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Frank Delvy Day in Austin, Texas

Frank DelvyOn August 2, 2008, a gathering of over 150 people met at the McFadden Auditorium in Seton Hospital to celebrate one of Austin's most revered and well-loved personalities: Frank Delvy.

The Master of Ceremonies was Gary Hallock, who also wrote a special poem in Frank's honor. Janette Jones helped coordinate the event and also sang some duets with Frank.

Numerous people shared stories of their experiences with Frank, through which we were all so moved by the many facets of Frank's life: an accomplished performer of Gilbert & Sullivan operas and other musical theatre; as a regular performer and staff member of the City of Austin's Water Conservation troupe, Dowser Dan; and most important, a friend to many, humble, kind, and a loving husband to his devoted spouse, Donna.

Frand DelvyThere were many moments of inspiring and heartwarming stories, and we were all so thankful that Frank, with his many talents and joyful spirit, had brought us all together in celebration of LIFE. It was an afternoon of old memories, humorous stories, and an interesting mix of a variety of people.
Gilbert and Sullivan lovers and performers were there in force, and we were introduced to Frank's earliest connections in Austin -- his friends from the old Armadillo World Headquarters, now long gone. When Frank first arrived in Austin, carrying pretty much only a guitar, he started working at the old Armadillo -- the details came flooding in. Frank made popcorn, Frank ran the bar, Frank sold T-shirts, and no doubt a lot else that wasn't mentioned. He began performing in plays and musicals, many directed by Ken Johnson at his Hyde Park Theatre, and in 1983 finally appeared in our production of The Gondoliers at Zach Scott. The rest is Gilbert and Sullivan history.

With gratitude to Frank for all he has done, the City of Austin proclaimed, through Austin City Council Member Lee Leffingwell, that August 2, 2008 would hereby be known as Frank Delvy Day.

Singing Through The Years,
Laughter Through The Tears,
A Celebration of a Life Well Spent.

Read the Austin Chronicle Memoriam

I'm well known for punning, that's what I must do
But I, for a moment, must be Frank with you

And I will invite you to be Frank with me
A rare opportunity, as you will see

Since Frankness, although a lame play on his name
Is fitting in honoring him all the same

We should, to be honest, more like this Frank act
With generous dignity, patience and tact

But we can't be Frank, so forgive my strained pun
Though try as we might, we'll be always undone

For honestly who, in this room here assembled
Can state, with face straight, that they haven't dissembled?

We all wear our masks and stay cloaked in pretense
None more so than actors. Does it not make sense?

That we can't be Frank any more than he can
Seems Frankness eludes ev'ry thespian man

Yes, all of us hope as we're playing our roles
That this thin veneer keeps in check our true souls

That costumes and make up behind which we hide
Distracts all our critics from what dwells inside

We can not be Frank, nor do we try to be
But that's the illusion we want folks to see

Although being Frank is a thing to admire
It isn't a goal to which actors aspire

We thrive in our world of odd pre-var-ication
And only speak truth on the rarest occasion

And all must play parts that involve role reversal
Just speaking the lines that we learn in rehearsal

With so little Frankness in our repertoire
There seems little chance we can even the score

The best we can hope for when working on stage
Is that we might thrive to fairly ripe age

Before we're called out or are taken to task
For begging this question that I again ask

Can we all be Frank? Almost certainly not!
We only need one, that's the Frank that we've got

To be Frank and honest, without guile or guise
Is not what we do, and therein the truth lies

Yet when the truth lies, well then what's to be done?
But put it to work as I make my last pun

I've pondered at length on this most awkward question
And given the matter some candid reflection

Though open and truthful, so seldom I am
I'll state "My dear, Frankly, I do give a damn.