles: I was surprised when I ran in to him downtown Sausalito when living there. And after talking realizing he was at 5th & Mission also. I never saw him there, only in town and there was indeed more to him than the eye could see.

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