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Sunday, October 11, 2020

We Can Never Go Back to Manderley Now

By Kurt Silverfiddle

It is much easier to understand Franco if you understood his considerable talents, and the era he came from: Where literary giants like Norman Mailer, William F Buckley, Gay Talese and Gore Vidal thrusted and parried, as did poets, musicians and denizens of various artistic communities, jealously guarding their reputations in the clawing, catty, neverending fight for recognition, celebrating success, and celebrating the failures of your rivals.

He was a man of many talents and a fiery ego, although in person-to-person conversation he was gentle as a purring kitten.  His voice reminded me of a more baritone, less nasal Mark Steyn, and he had the wit to go along with it.

He was also incredibly generous.  He supported at least two families and people suffering from cancer, and his generosity extended to undocumented immigrants.  He went so far as to seek legal aid for a family he had grown close to.  He could argue vociferously on principles, but he loved people and pulled considerable amounts of money out of his bank account to help those who needed it, including the widow of our departed friend Jersey McJones.

He told me back in August he was ready to go.  Failing hands, failing eyesight, his disgust at the cultural rot encircling us...

I'll close with my favorite poem by him, made more poignant upon his death.

We Can Never Go Back to Manderley Now

Should I care if I get cancer

In this wretched, troubled, world

Where all seems swiftly headed towards the rocks?

Since we live with devolution,

Marred and poisoned with pollution

Cancer gives us absolution,

Since our kids don’t care enough to wear their socks.


As towards The End we're whirling

With flaming batons twirling,

And last night's dinner hurling towards the rug

And no one seems to notice

As they take positions lotus

To escape the awful bother,

Despite demur from failing father,

To remove the dreadful stench, at which they shrug

And each, emaciated limb

Grayish, pale, translucent, slim

Flailing in St. Vitus' Dance

Keeps death watchers in a trance

As with dead, unseeing eyes they watch and long

With fading final song for their ultimate demise

I’d be grateful to have cancer

It has given me an Answer

In this wretched, troubled, world

Where my life now lies unfurled

Wherever I have travelled

All behind me lies unravelled,

And backward glances give me naught but shocks.

As I see we’ve ALWAYS headed towards the rocks.

~ FreeThinke


  1. Ah, Mandeley, from Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca!

    Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute, SF, particularly this poem.

    I included the hot links above for those who might not know the allusion to Manderley.

  2. Rest In Peace Free ThinkeOctober 11, 2020 at 7:38:00 AM EDT

    ANEM...GOD BLESS Our Good Friend Franco

  3. So far, it hasn't occurred to the great majority of the participants that they can CHOOSE how they would like to respond to these fantastic overtures.

    The greatest irony so far?

    Whenever I post items of beauty, refinement, enlightened thinking, encouragement, or good old-fashioned common sense, the majority respond with irrelevant mumbo jumbo or feel compelled to argue against the thesis of the day -- or try to put others down in some fashion.

    When was the last time you heard anyone say, "Hey! You know I really think you've GOT something there. I never thought about it that way before. Thanks!"?

    ANSWER: Almost never.
    Carry On

  4. May as many of MY enemies celebrate MY death...

    FreeThinke/Franco ALWAYS had our backs.

    1. ++

      You always have your friends' backs as well. God bless you and your extremely well-read intellect.

  5. Lets remember those we loved, lets never forger our friend Franco/Free Thinke
    Who fought for us, and who suddenly died;
    And those like him that we never knew
    For whom others mourned and cried.
    Lets take this Sad event as a sign to
    draw together to recuperate this broken Nation of ours.
    As we go through this period of sorrow;
    Let's help each other,to find a better, and brighter tomorrow

  6. Dear Franco Aragosta aka FreeThinke
    If we could bring you back again,
    For one more hour or day,
    We’d express all our unspoken love;
    We’d have countless things to say.

    If we could bring you back again,
    We’d say we treasured you,
    And that your presence in our lives
    Meant more than we ever knew.

    If we could bring you back again,
    To tell you what we should,
    You’d know how much we miss you now,
    And if we could, we would

  7. "In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject so worthy of my attention."
    - Waldo Lydecker aka Freethinke -

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