Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Frankie Moates

I find it's only appropriate to dedicate a blog post to my Uncle Frank. He's technically not my uncle. Actually, he's my second cousin. But he's known by everyone as Uncle Frank. And to me, distant relatives are just as important and significant in my life as immediate family members. And to me, he is my Uncle Frank.
Uncle Frank battled a long fight against cancer, and yesterday, the cancer won. Although I didn't get to know Uncle Frank as well as I would have liked, I was lucky to have known him period, and to have had in my life even if it was for a short time.
Frank is my mother's cousin, and she has shared with me some wonderful memories of the times she had growing up with him in her life. Frank was also one of the best guitar players I think I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. He played frequently at the Blues Train in Dalton, Georgia. I'll never forget when Phil wanted to surprise Mom with a marriage proposal, and Phil wanted Frank to be a part of it. So we loaded up and went to the Blues Train and listened to Frank play all evening. Frank tricked Mom into thinking she was selling his CD's to the crowd, and had her get up on stage. And that's when Phil surprised her with his proposal. It was a very memorable evening, and I'll never forget seeing Frank perform.
The man can play. And not only can he play, but he can play with his teeth. It was amazing.
So it was appropriate to have Frank play at my Mom and Phil's wedding. And again, he amazed us all. He wasn't just a guitar player, but he was a real performer. And in his day to day life, he showed the same exhuberance and vitality that he did when he played his guitar.
When we received the news that his health was declining, it was devestating. Mom and I made our trip to Austelle, knowing it would be the last time we saw Uncle Frank alive. And it was. He passed the day after our visit. He was loved by so many people and it was obvious why.
He has an amazing family who has supported him every step of the way during his fight. His wife and daughter seem to have the strength that we all wish we had.
Frank was a wonderful and amazing person and he will be missed by many.


Heather said...

Hi Jessica: I am Frank's oldest (step) daughter. Upon "google-ing" Frank, I came upon your blog. Your Uncle Frank would not be so happy to know that you love UGA football....he played fball for Tech! I wont hold this against you though...I'm a graduate of UGA! Thank you for the kind words about Frank. I was in Atl the day after you left and would have loved to have met you. On a personal note, I had my third boy in March...and found that when I was pregnant I too developed a love of iced tea (what's up with that!?!). Your blog is very funny. You remind me of Jen Lancaster (Memoirist and Author). Keep bloggin....you've got a future in writing...very talented!

JohnKlingler said...

You all decide how this happened. I just found out 30 minutes ago that Frank had passed. I met him 20 years ago. This morning, I put on my Atlanta Vintage Guitar t-shirt that I bought many years ago. Is this a tribute to Frank even before I heard this terrible news? God works in ways that we might never understand. God bless him and his family. I will never forget him.

John Klingler

cathy.walsh.lake@gmail.com said...

Jessica, This is so beautiful, I just found it for the first time this afternoon. I was sitting at the computer listening to Franks music and searching for more videos of him when I happened upon your blog.

You are right he was a great guy, an extremely talented musician and I couldn't have had a better brother. He loved the guitar for as long as I can remember. I remember he would always call me into his room and say "listen to this song". That would just be the beginning; he would play for me as long as I would listen and I would usually listen as long as he would play.

Then quite often after listening to him play we would go into the kitchen and make homemade fudge, he liked that and a big glass of cold milk or two.

Now, everyday I listen to saved messages on my cell phone that he sent me on June 3 and then the one on June 19 when he called and sang happy birthday to me for the last time. Needless to say, I miss him very very much.

I love you and Adam and that sweet baby Mason. I hope to see you guys this summer at the lake.

Aunt Cathy