|born 15 Sept. 1933 in Louisville.
Married 1st Edward Ashford Lee at West Point, N.Y. on 27 Aug. 1955
2nd Steven Fassett
At the age of 8 Frances decided she preferred to be called "Kitty" and since then the General's daughter's word is a command.
"My own checkered career started after graduation from Vassar when I
married Richard Ashford Lee. Despite his name, Richard came from a prominent
Puerto Rican family, half of hispanic descent, and half English and American.
His grandfather on one side had been a U.S. army doctor named Bailey K.
Ashford, much revered in Puerto Rico for having discovered hookworm as
the cause of tropical anemia. (In Puerto Rico there's a major avenue and
a major medical center named after him.) On the other side his grandmother,
named Catalina de la Concepcion de Mercedes Tapia de Lee, was the daughter
of a famous Puerto Rican playwright, named Alejandro Tapia, whose name
appears on a large theatre there. The Tapia/Lee side of the family was
colorful. One of Richard's aunts, named Consuelo Corretjer, was a leader
of the Communist party, frequently arrested and jailed in gun running for
Fidel Castro. Richard's father, Wally (Waldemar), who ran a family company
called "Casa Lee", was something of a clown and drunk most of the time,
and the company almost went under when he got into the habit of consuming
large amounts of scotch before and during his daily trips to the office.
My husband Richard had a sense of entitlement, which meant he felt he could
do pretty much as he pleased and after 19 years of marriage I had had enough
of his abuse and womanizing, walked out on him, and as a result lost literally
everything that should rightfully have been mine.
| After leaving I met my future husband, Steve Fassett, a self
taught audio engineer and record producer. Steve was a cardiac cripple.
After repeated bouts of rheumatic fever as a child, he had to drop out
of school in the fifth grade, and from then on was educated at home. He
was picky about his subject matter, was prodigiously knowledgeable about
opera, literature, and poetry, but couldn't balance his checkbook. No one
in his family had thought he would survive into his twenties but he surprised
them all by getting a job in New York City with radio station WQXR, where
he did weekly broadcasts on the subject of opera. I think it was there
that he met his first wife, Agatha Illes, a Hungarian who had known Bela
Bartok and wrote a book about him after they moved to Boston. In Boston
he established his own recording studio in the basement of his house, and
there recorded actors, poets, and musicians of all kinds, including folk
singers like Joan Baez who were performing barefoot around Harvard Square
at the time. My happy marriage to Steve was unfortunately brief and he
died four and a half years later. I carried on some of his unfinished record
projects, the one that occupied me the most being the performances of Roland
Hayes, with whom Steve had had a warm friendship and long professional
relationship. I knew Hayes during his very last days, when Steve
and I would go and visit him
and his wife Alzada, and Hayes would go into raptures about how nice everyone had always been to him, forgetting that when he and Alzada moved into their house in Brookline, Mass., people threw stones through their windows, and how in Georgia people had burned down his farm. Anyway, after a lot of effort on my part, and with some resistance from some record companies and very little cooperation from Hayes' daughter Afrika, I finally was able to complete the project with a CD put out by the Smithsonian. That was in 1990. Meanwhile, in 1986, with some money inherited from my other aunt, Katie Whitelaw I had bought an old movie house in Maine and in 1990 I moved there and co-founded a non-profit performing arts organization called Waldo Theatre, Inc. There I kept busy producing various theatrical events, running art shows, and concertizing here and there in Maine, in Massachusetts, and on one occasion on a Russian riverboat making its way from St. Petersburg to Moscow. That was in 2003. Waldo Theatre, Inc. still exists, but the expense of keeping the theatre open was quickly running me into the poorhouse, so in 2006 I donated the building to the organization and moved to California. Here I try to live within my means, although the house I still own in Maine is helping to drain my finances. If the housing market ever picks up again I hope I'll be able to sell it.
|Frances Young Nicholas and Edward Ashford Lee had issue:
(Ni3-5-4-1-1) Frances Allen Lee, born 25 May 1956 in Boston, Mass., died 11 Jan 2010 in Colorado leaving a daughter, Samantha, b about 1990.
(Ni3-5-4-1-2) Edward Ashford Lee, born 3 Oct. 1957 in San Juan Puerto
(Ni3-5-4-1-3) Maria Catalina Lee, born 30 Nov. 1959 in San Juan Puerto Rico.
|My daughter Francie was very beautiful and very bright. She had graduated
first in her class from a prestigious girls' boarding school called Dana
Hall in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and then went on to graduate with honors
from Yale. She then married Ray Barboza, a Puerto Rican blacksmith, rock
singer and composer who later went on to work for the FBI. He and Francie
were divorced after a couple of years.
They weren't right for one another, but I always liked Ray and he still calls me "Mom". In Boston Francie got a job with the budget department at MIT, followed by an MBA from Simmons, followed by a job in the budget department at Boston College. At some point she met her next husband, David Davis, and after their marriage and the birth of their only daughter, Samantha, they moved to Colorado, where Francie was hired as assistant budget director of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her husband Dave was a talented artist but he and Francie weren't meant for one another either. Francie took to the bottle for consolation, but after her divorce she got "off the sauce" and never touched another drink. At some time after that she renewed acquaintance with her former Boston College employer, Mike Callnan. He became her devoted companion and moved to Boulder to take care of her after her diagnosis from brain cancer. Francie and I had traveled a lot together. She was full of fun and a spirit of adventure. In India we watched tigers and rode on elephants and took pictures of one horned rhinos. In Kenya we went up in a balloon and capsized onto a termite mound on the way down. In Vietnam a tour guide became infatuated with her and wrote a poem which he read to our entire tour group. It ended with these two lines: "I could never be her lover, for she is traveling with her mother."