Frankie’s Journal – a time capsule from 1974

A chance discovery …

Image: an illustration from Frankie's Journal

Image: an illustration from Frankie’s Journal

I came across Frankie’s Journal entries by accident early in 2014. One of the fascinating thing about the interwebs is that you don’t know what’s out there until you fall into it.

I commenced this blogpost in March 2014, but, I was always hesitant to publish it.

Frank Robert Jennings “Frankie” wrote his journal back in the 1970’s and these journal entries are from 1974 – 1975 when he was 17.

Anyway, it contains some extracts of Frankie’s journal and like a voyeur I did check out what good old Frankie was up to back then. I was a kid during the 70s and so Frankie would have seen things and had a different perspective to my own. He was in America too, so I was interested to see what was happening over there at the time.

This was about the time the Vietnam War had ended. Or was ending. Or something. I vaguely remembered this as a kid. My own vague memories from this time were one of the reasons I continued reading Frankie’s Journal.

From the first entry, I thought “hey, that’s a great piece of wisdom”. Take a look for yourself.

Sleeping is a nice thing to be able to do. When you are bored, go to sleep. When you are lonely or pissed, go to sleep. If you ever don’t want a feeling to last any longer, just go to sleep and wake up to find a new one. Try it.

This is great advice and I’ve practised it myself for many years before I came across Frankie’s Diary. Waking up after a sleep can really put a different slant on things, don’t you think?

Frankie’s Journal has other snippets of wisdom, some poetry, pictures and thoughts. He seemed like an ordinary next door neighbour.

The best way to
understand
Heaven
Is to
live through
Hell
Frankie
Believe. It’s the only word you have to understand.

I found Frankie’s journal to be entertaining, sad, scary, happy: it contains all the emotions that we all feel from time to time.

Why, Frankie, why?

Sadly, Frankie took his own life in March 1999. I found it very poignant to read Frankie’s journal. It’s always sad to hear of suicide, even of those whom we’ve never met.

All that potential, gone. It’s very final, unlike sleeping, where a new day or a new view on life is possible.

By rough calculations, Frankie was in his early 40s when he took his own life. Frankie’s journal doesn’t provide any insight on why he thought suicide was his only and best option — and why he had no alternative. I guess because it was written when he was still a kid, and long before he made his final choice.

As a casual voyeur who had stumbled on Frankie’s Journal, I’m left wondering “why, Frankie, why?”

I’m sure Frankie’s brother Gregg feels the same. It must have been very hard for Gregg to post extracts of Frankie’s Journal on the internet.

During my life, there have been a few suicides amongst my friends, work colleagues and acquaintances. I always wonder what would have happened if I had been there to ask — “Are you ok?”.

Please be aware of those around you as everyone needs a good ear from time to time.

PS

Gregg, if you come across my post about Frankie’s Journal, I hope it doesn’t cause you any distress. I had no way of contacting you prior to posting about Frankie’s Journal.  Contact me if you want me to remove the post.