Stephen Gale

Written by Stephen Gale:
Posted on January 6th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
Go Back to Remembrances

My Friend Frank Calabrese

Many of us had followed his final journey for several months, only to be punched in the stomach when word came that there was nothing more that could be done for Frank. I remember breaking down for a man who inspired like few I’ve known.

Those of us who knew Frank over many years are incomplete without him. His humor and cheerful disposition were infectious. Even though we were no longer in frequent contact, I thought of him often. He was my go-to person when I needed a lift.

I only had to think of his waking up to the earthshaking sounds of my uncle snoring and hurrying himself and his sleeping bag into the bathroom of my apartment, where he locked the door and hid in the bathtub. It was the Summer of 1971 and we had all convened to spend the night before we would awaken very early to go trout fishing at Lake Lopez. We had forgotten to warn him about the other visitor in the apartment that night.

I only had to think about the time we had fantasized about sneaking into a nudist colony in the hills near Bonny Doon just to see what it might really be like. Thankfully, we never did.

I only had to think about his days as Bullwinkle, F. Fester Fletcher, and the other characters he created or so richly impersonated during our radio days.

I remember when Frank met Pam. She stole his heart and he lived the rest of his life in honor and devotion to her. She was his pillar of strength through this ordeal and she has a special place in heaven awaiting her arrival.

Albert Einstein said, “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” In one word, Frank was a man who gave. He gave much to his wife, to his family, to his friends, to his community, and to his work.

As I think about the inspiration he gave to all of us, I like a quote from Ashley Montagu that I think quite accurately sums up Frank’s life: “The idea is to die young as late as possible.” Frank lives on in our hearts and minds as he keeps the youth in all of us.

Stephen Gale