If you are a copyright owner and believe that your copyrighted works have been used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, here is our DMCA Notice.

« Big sound | Main | If You Can't Afford the Rock School for Kids in Park Slope, There's Always the Merle Allin Day Care Center Down the Hill »

August 29, 2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c29169e200d8342013c753ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference To My Favorite Octoroon:

Comments

vanjulio

It amazes me to see people with NO helmet on in fact. Rhode Island has no helmet law apparently. I hail from the deep South where everything is backwards and conservative. So I was very shocked to see such a redneck attitude towards life. I guess there is a thin line btwn "Live Free or Die" and "Git'r'done"... I dunno. For a section of the country that is so progressive, liberal, and enlightened (perhaps it is my own mistake to conflate all these as one and the same, or as being somehow codependent - progressive liberalist mindset might still not exactly be "enlightened"... I digress).... I can't believe how many morons are out there on motorcycles without helmets. Then again, I'd never take the right away from them either. (Darwin wins again)

I write this with further reinforcement to my strongly held opinions about this subject, as, just a week ago, I was plowed over by a Land Rover with a teenage valet at the wheel. He came out without looking and I went underneath the front of the car. And this was on a stinking bicycle! Motorcycle is a whole other level! I left the accident unscathed. I slammed my head and body into the pavement and was nearly crushed by the luxury SUV... It could have been so much worse. There was luck on my side perhaps - but also good sense. It's good sense to wear a stinking helmet. And don't think people are going to start looking out for you. I venture, quite regularly, by this same spot where I was run over by the Land Rover - and I couldn't believe it - but the same fucker in a Land Rover, with different tags, came flying out of the resort parking lot AGAIN just this past Saturday. This time I running on foot. I went right up to his window and pointed and yelled and snarled etc etc etc. He had learned nothing from the previous encounter, and you know there are many more aggressive Yanks up here driving like idiots. Even if they nearly kill someone it doesnt change their actions.

Helmet! Helmet! Helmet! Death to all you speeding valets that don't look both way before pulling out into a busy street!

borax

crap. a few months back we here in baltimore lost one of our great life-loving, potent art/music charactors, peter zahorecz. he was skateboarding at a skatepark in london and had a fatal helmetless spill. he was a young lad, relatively, in his early 40s. in spite of the terrible tragedy of this accident, one must admit that it is impressive that peter probably cleared those limey skaterats by 15 years and more. i can't call these incidents "blazes of glory", but they DO hold a bit more poetry in them than a drug overdose or armed robbery killing...

Dan Howell

No surprise, I met Luis at a bar. In ordinary circumstances I would probably have never talked to him. He leaned in a little closer, talked a little louder and was a little more candid than most people I knew. But we were both hanging out with our friend who was the bartender, at the time, at the Cupping Room. I don't know if I had seen him there more than once or possibly given him a ride home that night, but we found that we lived nearby. The next thing I remember was a late night call from him excited about a demo tape he had just made in his L.E.S. apartment. He had to come over and play it for me right then. He was always one for the immediate gratification.

At the time I knew little about his background, but I let him in and put in the tape. I was truely blown away. It might have been my low expectations, but the songs were as blunt and honest as he was. The production was as stripped-down as you can get leaving only his voice and guitar. The percussion track, he said, was made by sticking a microphone practically up his nose and making sound by passing air across it. Of course he had to demonstrate. That was when I knew there was something more going on with Luis.

I was constantly impressed that was never scared of anything. Rather than plunk down several thousand on renting a studio to record an album, he decided to take the same amount of money and make his own studio, Big Plate, and help other struggling bands make music. He hocked his cherry mint-green Gretches to raise the capital. I don't know the whole story of Big Plate, but it was a success by his own measure.

He approached film making with the same fearless energy. It seemed far-fetched to me, but as many would testify, he succeeded in that too. He was full of schemes. If he didn't have his heart in the right place, he would easily have been a con-man. Probably a successful one too. That said, there wasn't an ounce of Luis that wasn't authentic.

I'm shamed by the fact that I hadn't talked to Luis much in the past couple of years. My news of Luis' exploits came second hand, but it was easy to imagine with vibrant color, tremdous volume, and gritty texture the energy and passion Luis brought to everything he encountered. I never thought it would end. I'm sure Luis has a scheme to make sure it doesn't.

sonya

dammit! dammit dammit dammit

i met luis in around 1984 or 85 when he made his way north with my then-boyfriend's brother. the two of them drove the entire way from new orleans to boston in an old green bmw that had a supermarket poster advertising "chicken legs 29 cents" taped to the side of the car. in walked a sassy southern boy the likes of which i'd never seen....stories of a refrigerator full of stolen bones, hustlers, everclear - very funny and very sad and very real. your description of him is so apt, as well as lovely. thank you for breaking your rule about blogging from your personal life......dammit

Todd Norlander

I've known Luis since the early 80's, when my best friend Kerry Kraker played bass with him in Velvetine Rabbit. Luis' guitar playing was LES with a Spanish tinge and the songs he sung unlike any played by the our circle of punk slop bands. His death is a shock; I'll write more after reflection

Alejandro Fernandez de la Reguera

Luis was my cousin. We started emailing each other 6 or 7 years ago. We start our relationship slowly, he was trying to get the essence of this relative that live so far (I'm in Chile). But through the months and years we build a relationship and a close feeling, sharing our personal projects. I have some of his first attempts to write mails in spanish, mixing words in spanglish. I remember how happy he was to spend some time with others cousins in Mexico. I love his spirit, his kindness and I'll miss him every day, I feel an empty space in my heart.

adele aguirre

I met Luis in the middle of nowhere in Telachac Puerto Mexico about three years ago.. He was walking on the beach, I stopped him to ask if he knew anyone selling a house on the beach.. Not realizing he spoke english I tried my broken Spanish.. He answered me in english .. I told Im from NY.. he had moved from NY.
From that moment on he became a friend.. He helped me find my house... My whole family stayed at his house on the beach. We have some crazy stories of drinking taquila and beer and just talking about how crazy things are.

Everytime I came to Merida, we'd bump into each other and have a coffeee.

Last email I got from Luis, he was in veracruz.. saying he might put down roots this year.. I knew that probably wouldnt be the case. Luis was a free spirit .. I will truly miss him.. I will always walk the streets of Merida wishing he were there and looking for him..
I hope he is at peace wherever he is now..

Todd Norlander

Vanjulio--A great friend dies and we get your helmet screed and personal anecdote? You fucking computer-blind solipsistic philistine. Your webpage is a celebration of the unlived life that Luis' legacy laughs at.

Robert Burke Warren

The last conversation Luis and I had was two nights before the motorcycle accident that cut short his life. The crash would occur three driveways from our 1910 Victorian house in rural Phoenicia, New York. He was on his way back home and we were all going out to have Mexican food. I remember being nervous about the prospect of Luis not being impressed with the Gypsy Wolf - the Mexican restaurant in nearby Woodstock. Having just spent three years on the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican culture than ran thick in his blood, Luis knew whereof he spoke - and ate - when it came to Mexican food, and his stories of culinary adventures ran the gamut from sublime to horrifically disgusting and funny. For instance, he'd gotten parasites from eating a taco filled with brains, and yes, that was perfect fodder for his humor. I wasn't nervous about what he would say about the Gypsy Wolf; the truth was always a given with Luis. I simply wanted him to be happy with his food.

Thirty-six hours prior to that day, in the dim light of a computer screen in the guest room of my home, Luis and I were riffing and laughing. Luis was allergic to our cat, so my wife Holly had given him an Allegra, and he was buzzing like he'd just drank a double espresso. And stimulants were not his thing; drawn to depressants, he'd struggled with heroin before I knew him, and he was always at odds with alcohol. On the Allegra, his already-protruding brown eyes were bugging out and his everyday rapid-fire speech was even more accelerated than usual. But it was like music, that voice – a New Orleans gumbo of oddball pronunciations, a giddy squeal-to-a-snort of laughter, laced with punk rock energy and sweet, soulful charm. I was exhausted, having worked that day at a summer camp, but I'd not yet had much quality time with Luis, so I fought my fatigue.

Luis had been with us for a week, having divested himself of his house in Mexico, bought an RV in Florida, and driven up I-95 to come and get a bunch of things I'd been holding onto for him during his time south of the border. His plan was to have a long-overdue visit with my family - which included his godson, my eight-year-old Jack – get his stuff, and turn around and head to Costa Rica to start a new chapter in his life. Included in that stuff was his beloved BMW motorcycle, which was in our horse barn, draped with heavy quilted blankets. A family of mice had taken up residence on the seat, nesting in shredded cloth on the cracked black leather. Amazingly, however, when Luis wheeled it into the bright August sun, the bike had started right up. In the day-and-a-half that followed our last conversation, he would tinker with it in the backyard. Some time later, while he lingered in this realm, tethered to machines to keep him alive, I would clean up the flattened cardboard box he'd been using to keep the oil spillage off the flagstones.

In the guest room, we'd been talking about suicide. My friend Todd's, in fact. Next to Luis, whom I'd know since 1985, Todd had been my oldest friend. The two friendships were similar not only in their length, but also in the fact that each was a thread that could be picked up effortlessly after weeks or months had passed. There was no awkward period of getting back in tune with one another – we always just picked up where we left off.

In that last conversation, I'd played Luis a song I'd written about Todd, and, even though the song does not overtly state it, Luis picked up on something. "You're still mad about that, aren't you?" he'd asked, referring to Todd's intentional drug overdose two years earlier. I'd replied that yeah, in addition to the myriad other emotions that torment my innards, anger still rises and falls, though with less intensity than before. In response, Luis told me a story.

He'd been 18, living in New Orleans, where he'd spent much of his youth with an abusive single father. Careening into manhood, Luis had moved out of his father’s house and into a shitty apartment with two fellow punk rockers. Tired of feeling bad all the time, Luis had chosen to kill himself. He’d waited until he was fairly sure his roommates would be out, then he’d purchased three bottles of Sominex and a fifth of Jack Daniel’s. He’d taken off his boots, downed his drugs and crawled under the bed to hide, and ultimately, to die.

Through a series of unlikely twists of fate, one of Luis’s roommates happened to see the three Sominex boxes on the sidewalk outside the apartment, had sensed something, and had gone inside to look for him. Because he’d taken off his boots and left them in plain sight (“They were the only footwear I owned,” Luis laughed) the roommate eventually figured out Luis was in the apartment, found him, and called 911. Luis told me he’d awoken in the emergency room with a tube down his throat, the taste of charcoal in his mouth, and a New Orleans cop in his face telling him he’d broken the law. He’d told the cop to fuck off, then got his shit together and headed for New York.

“But man,” Luis said with a soft shake of his head, “when I was drinking that Jack Daniel’s and taking those sleeping pills… I was so happy. I remember that. I hadn’t been that happy in a long time.”

I can see his face as he said it – deep dark eyes filled with fierce love and a trace of fear overcome by the heart that beat inside him, strong and, within a week, to be beating inside someone else’s chest. In my mind’s eye, he is stretched out on the bed a couple feet away from me, in blue Carhartt jeans and a white V-neck T-shirt, dingy white socks on his feet. He is smiling, in need of a shave – his scalp and handsome, russet face are covered with stubble – and his hirsute forearms, usually gesticulating expressively, are resting on his round belly. He’d told me on the phone, en route north to Phoenicia, that he’d gotten “fat and bald”, and he had. But he’d been surrounded by family love in both Mexico and Florida, a nurturing sort of love that he’d never experienced to such a degree with blood relatives, and when I saw him thus, I was happy for him.

I’ll never know if Luis realized what a gift he gave me with that story. The tale of his attempted suicide had broadened something within me. My compassion for Todd increased, and I could finally let go of some of the toxic sense of betrayal I’d harbored over his decision to leave behind his wife and newly-adopted daughter. I know now that when I go to that inner landscape to grapple with life’s difficulties I will have a broader field on which to work my creative energy. Luis gave me that. And while I did realize it at the time, I suppressed an impulse to hug him. I did, however, tap one of his sock-covered toes and grab one of his shins and say, “I’m really glad you didn’t check out.” I said it as I was getting up to leave the room to go to bed. Luis was wearing me out.

“Yeah, me too!” he laughed.

He spent the entire next day with my son Jack, walking along the nearby train tracks, going into town for ice cream, and talking. The day after that would be the day of Luis's wreck, which remains a mystery. He and Jack hung out on a Friday, and that afternoon the two of them brought home a large rusted plate of iron with a railroad nail sticking out of it, which is still on the porch as I write this. Luis and Jack bonded during this visit, and the accident and Luis’s subsequent death have given my eight-year-old his first experience of true grief. He cried many times with Holly and me between my trips to and from the hospital ICU, and while he has bounced back significantly, his grief still visits him. Luis had sent Jack a T-shirt from Mexico emblazoned with a bandanna-wearing chulo on the front and a low-rider with flames around it on the back. It’s too big, so it has become a nightshirt. Jack pulled it over his head a few evenings ago and wept. But he left it on and it kept him warm as he slept.
The last conversation Luis and I had was two nights before the motorcycle accident that cut short his life. The crash would occur three driveways from our 1910 Victorian house in rural Phoenicia, New York. He was on his way back home and we were all going out to have Mexican food. I remember being nervous about the prospect of Luis not being impressed with the Gypsy Wolf - the Mexican restaurant in nearby Woodstock. Having just spent three years on the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican culture than ran thick in his blood, Luis knew whereof he spoke - and ate - when it came to Mexican food, and his stories of culinary adventures ran the gamut from sublime to horrifically disgusting and funny. For instance, he'd gotten parasites from eating a taco filled with brains, and yes, that was perfect fodder for his humor. I wasn't nervous about what he would say about the Gypsy Wolf; the truth was always a given with Luis. I simply wanted him to be happy with his food.

Thirty-six hours prior to that day, in the dim light of a computer screen in the guest room of my home, Luis and I were riffing and laughing. Luis was allergic to our cat, so my wife Holly had given him an Allegra, and he was buzzing like he'd just drank a double espresso. And stimulants were not his thing; drawn to depressants, he'd struggled with heroin before I knew him, and he was always at odds with alcohol. On the Allegra, his already-protruding brown eyes were bugging out and his everyday rapid-fire speech was even more accelerated than usual. But it was like music, that voice – a New Orleans gumbo of oddball pronunciations, a giddy squeal-to-a-snort of laughter, laced with punk rock energy and sweet, soulful charm. I was exhausted, having worked that day at a summer camp, but I'd not yet had much quality time with Luis, so I fought my fatigue.

Luis had been with us for a week, having divested himself of his house in Mexico, bought an RV in Florida, and driven up I-95 to come and get a bunch of things I'd been holding onto for him during his time south of the border. His plan was to have a long-overdue visit with my family - which included his godson, my eight-year-old Jack – get his stuff, and turn around and head to Costa Rica to start a new chapter in his life. Included in that stuff was his beloved BMW motorcycle, which was in our horse barn, draped with heavy quilted blankets. A family of mice had taken up residence on the seat, nesting in shredded cloth on the cracked black leather. Amazingly, however, when Luis wheeled it into the bright August sun, the bike had started right up. In the day-and-a-half that followed our last conversation, he would tinker with it in the backyard. Some time later, while he lingered in this realm, tethered to machines to keep him alive, I would clean up the flattened cardboard box he'd been using to keep the oil spillage off the flagstones.

In the guest room, we'd been talking about suicide. My friend Todd's, in fact. Next to Luis, whom I'd know since 1985, Todd had been my oldest friend. The two friendships were similar not only in their length, but also in the fact that each was a thread that could be picked up effortlessly after weeks or months had passed. There was no awkward period of getting back in tune with one another – we always just picked up where we left off.

In that last conversation, I'd played Luis a song I'd written about Todd, and, even though the song does not overtly state it, Luis picked up on something. "You're still mad about that, aren't you?" he'd asked, referring to Todd's intentional drug overdose two years earlier. I'd replied that yeah, in addition to the myriad other emotions that torment my innards, anger still rises and falls, though with less intensity than before. In response, Luis told me a story.

He'd been 18, living in New Orleans, where he'd spent much of his youth with an abusive single father. Careening into manhood, Luis had moved out of his father’s house and into a shitty apartment with two fellow punk rockers. Tired of feeling bad all the time, Luis had chosen to kill himself. He’d waited until he was fairly sure his roommates would be out, then he’d purchased three bottles of Sominex and a fifth of Jack Daniel’s. He’d taken off his boots, downed his drugs and crawled under the bed to hide, and ultimately, to die.

Through a series of unlikely twists of fate, one of Luis’s roommates happened to see the three Sominex boxes on the sidewalk outside the apartment, had sensed something, and had gone inside to look for him. Because he’d taken off his boots and left them in plain sight (“They were the only footwear I owned,” Luis laughed) the roommate eventually figured out Luis was in the apartment, found him, and called 911. Luis told me he’d awoken in the emergency room with a tube down his throat, the taste of charcoal in his mouth, and a New Orleans cop in his face telling him he’d broken the law. He’d told the cop to fuck off, then got his shit together and headed for New York.

“But man,” Luis said with a soft shake of his head, “when I was drinking that Jack Daniel’s and taking those sleeping pills… I was so happy. I remember that. I hadn’t been that happy in a long time.”

I can see his face as he said it – deep dark eyes filled with fierce love and a trace of fear overcome by the heart that beat inside him, strong and, within a week, to be beating inside someone else’s chest. In my mind’s eye, he is stretched out on the bed a couple feet away from me, in blue Carhartt jeans and a white V-neck T-shirt, dingy white socks on his feet. He is smiling, in need of a shave – his scalp and handsome, russet face are covered with stubble – and his hirsute forearms, usually gesticulating expressively, are resting on his round belly. He’d told me on the phone, en route north to Phoenicia, that he’d gotten “fat and bald”, and he had. But he’d been surrounded by family love in both Mexico and Florida, a nurturing sort of love that he’d never experienced to such a degree with blood relatives, and when I saw him thus, I was happy for him.

I’ll never know if Luis realized what a gift he gave me with that story. The tale of his attempted suicide had broadened something within me. My compassion for Todd increased, and I could finally let go of some of the toxic sense of betrayal I’d harbored over his decision to leave behind his wife and newly-adopted daughter. I know now that when I go to that inner landscape to grapple with life’s difficulties I will have a broader field on which to work my creative energy. Luis gave me that. And while I did realize it at the time, I suppressed an impulse to hug him. I did, however, tap one of his sock-covered toes and grab one of his shins and say, “I’m really glad you didn’t check out.” I said it as I was getting up to leave the room to go to bed. Luis was wearing me out.

“Yeah, me too!” he laughed.

He spent the entire next day with my son Jack, walking along the nearby train tracks, going into town for ice cream, and talking. The day after that would be the day of Luis's wreck, which remains a mystery. He and Jack hung out on a Friday, and that afternoon the two of them brought home a large rusted plate of iron with a railroad nail sticking out of it, which is still on the porch as I write this. Luis and Jack bonded during this visit, and the accident and Luis’s subsequent death have given my eight-year-old his first experience of true grief. He cried many times with Holly and me between my trips to and from the hospital ICU, and while he has bounced back significantly, his grief still visits him. Luis had sent Jack a T-shirt from Mexico emblazoned with a bandanna-wearing chulo on the front and a low-rider with flames around it on the back. It’s too big, so it has become a nightshirt. Jack pulled it over his head a few evenings ago and wept. But he left it on and it kept him warm as he slept.

adele aguirre

Robert,
Thank you for writing this..I keep thinking about Luis. and reading this made me feel like he was still around. I laughed when you wrote about his culinary expriences.. He once took me to eat in tacos at a street vendor in Mexico (in the middle of nowhere.. I would get sick alot in Mexico and here I was eating a street vendor.. he promised me that this was good to eat being that he ate there alot.. He was right.. I didnt get sick.. I would always wait till he ate a place first and if he said OK.. then I would go ahead and eat there.. He was a real character.

Im leaving for the Yucatan this coming Tuesday. My home, which Luis helped find for me- is very close to where Luis lived.. Everyday when I am there I pass his house.. I know Luis had his strong opinions on Mexico and where he lived in Telchac.. his crazy neighbors.. I will pass his old house again and remember him ... still looking for that truck of his..

Thanks again for sharing what he did the last days of his life

Kim

im sorry, i just found out today that he's gone, im an old friend from New Orleans, i need time for this to sink in, and ill come back and share some teenage angst Luis style with you all. -goes to find her "Surfin Jesus" sticker-

isabel garcia franco

mi nombre es isabel garcìa, soy de Mèrida, Yucatan en Mèxico y conoci a luis por unos meses entre finales de septiembre del año 2005, siempre estuve en contacto con el mientras estuvo en mèrida, y de igual manera cunado el salia de la ciudad, a ver a su familia. y cuando regresaba, estabamos juntos y platicabamos mucho, el creìa que yo era inteligente y buena. el me alludaba y hacia sentir bien.
yo no sabia lo que sucedio me entere por internet a un mes de los hechos, es muy triste para mi enterarme d esta manera y me dejo muy triste y llorando para siempre.
el tenìa una casa en merida muy linda, la cual vi paso a paso como reconstruìa, si sus amigos viene a merida, pueden verla.
yo le escribi mails en septiembre pero yo no sabia nada
estoy muy mal. y lo quiero mucho.
"siempre has caso a tu primer instinto" me dijo lLuis un dia.
es saludaba a toda la gente que conocìa mientras caminaba por el centro de la ciudad
mi nombre es isabel garcìa franco y si alguien quiere compartir algo mi mail es [email protected]

Katie Haug

Through my son Chip we also found Luis through the Internet in April of 2004. After promising to stay in touch with his brother, only if I his Mom, would not be in touch with him(Luis) he did not stay in touch with Chip . Luis made it absolutely clear that he wanted nothing to do with me or any of his maternal family none of whom ever did anything to Luis but love him. If Luis wanted family he had a large loving family who he rejected.

Now on to sweet memories. Linda and Tom may have what is left of my child but I hold the most cherished memories in my heart.

This child Louis Gertler Fernandez de la Reguera was born on October 20, 1966 at Touro Hospital in New Orleans, La at 9:00 p.m. Luis had a shaky start having been born 2 months premature with underdeveloped lungs and spent the first 4 weeks of his life in an incubator. I was not even put on the maternity floor because they did not expect him to live through the night. Luis was baptized and confirmed the night he was born because the doctors did not feel he had a chance to live. But live he did.
Fighter that he was Luis did come home and proceeded to get so fat we had to put him on skim milk by the time he was 6 months old.

Louis' favorite song as a child was Bye Bye Miss American Pie by Don McClen ( ck spelling). If that song came on the car radio we could not talk or leave the car until it was over. It got to the point that if I recognized the first few bars and we were close to getting out of the car I would turn it off otherwise we would be late for school or a doctor's appt or maybe just sit in the driveway when it was done.

Once when we went to Holy Cross for some sort of a school fair Luis disappeared from me and when I found him he was up on stage with his arms tied behind his back participating in a chocolate pie eating contest. That was so funny. He did not win but gave it his best shot.

When Luis attended McDonough 15 he was interviewed by the Times Picayune and he told them that he had learned how to spell "important" because he was going to be important someday. Luis told me early on that he wanted to be a writer but was going to study law first because he knew he would have to earn some real money. Luis was so smart. Not particularly a great student but
very intuitive and thoughtful.

When a child of a friend of ours was killed Luis brought his favorite stones to the grave and left them there on the grave. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness.

Luis went to a school run by the Sisters of the Holy Family for kindergarten. The nuns loved him. He was a real charmer even then. There was a lady, Mrs. Ida Wingo, who also took care of Luis and my other two children Chip and Kim during this time period and how she loved them Miss Ida ( as we called her) would have her husband pick them up and they would go the City Park and go fishing. They always had a great time with her.

My mom was a big part of Luis as a child. My mom took care of my children so I could go to work. Luis would ask her to sit on the toilet to warm up the seat before he would go to the bathroom. Once she caught him with his pants down going to the bathroom in the yard and she told him that wasn't nice and he told her " the dogs do it". My mom loved him so much and missed him and like the rest of us never gave up and believing that he would be in touch with us again. My mom, his maternal grandmother, was a Cajun lady from Eunice, La. and she died on May 2, 2003. What a shame he didn't keep in touch with her. She loved all of us unconditionally.
One day I came home from work and Luis' brother, Chip, who loves to cook and is a great cook had prepared for his brother and sister a can of tuna with bar b que sauce and they were chowing down declaring this was the best thing they had ever eaten. Yuk!

We bought a cottage the year after Camille in Bay St. Louis, Ms and I have so many memories of my children there. Some sweet and some funny or not so funny. Luis and his brother and sister would ride their bikes and play on the beach and go floundering. Once they brought home soft shell crabs. I had never cooked them but the three of them cleaned the crabs and cooked them. I did not eat them but they did and declared they wonderful. We often made homemade ice cream and they declared it was almost as good as Borden's. Please! That cottage stayed in our family until it was destroyed by Katrina last year. The memories will never be destroyed.

I have many pictures of Luis as a child that I would like to add to the ones you have and I will do that soon. Really classic
Louis pictures before he became Luis.
Louis was a sweet gentle child with a big heart and even though I was not a part of his life as an adult I know he was the same sweet person. To all of his friends you have my deepest sympathy. I am happy his organs were donated that is such a generous thing to do.

I have grieved for my child for so long that I am not sure how to grieve him in death but that it is so final and now he and I will never have the opportunity to heal our relationship. I have not read everything in Luis' memorial but I will. My son Chip has told me some of it and that Luis didn't like that I am a Christian. So be it I am. It is difficult for me to believe that none of his friends or people he did business with believed in God. I loved him unconditionally and he knew how to find me if he wanted to.
I was denied a chance to tell him goodbye. There was time for me to see him once more and that was denied me, however, I forgive the people who made that decision. I have no time for anger life is way too short to waste it on anger.


It hurts to think that that person who was to distribute Rockets Redglare duped Luis and how nice of whoever you are that is pursuing the case.
I hope this gives to each of you who reads this another insight into this delightful person who is my son or as he used to sign his cards and letters " with love your SUN" . I have letters from him that I cannot bear to look at right now. I have a copy of Rockets that I have not looked at but will soon. This has been so good for me to have this venue to remember my little boy with the curly hair and big dark eyes and such a winning smile.

I lost my sun, Chip and Kim lost their brother, you have lost a great friend and the world has lost a great talent and I am sorry for all of us.

To each of you peace, joy and love

Katie

Alec Stephens

FUCK! I still can’t believe that I will not see him again, never! We talked two weeks before his accident and we were planning a good party a few weeks after our conversation, shit!, I drove him to the bus station when he left Yucatan, we had some drinks before and everything was looking good.
He told me a lot about his friend, his best friend that came to Yucatan once, I mean his Irish friend, he really loved you man, I still feel bad and empty so I can imagine how you are.
I want you to know that he loved you more than anything in the world and he will be always with us.
FUCK!

Billy Collins

I was looking for a louis on the net after years of not speaking. I met Louis in the 80s in Paris whie I was busking the metro and we hooked up and became instant friends , I from the Bronx and he a lower eastside from NO. I remember his songs he was writing and his stories about growing up in N.O. Im glad to see his fame blew up for him and at the same time saddened to see hes no longer around. Louis , I have lots of great memories of you and I hope you the same. I love you brother. Billy

isabel

siento que fue ayer cuando lo vi por ultima vez y nunca imagine que seria una despedida. aun lo siento me dejo tanto como amigo es por eso que lo yevo con migo siempre. te quiere nuevamente isabel

Yoanna

"Time heals the wounds", I told Luis one day at the beach, as I kissed one by one of his teardrops with the silly belief that I was absorbing his sorrow too. "But time doesn’t erase the scars" he answered to me. Then, I thought he was a stubborn man, grasped to suffer and I was afraid of the weight of his chains that could be stronger than his desire of freedom, but I didn’t need too much time to understand that his strength for loving was exactly in the number of his scars.
The Luis I met, my Devil, said he was a broken man, a man who had lost his spirit with the world’s disasters: his mother’s abandon, his father’s beats, his grandpa’s death, the pederasty of those bastards that caused his old school best friend’s suicide, the lost of his whole family, the loneliness of his first years at NY, Rockets death, the fraud committed to his film, September 11th, the lack of love in each relation...
But my Devil was wrong, behind that strident laugh that the “character in a hat lacked in anonymity” used to pretend he had a “broken spirit”, there wasn’t that, Luis had a heart’s strength capable to change anything he touched, ‘cause he had begun changing himself. One day he told me: “The only thing that’s really mine is the pain. I can love you, but your mother does love you too; I can wish world’s peace, such as Miss Universe; I can think Bush is an asshole, but the half of the planet thinks that... But I can suffer instead of you, your head can’t ache me... my pains are what I am, ‘cause such as my tattoos made by my good friend Robert, my scars are myself... How sad is life! the single thing of my own hurts so much!” But beyond all that suffer was the meaning he gave to it, Luis was a survivor (as his mother has written)...
Everytime he told me “I don’t want more pain in my life”, he immediately evoked everything that made him happy: the unconditional friendship from Bill, more than a friend, he considered him his brother; moments with Suzanne and Joey; the love for his godson, for Robert and Holly; the binges with Alec that became into deep soul’s confessions; Henry’s support, who never stopped to motivate him to arise, to get out of his house or his depression... He used to tell me stories about all the times in his life (worthy to be written in a book) and I couldn’t do anything, just laugh a lot (I am not quite sure if it was because of the story, the mimic or the spanglish)... To feel better, he also talked about the sense of belonging that he had found by meeting his cousins; he felt a strong connection with Ali (who only showed her loving side when they were together) because he used to admire her “against the tide” character; he had a huge protection feeling to Mariel, and boasted about his huge likeness with Ale; he talked proudly abut Ana (excepto por su cuarto rosa), about his uncle Mario’s talent (y de su rico mole!), about the character of his uncle Alejandro, the femininity of his aunt Nena and his love for Paty...
He found his memories were not just scars, there were also reasons to arise, and to keep on going.
When he met Linda and Tom, a different shine appeared in his eyes, a kind of a strange reconciliation with his life... He discovered lots of truths (about his past), but beyond all, he discovered the feeling of “being at home”... then, his peculiar obsession to find aaaaaall the Fernández de la Reguera in the world, was dissolved into peace when he found it in a ring, in a few photos...
He began planning again, my strong survivor had reappeared one more time... he wasn’t obsessed about seeing “Jewish blood in his hands” (in the meaning of the bastard who defrauded him with his film). He wanted to hug his friends again, to pick up his books and all together, even with Bukowsky, find a new sea...
—With a little luck I’ll have 20 more years. I want to live them in peace. I think is a good idea to build a little hotel at a calm beach where our children be able to grow up healthy and happy— he used to tell me every time we talked, and even every day he thought about a different place in the map, it was impossible for him to decide where he wanted to begin this new life, the truth is that he wanted to do it...
On August 12th I received his last e-mail, and it said:
“No, I still haven’t found your wings my angel, it’s not an easy job to make you fly... I think it’s difficult to find wings at New York, right now all I want is get out from here and drive to you... The camper has good space for Sophia [his moto], she needs some paint and oil, but the rest is o.k….
I don’t know how to be Luis, I think that by now I am as a seed looking for light, air, sun, water, things like that... things that make life possible... I don’t want to have this sense of the world anymore, I want to be fine, without fears, I want to be a good man for you... Ha, ha, ha! How funny! An angel and a devil on a motorcycle!...”
No answer would have been enough if I had known it would be the last one... What to answer? Maybe —as Kundera wrote— the next one:
“The man stooped over his motorcycle can’t get concentrated but on the present moment of his flight; he clings to a piece of time torn out from past and future; he has been snatched to time’s continuity; he’s out of time; in other words, he’s in ecstasy; in that condition he knows nothing about his age, nothing about his woman, nothing about his children, nothing about his worries, and therefore he has no fear, because fear’s source is in the future, and the one that gets free from future has nothing to fear.”
And I cling to believe that’s a good answer ‘cause that’s how I imagine his last moment: free from his fears, from his sadness, from his scars, from his wounds...
My wound’s still bleeding, it is not a scar yet, and I don’t know if some day it will be... —The real difference between both— Luis used to tell me —isn’t the pain’s intensity, unless it’s on one’s body, but a wound bleeds of it’s own free will and for a scar it’s been you who has decided to let it hurt: pain is the same—. Now I know he was right, ‘cause on one’s soul there are no marks that you don’t want to have... My soul is full of Luis marks, his memory comes and goes with no need for me to decide when to bring it or stop it. One year is no a relief and, even if the rest of my years could be, “time doesn’t erase the scars”...

I met Luis in the mid eighties in New Orleans. Many a madcap night of raucous drinking and singing along to the Dead Boys, NY Dolls, Skrewdriver, the Clash and whathave you. We lost one another for a few years toward the end of the ninties, but when by chance we hooked up again we began an epic exchange of thoughts, laughs, and dreams via e-mail. He was in Mexico and I was up in north New Jersey. I sent him a package of Americana, featuring some compilation CD's, homemade comic books, and (his favorite), a pair of latex elf ears. He said to me that sitting in his truck, his belly full of beer,looking across the Gulf of Mexico and listening to John Prine's "Sam Stone" with elf ears on was as close to heaven as he'd ever been. I am presently attempting to put together a short book full of Luis anecdotes and tales, pictures and drawings. I would love to hear any memories of our dear departed friend. I can't believe it was a year ago this month that I heard the awful new from Bill Murchu. It reminded me of how I miss tattoo Craig and Kim and all the other shared friends. Those were times that ring with clarity and fond resonance, and I am quite grateful to have this space to say I Miss You, Luis. Please write to me if you just want to share some time, and hopefully we can help each other fill in the spots where Luis once filled. I have stacks and stacks of shared correspondance, photos, drawings, poems, and postcards just itching to bring the man back into the fold... We miss you, sideburns.

Graveyard Dave

Oh by the way of a Pee Ess - my name is "Graveyard" Dave Quale, and you can reach me at [email protected] if you have anything you'd like to share or just talk about. Sorry, I'm new to all this sort of stuff...

J. Christopher Robbins

Luis, perhaps you were with us in spirit last week and already know this. But if not you will be very happy to hear. We kicked Mike Broder's butt in court for you last week. Rockets Redglare! is yours again. Bill is going to re-release the film and see it through.

I wish you were here to see the judge's decision. And I wish you were still with us to celebrate. We are thinking of you, and we miss you. It was an honor to work for you on this case and I'll never forget you.

-Chris

-----------------------
J. Christopher Robbins
Robbins Equitas, P.A.
www.FloridaLawyer.com

Lisa

Luis was one of the kindest people I have ever met. The most generous spirit, the most cool cat. It's not often you see super-cool mixed with super-kind, but that was Luis. In my twenties, when we met and were hanging out, I hadn't given much thought at all to the idea of compassion, but now, when I do, the feeling of Luis - even at his craziest - rushes in.

Karen B

Through a series of internet surfing events, I landed here. I remember Luis as a young punk kid in New Orleans as we were the older ones. He wore bulky combat boots, drank with us and sang in Surfin Jesus. Back then, all you needed was a good band name and people would come to see you no matter how awful you were. He made me laugh. He was smiley.

I read his bios and love what he did with his life. I'm so saddened by his life ending so young. I wish I would have found out about his quirky adulthood sooner. Sorry he is gone and my condolences to all that knew the grown up Luis. You were lucky.--- karen B

Yoanna

It will never be a sufficient time to understand your absence,
I miss you so much my devil!

isabel gf

incluso en estos tiempos, veloces como un cadillac sin frenos,todos los días tienen un minuto en que cierro los hojos y disfruto echándote de menos, incluso en estos tiempos en los que soy feliz de otra manera, todos los días tiene ese instante en que me jugaría la primavera por tenerte delante.J.S .

karina

I met luis in veracruz. it was awesome, we talked and talked all night; he was absolutely a chick magnent,he won me over in minutes.

funny, brutally honest, charming and smart ..that's how I remember him.

The comments to this entry are closed.