Friday, October 05, 2007

Meet Frank

In 1992, Frank lived in a van in San Francisco, where he scoured dumpsters for food, and was attempting to build his own sailboat out of old wooden skids he collected from the back of grocery stores. Frank was poor, yet happy and relaxed with life. He didn't work for someone else, giving him the flexibility to move about at his own pace. He ate well too, even if it was the waste of strangers food. "It's amazing what people throw out, especially outside of good restaurants", he says.

As luck would have it, Frank didn't have to wait long for his sailboat. One day a man who owned a sailboat died, and his wife wanting nothing to do with the boat or sailing, gave Frank the boat. Frank lived on the boat for three years in the San Francisco Bay and then, in 1997, moved to Florida, where he spent a couple years sailing up and down the east coast.

In 2000, Frank enrolled in trucker's school. As a truck driver, Frank spent five weeks at a time, often working eleven hour days,
driving coast to coast. "They ran me pretty hard into the ground by sending me to Los Angeles then San Francisco, San Francisco to Florida, Florida back to California...", he explains. And he quickly realized that the American highway system, was nothing like its coasts. Across the country, even in the desert, Frank discovered monotony. Corporate chain stores and restaurants, exit to exit. "Its amazing how somehow, they make THIS WHOLE country look exactly the SAME!"

Although truck driving was not what Frank had expected, he was able to save because he lived in a truck and had limited expenses.
With his savings, Frank purchased another sailboat. This time a 25-ft Pacific Sea Craft he named Senshi after a Japanese mystic poet. Frank plans to single-handedly sail Senshi across the Atlantic, and he equates the voyage to succeeding in life. It explains why Frank currently spends almost all day, even in the summer heat, grinding the fiberglass hull of his boat, preparing it for the journey.

Frank has had a couple of serious girlfriends, but in the past years has spent most of his time alone. He doesn't let himself get lonely though. He's not sure how he does it so well, but contributes it to self-reliance and faith. "I have faith in the Universe. I know I am an eternal being and when I die my energy will go on. Not sure how or where, but I know it will continue and everything that I seek will happen in time." He spends his free time playing chess, guitar, and just simply thinking. He is spiritual and non-materialistic.

Frank was not always this positive. It has taken him many years to become who he is today. He used to be fairly angry, a heavy drinker (he no longer drinks), and carried his past on his shoulders. When Frank was twelve, his father suddenly passed away, and his mother decided it would be better if he moved in with his grandparents. His grandparents were strict, however, and he was depressed by these new living conditions. One day, about a year after his father passed away, Frank's frustration reached a peak and he blurted out to his grandmother in the car, " I hope you die!". The very next day Frank's grandmother dropped dead of a heart attract, and Frank was left with guilt.

Frank contributes his current peace and universal understanding to motorcycling and sailing. He has loved the ocean since the first time he saw it at age seven with his father in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Frank says that all his life he has been looking for a feeling, but he is not sure how to describe it, and has not reached it yet. He believes that he will reach this unidentifiable feeling while crossing the Atlantic.


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Mark said...

What a fun and interesting blog. I'm a little too apprehensive to approach strangers in this way, but I suppose if I fostered a more journalistic attitude it would be easier. Very cool--and I enjoyed looking at your artwork, too.