I met Frank Peoples at the Montclair Church Of Christ. We became friends the first day we met going to eat some fried chicken after church service. I eventually placed my membership with the Montclair Church Of Christ and Frank was a big influence in that.
Over the years our friendship grew. I would often drive him home after service and sometimes we’d talk. Frank suffered from mental illness as did I. Frank was sexually molested as a child and was a registered sex offender as well. Like so many he followed the pattern of an abused person becoming an abuser.
I was in Frank’s second marriage ceremony to his wife Nerva. I said a prayer at the wedding. Frank switched congregations but I would keep in contact with him seeing him at various church functions.
Frank was a very troubled man. To compound the issue Frank hated to take his medicine. As such he was constantly going in and out of psychiatric hospitals up to several times a year. There were many people who reached out to Frank and tried to intervene and help him. Unfortunately Frank could never come to terms that he was mentally ill and that he needed medicine. We would always say that Frank would suffer greatly for his refusal of reality.
Frank was an immense fan of Star Trek. He thought that he was full of empathy and had special powers like Mister Spock. Sometimes Frank would scream out and act out on painful emotions. Frank enjoyed singing a great deal and sometimes he would lead the congregational singing. He was very outgoing and friendly. Frank had what was called a Trike and he would ride this contraption all over the city of Newark.
Frank was one who knew how to work the system. One time he wanted to go to a psychiatric hospital. The police refused to take him there. Frank promptly went on to tear apart the police station and as a reward he got a prompt trip to the psychiatric hospital.
Near the end of his life Frank got involved with the New York City system. For some reason he moved out of New Jersey. Those of us who cared about Frank didn’t like to see him taken from our watchful eye of protection.
In the end Frank’s demons got the better of him. He committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a subway train. We never had a memorial service for Frank as his wife never arranged one. At the time of his death I don’t believe that Frank was taking his medicine.
Frank People’s was my friend and I am sorry that he died
Here is a poem I wrote in his memory. You can find other poems of ordinary and extraordinary people in my book “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent”. https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com/poet-to-the-poor.html
In Memory Of Frank Peoples
By John Kaniecki
You’re home among the stars
Christ’s blood washed away your sin
Now God can begin
To heal your scars
You were a troubled soul
Who dared to dream
Always had some scheme
Triking all about
Trying to figure life out
We shared a similar cross
And your death
Is humanity’s loss
You loved to sing songs of praise
Even in your hazy fuzzy craze
Now you have endless days
To walk in the Spirit’s ways
Perhaps in the universe to soar
For ever more
A captain of your own starship
Giving the Klingons the slip
Live long and prosper
What more can I offer?
Life truly has no end
And you Frank Peoples
Will always be my friend