Saturday, we had the memorial party in honor and memory of our dear friend John Farrell. I called John "John2" (say with a French accent "jean-tu"!) because both of our computer names at ALSG and Long View Farm ended in the number 2. I'm kathy2 and he was john2. We called each other brother and sister because we had the same "last name" LOL. I often would call him up and greet him with "Brother John?!" when he answered the phone.
Some background history: John and his life-partner Geoff met Gil in the mid-1960s down in Truro. They hit it off, and Gil offered them both work at Long View Farm where they lived and worked for a couple of decades. They re-built Long View when Gil purchased the property from an elderly lady. Meaning, they designed and renovated the whole inside of the two buildings, put recording studios in and everything -- you name it from soup to nuts they did it. They also re-built/renovated the building that now houses Passports, which is a building almost identical to Long View (white farmhouse and red barn).
John was a very talented singer, songwriter and a fabulous chef and avid gardener. He was one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life. He would have you cracking up laughing within one second of being with him, and the laughter would continue all day long. He did all the cooking at Long View for all the various musicians that used to stay and record there. And all the time he was cooking, he'd be singing. It was such a shame that he died of cancer of the larynx and lungs. He couldn't speak for the last two years of his life, let alone sing. A real tragedy. And he was far too young at 60 years old. After all, he'd tell you himself that 60 is the new 40!
(continued below, after photos)
K2 & Vincenzo
K2, Gil & Moe
Gil & Moe: A Tradition, what's a party without a photo of Gil and Moe!?
Jubilee and Abby (Jubilee is 19 years old! I call her
Jumpin' Jahoozabee because she used to jump so high!)
Brother Bill and Scott. That's our building behind
Geoffrey, sitting at one of the built-in desks he
created in 1986. Another is behind him. He also
installed the bay windows.
K2, Sue and Tacke (the "church lights" behind us
were chosen by John2 in 1986 when a local church
was being renovated and they were selling their used
light fixtures. Whenever I turn the church lights on or off,
I think of John.)
John and Geoff had a somewhat well-known band in the area called "Fragile and the Eggs". You can find all of their stuff on Gil's website (www.studiowner.com) just search "John Farrell" in the Media Library section of the web site.
Watching John perform in some of the videos is priceless. He was a great performer, but I guess I'm a little biased!! We played the videos on three plasma screens all day Saturday.
Around the time that Gil and I left the farm, John and Geoff moved to Florida and retired.
Geoff is an artist (painter and sculptor), and a lot of his work is sold in Provincetown. They owned a vacation home in North Truro up until about 4 years ago when John started getting sick they sold it. I went down to Florida to visit them about a year after John was diagnosed with cancer. I'm so glad I went. I almost cancelled the trip because... yes.... I had a fibro-flare. I flew down there in horrible pain, which lasted throughout my visit. I'm so glad I went because it was one of the last times I saw him. He came up here that summer to visit, but he was so sick by then, it was difficult for him to be away from home.
What a wonderful day Saturday was. The party was perfect, perfect, perfect. Even the relentless thunderstorms that started halfway through the (outdoor) party were perfect, and we figured they were sent special delivery from John himself! We hadn't had ANY rain in 7 weeks, so it was actually welcome, and everyone stayed outside even though they could've gone indoors whenever they wanted!
It was more like a reunion than a memorial service, and we planned it that way on purpose. There were people there that I hadn't seen in years and years, and some I never met before. John was the heart and soul of Long View. He and Geoff lived there full-time and John was really the glue that held the place together.
Gil and Dave have been working on videos and audio during the year since John died (he died Aug 29, 2006), in preparation for this event.
It was John who, in the past, would organize the kind of party we threw this weekend in his memory.
Guests came from out of state, and even from other countries. Gil somberly noted, in his eulogy, that some of them hadn't seen each other in 20 years, and may never see each other ever again if the same time pattern continues. During the eulogy the lightning was so vivid, and the thunder so loud and incredible, as we all huddled under a huge canopy in the pouring rain and laughed because we knew that John had sent the thunderstorms to us! When Gil passed the microphone to Geoff, Geoff said very few words, but they were heartwarming and we were all crying. Geoff and John were together for 42 years! They were the first committed gay couple I ever met, and we became very close and dear friends.
We had the videos of John with his own music as the soundtrack set up on a constant loop on three plasma screens in our office building (which John and Geoff re-designed and renovated in the mid 80s when Gil bought the property) and the video ran repeatedly all day, and people would go inside and sit for a while and laugh and cry and reminisce.
The food, which we had catered, was excellent. Our office building is located at a horribly dangerous intersection, so we hired a town cop for the day to do traffic detail. The last of the guests left at about 11:00, and we had two of our employees stay behind to provide building security. Gil and I stayed up really late watching video footage that I and two other people had shot throughout the event.
Traffic detail cop and Lupo, videographer extraordinaire!
What a week it's been!!! I had no houseguests after all, so now I have a spotlessly clean house! Bonus!!!