Live Well and then Die Well

I ran into my friend Wayne the “trickster” at the supermarket in town the other day. He mentioned that a lot of his friends are getting strokes. I responding by saying that “a lot of my friends are dying.”

It sounds funny, but it wasn’t meant to be. A lot of my friends…are dying.
But there is good news here. None of my miserable, unhappy friends are dying. They’re still alive exploring ways to escape their collective misery.
My friends who have died lived truly great and abundant lives.

Fran Segal passed on a few weeks ago. She was a vibrant and alive person with a heart of gold and a soft-toughness that comes with wisdom.

She married after she was sixty to my mentor Zali. Lilia and I came to the wedding on a beach in Asbury Park NJ. It was a great wedding.
Fran and Zali lived well, traveled, loved.

When we were in Florida passing through a few weeks back we were their guests. They were incredibly generous and we had the chance to spend a little time with Fran as she went through her long and slow fade out from this mortal coil.
Fran lived well, and loved well. She had a great friend and partner in Zali. They are both great examples for all of us.

Then I got a call this morning from a friend telling me that Joe Franklin had passed on. Joe’s show was the first television show I ever appeared on. Everything you need to know about Joe is:
• He was incredibly kind and generous
• He was on a one to one basis with the most famous and most connected people in the world and didn’t care.
• He claimed to have interviewed over 300,000 guests during his 43-year television career, which may or may not have been an exaggeration
• As a teenager he “followed around” Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, the latter of whom eventually began buying jokes from the young Franklin and whose Carnegie Hallshow he later produced.
• He created the concept of the television talk show and was listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest running continuous on-air TV talk show host, more than a decade longer than Johnny Carson’s run.
• He had this amazing office in Times Square, a room about 20 ft by 15 feet. The entire room was stacked with books and newspaper…to the ceiling. In the back was his small desk and chair. There was always a clear small isle that went from the entrance on a path to his desk.
Joe taught me that “a neat desk is the sign of an idle mind”.

Fran Segal and Joe Franklin! Two unique individuals who loved life, lived it well and left a mark.
May we all have the wisdom to live life as they did. By Fran….By Joe
Lewis

P.S. A short music video as a toast to the lives well lived of Fran Segal and Joe Franklin. They would have liked each other.

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