In Memory

Carlos F Fabregat

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02/17/14 12:55 AM #1    

Robert Crawford

Phil was a sensitive, artistic soul who struggled with mental illness.  I initially teased him, then became good friends with him in my hippy incarnation.  I was very saddened to learn of his death, in Mexico City, not too long after high school graduation.  

03/02/14 12:33 PM #2    

Evan Dunsky

Carlos Felipe Fabregat McEwen de Joda McManos, was, as his name suggests, the descendant of Hispanic and Scottish lineages.

Physically he favored his mother’s side. He had sandy colored straight hair that he wore parted in the middle after the fashion of the day amongst us hippies. He was rail thin, with pointed features, a high forehead, pale white skin and a pianist’s fingers. He was somewhat frail.

He studied the world from behind squarish black rimmed glasses and his long silences were periodically broken by frenetic bursts of speech whenever he felt compelled to explain to whomever was listening, whatever thing had captured his attention on any particular day. I found him interesting.  Others, less so. He often ended up talking to nobody. His sense of humor ran to the ironic.

He was a gifted painter. He installed himself in the art wing, and probably couldn't have found the gym with a map. The last piece I remember him working on was a large canvas of a desert Arroyo in Mexico. I wish I could see this painting one more time.

Felipe once constructed an ingenious catapult by attaching an armature to the spring mechanism of a rat trap, which we used for launching milk cartons across the cafeteria.

We fancied ourselves outlaws and intellectuals. We marched against a war that we had no intention of becoming gun fodder for.

We haunted the Good Karma Bookstore on Dempster, Read Abbie Hofffman, Zap Comix, The Whole earth Catalogue, The Communist Manifesto (or at least small parts there-of) We eagerly awaited the revolution, which we assumed would be swift, bloody and victorious.

We discovered the gun range in the basement of ETHS, long closed and assumed forgotten. It was the perfect place to smoke pot. The entire range was acoustically padded, undoubtedly to prevent disturbing the classrooms above.  We contemplated stealing some guns and secretly restoring the range to its original purpose, but this time in service of the revolution, filled with self-righteous indignation that the education we were receiving was woefully inadequate in preparing us for total class warfare.  Meanwhile day by day, the revolution seemed to be perpetually disappearing around the next corner, and disco was all the rage.  One day we arrived to find that the shooting range door had been heavily padlocked. Gentle Mr. Bell or one of the other custodial staff had no doubt discovered our trespass.

Felipe was gay back in the day when the word gay did not carry that connotation. It feels odd to ‘out’ a dead person. But Phil, as he was usually called, was profoundly political, and had an innate empathy for the dispossessed. I feel that if he had been able to hold on a bit longer, he would certainly have worn his sexual identity proudly.

He summered in Mexico with his Father, who was some kind of a big shot down there, although why, I don’t know. He spoke of his father with reverence, but my sense was that he feared him as well.

Felipe committed suicide just a few years after high school graduation. I never saw him again in the short time between the end of High School and his death, so I can’t speak to his state of mind.  I’m also bothered by the fact that I can’t remember the exact year of his death, and that I don’t know the location of his resting place.

Forgive the length of this note. It seems, when a young man has had almost no opportunity to impact the world around him, and leaves no family behind, and by his nature lived a short, lonely life, and is on the verge of departing all human memory, he deserves to spoken of with as much specificity as the intervening years allow.

Here is a poem that I would like to dedicate to Felipe:

There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves

By James Kavanaugh

There are men too gentle to live among wolves / Who prey upon them with IBM eyes / And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon. / There are men too gentle for a savage world  / Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween / And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves / Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws / And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain. / There are men too gentle for a corporate world /Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels / And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves / Who devour them with eager appetite and search / For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry. / There are men too gentle for an accountant's world / Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass / And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves / Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove. / Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world, / Unless they have a gentle one to love.


I realize it is possible to still grieve a friend forty years dead.



05/20/14 03:07 AM #3    

Suzanne Katz (Harney)

I remember Phil in art classes where he was certainly one of the most talented.  The lost canvases.  Does anyone have a photo of his art?  I would like to see it again.




05/20/14 10:56 PM #4    

Aaron Crane

Nice comments from Evan - much better memory than mine.

Two memories stay with me to this day:  First, he lit up when describing skiing hip deep powder and second his enjoyment for aggressive driving through the curves on Sheridan avenue in Evanston.  I always enjoyed spending time with him.

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