Meeting Stephanie, the Story of Lois and her Boyfriends, and More

This long recording (almost 20 minutes) from 9 November 2012 is too large to upload to this web site, but here is an imperfect transcription.

JD: Tell me again about how you met Stephanie.

PM: Okay, when I left Tampa, I signed everything over to Lois and went back to live in Galilea. We had rented a house to a German woman whose name was Freddie, I guess that’s short for Winifred, Freddie Dau. “Dau” means thumb. She had me under her thumb: she wouldn’t move out of the house but I wasn’t allowed to move in with her and I didn’t want to move in with her.

So I went to Deia… I had Allison with me. She was five years old and Lois had decided that she didn’t want to take care of Allison now that she was well. Instead she invited the guy she was in love with in college…

JD: Alistair?

PM: No, no, a pianist, a concert pianist- his name won’t come to me right now – Jim Stafford. He had just played his last concert in South America- I think Colombia, South America- and he was so disgusted by that concert that he gave up the career and joined a monastery in Louisiana and gave up his money.

JD: Wow!

PM: Yeah, anyway, his last concert was the Schuman A minor and the last four bars the woman director kept speeding up, speeding up, speeding up- and he didn’t agree and he kept the tempo he wanted. The orchestra finished and he kept on finishing himself, and when he finished he stood up and took all the applause and walked off the stage and never played another concert.

So he had been living in the monastery. He had first been living with a Spanish woman in the Bronx and I visited him and I noticed he had a picture of Lois over the bed.

So Lois and I were splitting up and I told her about this, while he was splitting up with that Spanish woman, so Lois invited him down and he moved in and I moved out, and took Allison and went back to Spain.

So I couldn’t move into my house, so I took her with me to Deia and stayed in a pension. I met an old friend, Vera’s ex-husband (of Jack and Vera) and he told me if I was looking for a place that Stephanie had rooms, and told Stephanie that if she was looking for a roomer that I was there. So she came down to the bar where I was sitting with Allison and she sat down and we met each other and ten minutes later we were dedicated for life.

JD: Yeah, that’s when you were still living like across from Claire’s? She had the building there near the Caixa bank?

PM: Yeah, right across the street from the bar Las Palmiras… fourteen rooms… it’s now a restaurant. The room where we had a grand piano. A year later we bought a grand piano so I could practice, trying to learn how to really do it.

She had a baby piano upstairs from her grandmother. I kept running out of notes on both ends.

We bought this grand from across the island and I was practicing right there across the bar all the time. That’s when we decided to buy the other house. First we looked in Menorca, Ibiza and all over Mallorca and finally found the one at the end of the street in Deia! Nobody lived in it for twelve years and we managed amazingly to sell Stephanie’s house for exactly what we needed to buy the other house.

Yeah it was amazing. So we moved into the other house,. We bought it because we liked the acoustics in that first room. We played flute duets there.

JD: The first room is not the music room near the street but the one on the opposite end….

PM: No, no, the one near the street, the first room, the one that now has a balcony, the wooden balcony…

That’s called the old music room and that’s where we put the old grand piano and the harpsichord. But then we went off to London with her grandmother’s diamond ring and sold it to buy a harpsichord, which I smuggled into Spain with a French rock group. Daevid Allen- yeah, it was on the tour with Daevid Allen- on the way back I brought back the harpsichord.

JD: Yeah I think you’re listed on the album as “High T Moonweed” or something like that.

PM: I don’t think so…

JD: Now I think in the Book of Am you’re listed for the Greensleeves arrangement…

PM: No, that’s on “Mother.” I did the playing and the arrangement on that, yeah, which means that I improvised on Greensleeves in front of the microphone. Also some flute playing there with Stephanie, and also another album  “The Time of Your Life” which has Daevid Allen on the front of it with his finger up his nose.

We were playing on that one too. I’m not sure he credited us. On “The Book of Am”  I had a long flute solo on that one that worked out really fine, and she plays some on that too and we’re mentioned.

Those people came down last summer to Deia to do the second volume and they didn’t know that I was still there. They had heard that Stephanie was dead. So they took pictures of the group of them without me. They sent me copies when they found out I was there. What a pity, eh?

So they’ve now got it on CD with reproductions of the original artwork, which is where it all started: we just started singing and playing from the words. That’s how we did the album.

You don’t have a copy… you have the original LP… well now it’s out on CD. And I think it’s on Amazon. And I haven’t heard the new… they did a follow up. Because we didn’t finish the whole Book of Am.  So they did the rest of it without me, the dogs! (Laughter) I was right there! Anyway, never mind.

Yeah, so that’s how I met Stephanie, more or less.

JD: And what time frame was that? Was it ’76?

PM: We met March 27 (laughter) of 1976.

JD: My twentieth birthday… wow!

PM: Yeah, I thought it was March 17th, and for years I kept telling everybody we met on St. Patrick’s Day. But then she kept saying no, it’s not true. Finally when she died I started going through all of her agendas from 1972, and I got to 1976, there it is: “Met Pat Meadows today.” Next day “I think I’m in love.” Next day, what was the word? It was all across the page: “Fulfillment.” Next page it says “I love him and I love Allison.”

A quick love story. It lasted twenty-nine years minus a few days… she died March 10th. Unfortunately for her and for me.

JD: Well, I know it meant a lot to Donna and me both that she was able to travel and come to the wedding in 2000 because she had already been fighting the sickness for awhile and she was in remission.

PM: Yeah it was never officially disclosed until 2003 when I took her to a doctor. I went to a doctor, she came along and said to the doctor in the village  “while I’m here, I’ve been bleeding again” and he said “What? You’ve been bleeding? It’s been ten years or five years since you started your menopause.”

If you bleed after menopause, instantly you should go to a doctor. So I took her to the doctor and two days later we knew she had cancer

. She knew something was going on years before… she preferred denial right up to the end, even after she found out officially.

But she went through the operation where they tried to take out the uterus but they couldn’t because it had spread into the lymph… so they had to sew her up again. And nothing but suffering and so then she refused to take the treatments and she started doing all these other things.

JD: Homeopathic…

PM: And this Chinese thing where you hold leaves in your hand and pour your distilled urine into a vial and measure your aura and you fix it. And then you die. And drinking red water from a German clinic and stuff.

But she did it the way that she wanted to. I guess she died happy. Happier than she would have been with all the treatments.

JD: Chemo and everything.

PM: Well the chemo is what saved Allison.

JD: So how old was Allison when she got sick? Three? Two?

PM: Three. She was three years old. It was Wilms’ Tumor, which is a childhood cancer of the kidneys. So she went back with Lois [to the States] and I stayed there to try to get rid of the one of the houses. We had two at that time, one that Fred built and sold to Zen and we sold, and were supposed to pay Fred and Zen, and Lois refused to give them any of the money , just what the house had cost them. So she went back, had the operation, took out a keyhole(?) tumor and one kidney. Then Lois told me later that it was okay because she had three kidneys which was not true.

But for years I believed her.

JD: I remember hearing that story.

PM: Yeah it was a miraculous story. That’s when we were doing drugs.

JD: And thinking she was an LSD baby.

PM: Reading books like Castaneda. Well, anyway, she has one kidney which means she has circulation problems, because some of the arteries to her legs never became adult. It’s causing other problems now and heart stuff.

So she was three and they took out the thing in Gainesville in Shands Hospital for Children. And then they put her on a rotating table with radiation and chemotherapy and then came the day when she said “I don’t want to do it anymore” and we said “Do you think you’re okay now?” and she said “I’m okay now” and so we stopped the treatments and the doctor said “You’re taking her life in your hands” and we decided that the best thing for her would be to love her. That’s why we stayed together until the doctor declared her to be clear, which is amazing because it could’ve come back.

And that’s when Lois brought Jim Stafford down and I went back to Spain with Allison. And Jim Stafford’s interest in Lois was to go with him to bars to pick up guys.

JD: Oh, oh. Okay.

PM: You didn’t know that part.

JD: Pick up guys for him or for her?

PM: For him.

JD: So she was kind of the beard I guess, or the cover. But I remember I think it was Alistair that used to come down.

PM: That was after… no, that was before. Allison was about a year old when we met Alistair Reid. And everyone thought because of the name that we had named her Allison after Alistair. But we met Alistair after she was born.

JD: So he’s a publisher or…?

PM: He’s a poet and a writer for New Yorker and other… He’s got a couple of books also, very interesting books.

He got into trouble with the New Yorker because he did an interview (supposedly) when Franco died, at a bar in Barcelona to see what people there thought about it, but he made it all up.  They found out because he was teaching a class on how to write and to be a journalist and he told them how he made this one up, and it got back to the New Yorker.

This is the way I heard it.  Anyway, during one of those LSD trips he and Lois got involved with my permission but later I didn’t feel so good about it. Anyway she took off to Scotland with Alistair and I followed them up there and that’s where I saw Fritz the Cat.

JD: In Scotland of all places!

PM: Yeah, really unusual to see that kind of thing in that kind of a place.

JD: Now when she went to Scotland, did Allison stay behind with you?

PM: No.

JD: She went with Allison and Alistair and you stayed behind.

PM: Yeah, and then I went up there and he wanted me out of there. He wrote a poem and I found it on the table saying, “You’re stealing my time. You’re stealing my space.”

Maybe he was intending it for both of us, I don’t know.

Anyway, he introduced me to a guy who used to live in New York and he said “Why don’t you go to New York and meet”- what’s her name?- just a minute – “Florence Epstein.” She lived in Central Park west and she had worked in Hollywood, she directed magazines, edited movie magazines for years.

She was a writer and she had this place, and she was living next door to the agent that I met in Mallorca, so I went to visit her with my sheepskin coat and my cowboy hat and my boots and I moved in with her. I was given her name by this guy in Scotland. And so I persuaded her finally to sell her apartment in Central Park West and go with me back to Mallorca.

So we went to Soller, then a place in Fornalutx she rented a place in Fornalutx. Then I had to go back and straighten up the business in Florida with Allison and the factory.

When I came back with Allison, Florence had met a guy and was living with him in Fornalutx.

So that’s why I met Stephanie. I forgot that part. Because Florence met me at the airport and said, “By the way, I’m living with Antonio- no, Francisco who’s a gardener from Sevilla” or something.

Amazing, here’s this educated woman- but they were in the same bar all winter long watching TV and he would fall asleep on the table, and finally they started talking and he started throwing rocks at her window at night to get her attention. She’s still living with him. And she’s 80-something now. She met the right guy. I was not the right guy.

JD: And she’s still in Fornalutx.

PM: Still writing, still trying to publish. She hasn’t published anything in a long time. But she did go off to London for awhile. Stephanie and I met her in London on one of our trips. And then when she left London, thy wouldn’t let her into England ever again because she stayed there too long.

JD: Ooh, overstayed the visa.

PM: Yeah. She tried to go back and they locked her up in a room in the airport for a couple of days.

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