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Frank DeFrancesco
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Aspiring author, married on October 25th, 2014 to Leon, my devoted partner of 26 years.
Aspiring author, married on October 25th, 2014 to Leon, my devoted partner of 26 years.

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For a good read, check out my memoir: "Did You Ever See A Horse Go By? - A Coming Out Memoir"
(It's NOT about a horse)

AMAZON.COM Top Customer Reviews
Did You Ever See A Horse Go By? A Coming Out Memoir by Frank DeFrancesco

5.0 out of 5 stars
To not be able to freely express who you are and who you love, deeply affects the way you live your life
By Laura S. Minor on October 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This memoir is special. I've known Frank for twenty five years. During that time, I've known him as a compassionate activist who has worked on issues including HIV/AIDS and LGBTQI awareness and support. This very personal memoir helped me to understand the challenges that Frank faced from his family, his religion and society. To not be able to freely express who you are and who you love, deeply affects the way you live your life.

I encourage you to read this book at this amazing point in history where marriage to the person you love is becoming accepted yet homophobia still abounds. In a gentle way, Frank helps us to understand the importance of a society which nurtures youth as they realize that their sexual orientation is what it is. Gay or straight or bisexual, we need to love and accept each other.

I especially urge you to read the epilogue which is a powerful statement on its own. I've known Frank for a quarter of a century and have seen his impact as a comfortably out gay man. His book tells the story of his untapped potential during those years of struggling to hide from himself and others who he truly was. I think it is crucial for those of us who haven't lived in fear of others discovering who we are, to read the stories of those who have. This book is important.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Did You Ever See a Horse Go By? by ...
By WLS on September 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Did You Ever See a Horse Go By? by Frank DeFrancesco, a well-written, thoughtful, and challenging contribution to gay memoir, is quite obviously the product of a lifetime's joys, sorrows, certainties, and doubts. Bravo on a job well done.






5.0 out of 5 stars
A Sincere Coming Out and Coming of Age Story
By Michael DeFrancesco on November 16, 2014
Format: Paperback

"Did you Ever See a Horse Go By" is not only a coming out story, it is one of the most provocative yet sincere coming of age stories I have read in recent memory. It might be just a bit of an exaggeration to put it in the same category as such coming of age novels as James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", Hermann Hesse's "Demian", Kerouac's "On the Road" or even "The First Third" by Neal Cassady himself and although most of these novels deal with some of the same issues as Frank's book such as Catholicism, guilt, sex (straight, homosexual or bi), drugs, spiritualism, promiscuity, music, travel, adventure, friendships, alcohol, lovers, casual sex, masturbation, casual acquaintances and death, this book is nothing like any of those I mentioned. In fact, it is nothing like any other book I have ever read, not just because it is the only coming out story I have ever read, but mostly because it is genuinely told from the heart with a sincere, unrelenting, unafraid, bold passion, leaving no stone unturned, no tear unshed and no apology.



4.0 out of 5 stars
A true reflection of what I went through.
By Raymond Schuman on April 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I'm still reading it. It reflects my life very closely and I can see that it's written very honestly. I can directly relate to so many circumstance experienced by Fran, the author, as he was known to those around him.
I would love to discuss his experiences directly with him and wish that we had been friends years ago.
This is an honest description of what it's like growing up gay and having no one in which to confide.


5.0 out of 5 stars
This book is well written; themes connect and provide ...
By Jim Angelo on July 26, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition

This book is well written; themes connect and provide a complete profile of the author. Frank has brought together all aspects of his personal experiences; religion, family and a myriad of social interactions, all of which make this personal history enlightening, inspirational and galvanizing.


Email from Richard Zoehrer
Dear Frank,
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your book!... Of course I can tell you. It’s simple: “Wow, Frank, I really loved your book!” There.

I started it yesterday morning, blew off the gym, and read it all day and into the evening, finishing it late last night. I couldn’t put it down ... I simply could not stop reading. I don’t know what took me so long to actually get around to it, but I am so glad I did.

So much of your story resonated with me. It’s well paced, you write very well, and the inherent truths behind your saga are authentic and wonderfully expressed. I also enjoyed your poetry. Just lovely.

Your book evoked so many of my own memories of that time (the 70s, the 80s) and the idiotic hang ups we all had. I’d always thought the title was odd, and it wasn’t until I got to the part that explained it that it suddenly made sense. And it was funny, to boot. 

I could blab on for hours, but ... I just want to tell you that I am so impressed with your achievement.

The only way I can express this is by comparing your story to my favorite movies … the “sleepers”... not the blockbusters that get all the attention. ...Your book hit me like that. And I loved it.
- Richard Zoehrer

From the Blog: "Blue Truck, Red State" - Russ Manley
For several months now, your Head Trucker has been reading and re-reading a wonderful book, and struggling to find the words to describe it. The reasons for the struggle are various: for one thing, since late summer life here has been full of sundry and boring domestic, financial, digital, and physical crises that have kept me alternately upset or immobilized. And then there was the election, for chrissake. Sometimes life is just one damn thing after another, you know what I mean, fellas?

For another thing, despite the book's lovely, impeccable writing, it so often moves me to tears or makes my heart double-clutch with recognition that I have been able to read only a few pages at a time before having to close it up and set it down again. It's that good:them old Greek boys you may have heard something about in lit class between daydreams and snoozes held that art should be the mirror of life; and this book is a mirror indeed, polished to a high sheen and often casting a glaring, dangerous light into shaded nooks and crannies of the author's soul, and even into my own, it seems.

The book is Did You Ever See a Horse Go By? by my longtime truckbuddy Frank De Francesco, and though it is his first and only book to date, it is well worth the cover price: a little gem of a memoir that I recommend wholeheartedly to all my other truckbuddies and readers. Frank says, "While I'm not sure the world really needs another coming-out story, I feel deeply the need to tell it."

I think the world does need this particular story. In her well-known essay "On Keeping a Notebook," author Joan Didion wrote that the reason for recording her memories was to "Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point." Because, she said, "We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were." And of course we know what happens to those who forget the past.

Frank's book recounts in exquisite detail the fears and feelings and fantasies, the loves and lovers, the guilt and shame, the confessions and repressions, the one night stands and the long-term commitments, the lost and the found, the hopes and the terrors of coming out at age 36, after many years of sheltering in a devoutly Catholic closet in New England. How odd, then, that his memories, feelings, regrets, and joys should so well parallel all that I went through in my fundamentalist Protestant closet down in the Deep South. And yet not so odd after all -- what Frank is really writing about here is not merely his coming out, his life, his memories, but the human experience of being gay and alone and afraid of so many things: censure, rejection, failure, despair, the acid drip of loneliness. All men and women since the world began have endured, or at least feared, these things, for such is the nature of sublunary life: it is not good for the man to be alone. But certain exquisite pains and torments are reserved for the gays, or were.

And he writes about it all very clearly and concretely, with smooth, careful cadences that lead the reader through some fearsomely honest revelations, which normally one might confide only in one's closest friends. But that's what this book is like: a comfortable conversation with an old and trusted friend, patiently explaining the real reasons why he did whatever it was he did, trusting that you in turn will listen and understand, not laugh or turn away.

Frank is a very brave writer; I could never be so brave. It's not that I have forgotten anything, but that it's all still too close, too vivid in my memory. After all these years, the scars of battle on my soul and on my heart are still too tender to bear much touching. I admire Frank for the courage and the toughness of his writing, which I am sure was not easy. But somehow he was able to bare his soul to the reader, as all great writers must do sooner or later.

We who were born in the first decade or two after the last world war have been privileged to witness a remarkable period in human history, when homosexuality went from being "the love that dare not speak its name" to being publicly affirmed, even celebrated, by the President, the United Nations, and just about every major city and (who would have thought?) major-league sports team across the country, while same-sex marriage went from being a laughable fantasy to being enshrined in constitutional law by the Supreme Court: truly a breathtaking phenomenon when you stop to think about it, and all within the span of one ordinary lifetime. Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself.

Frank says of his motivation for writing the book:
• For me, the value in telling my story here, beyond the healing, is to preserve a tiny slice of collective history--to document what it was to be gay and to come out in a particular time and place. I want to remember all the others who were there along with me, creating our lives together and defining our sexuality as we went along. My hope is that others find some value in that as well.
I'm quite sure that everyone who reads the book will find that value. It's a fine book, beautifully written and deeply moving, which I hope will find its way into the hands of many readers.

P.S. I forgot to mention all the candid sex scenes, guys. Those are good too, yessir: real Adults Only stuff. No, I'm not putting you on; go buy the book and see for yourself.


Email from Mike DeFrancesco
I LIKED IT A LOT!!!! I literally could not put it down. I read a little over half of it last night, went to bed at midnight, couldn't sleep, got up at 1AM and read the rest of it. I haven't read a book like that (in one day - actually 2 since it was before and after midnight) in ages. 

I also wrote what I thought was a good review in Amazon. I might have gone a little over the top comparing it to other famous literary works but what the heck, a little salesmanship can't hurt, besides I really was enraptured with it which is more than I can say about most other books I've read. 

I guess knowing you personally has a lot to do with my level of interest in what you had to say and the stories you told and it was pretty much impossible to try and read it from a detached point of view, but you really do have a way with words. Parts of it were humorous such as in one of the first chapters when you guys are playing cards and you are telling anecdotes and trying to be somewhat deep and serious and the other guys just keep busting your stones. 

Many parts are very serious and inspiring. I don't have much more to say other than I don't remember being at the Cape with you unless you kind of made that part up.

- Mike



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Summer of Love or Let it All Hang Out
Summer of Love or Let it All Hang Out
chelseastationmagazine.com
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