by ROBERT MARICH
Frank Meyer’s Memorial took place in a picturesque rural setting that was far away from his career in Manhattan as a Variety reporter and managing editor, a post he left in 1991.
Frank passed away at age 71 on Jan. 30 2007 and his memorial — exactly eight months later, on Sept. 30 — drew a crowd of 100 friends and family. On hand from Variety were Syd and Joan Silverman, Phil DiMauro, Matt Silverman and Robert Marich.
The setting was a pastoral rural hillside near the Hudson River where Frank and his widow Mikki lived. The outdoor gathering on a picture-perfect sunny autumn day was on the grounds of the Meyer home near Highland NY, (a 90-minute drive North of Manhattan) that is five minutes from the West side of the Hudson River. If you let your thoughts drift, the surroundings took you back to colonial times.
Many friends from Florida – which Frank had lived in for many years – and as far away as St. Louis, California and Israel – were on hand. Speakers included Mikki, son Ryan, daughter Jana and brother Michael.
Eulogies addressed Frank’s wit, intellect and love of family. There were frequent references to highlights of Frank’s editorial career. There were some surprises to those who thought they knew him, such as recollections of his French language skills and love of travels to Paris.
A letter from Variety’s John Madden, who was out of the country and unable to attend in person, was read at the memorial and provided this humorous insight: “I have so many memories of Frank, particularly his marvelous dry wit. Many, many years ago during a vacation break following the printing of the Variety anniversary issue, Frank invited me to join him on a trip to Deerfield Beach, Fla. to visit his father at his senior citizens condo complex known as Century Village. Upon arrival we unpacked and with the speed of (then) young gazelles we headed for the pool. We went for a dip and then retreated to deck chairs to absorb the Florida sun. However, I was being disturbed by almost continual sounds of blaring sirens. I turned to Frank and said, ‘How many freaking fires do they have in Deerfield Beach?’ To which he replied ‘SCHMUCK, those aren’t fire engines, they’re ambulances. They are either taking away the ill senior residents or bringing back the survivors after their hospital stay.’ Needless to say I doubled over with laughter at the way he answered me. I’m happy to say I was exposed to that wit many more times over the years.”