[joe-frank-list] Joe and his mother

russellbell at gmail.com russellbell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 9 04:10:39 PDT 2019

	Quoth LD <majestic_cheese at yahoo.com>, 'if joe's monologues
about her [his mother] are to be believed.'
	When did you start believing everything in his shows?  His
first show, 'The 80 Yard Run', begins with a set of stories about the
boxers Luis Rodriguez, Emile Griffith, and Ruben Carter.  I followed
boxing back then; I knew many 'facts' weren't.  A few years ago, after
listening a second time, I looked them up and found many differences -
some that made it more dramatic, some that seemed irrelevant.  I
wonder if Joe actually saw the fights.  The infamous Emile Griffith -
Benny Paret match, from which Paret died from the beating Griffith
inflicted, was on TV (*not* pay-per-view, but syndicated, usually on
the cheapest station in town, a non-network station).  Norman Mailer
attended and wrote about it.
	About 3 facts in 'The death of Trotsky' are true.  BTW, if
you're in Mexico City, you can visit the house, now a museum.  All the
chipped places from when Russian agents shot it up have been left.

	'She always seemed to be so smug about how her health was so
much better than Joe's and I couldn't bear the thought of her visiting
him as he lie dying.'
	Joe may have decided to make the story 'better' with
	She was an old lady - 97 when she died; she had survived 2
husbands and escaped the Holocaust barely (wouldn't have, had she not
married Meier), sailing across the Atlantic with a 7-month-old.  My
parents lived into their 90s.  I didn't hold them responsible for
anything they said.  I remember affording the same respect to their
	In many shows he tells us how much he loves her.  I don't know
which sentiments are sincere; those are more common.

	'I recall the amazing show he did about the speaker's mother
	Which was that?  She died in 2008; he made 'Just an ordinary
man' in 2010, the 'Unfictional' shows in 2011-2012.

	It has occurred to me that the guy who made the shows isn't
the guy whose records I have found, that the guy who made the shows
appropriated that guy's identity.  Remember 'Joe Frank's America'?
The Passwegs (Joe's mother's brother or cousin) had 3 children and,
probably, grandchildren (I hypothesize that Joe's kidney donor was 1
of the grandchildren, a first cousin once removed, not a second cousin
- people make that mistake.)  I suspect they would have spoken out.
But I didn't know her name until I read Joe's obit.  (I could have,
had I searched for Meyer Langerman's records, a name from the 'LA
Weekly' profile in the '90s.)

russell bell

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