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Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)

Mary Katherine 15 Dec 05 - 09:51 PM
Peace 15 Dec 05 - 09:56 PM
Peace 15 Dec 05 - 09:57 PM
Azizi 15 Dec 05 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux 17 Dec 05 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Stephen Tyler 17 Dec 05 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Michael Goodwin 17 Dec 05 - 07:46 PM
Mary Katherine 17 Dec 05 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Marilee (McGuire) Southworth 18 Dec 05 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Frosty Horton 18 Dec 05 - 11:50 AM
PoppaGator 18 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Steve Steinberg 19 Dec 05 - 09:12 AM
Mary Katherine 19 Dec 05 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Jonathan 19 Dec 05 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,David M. Jones 19 Dec 05 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,jvillemarette@berning.com 19 Dec 05 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,George Ingmire 19 Dec 05 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Jon Cleary 20 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM
Jacob B 20 Dec 05 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Polly Starnes 20 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,GUEST - Cindy 20 Dec 05 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Grandpa Frank and Grandma Rose Ella Palfi 20 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Cousin Roseanne 20 Dec 05 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Gene Bowen 21 Dec 05 - 10:23 AM
Mary Katherine 21 Dec 05 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Odette Horton 21 Dec 05 - 09:37 PM
Mary Katherine 22 Dec 05 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Brian Wood 22 Dec 05 - 09:55 AM
Mary Katherine 22 Dec 05 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Brian Wood 22 Dec 05 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Patrick Davis 22 Dec 05 - 05:43 PM
Mary Katherine 22 Dec 05 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Ana Lopez 23 Dec 05 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,Jerry Brock 23 Dec 05 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Paul Schierhorn 23 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM
Mary Katherine 26 Dec 05 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Brent Joseph 26 Dec 05 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Steven Pitts 27 Dec 05 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Charles Chamberlain 27 Dec 05 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Kathy Block 27 Dec 05 - 04:44 PM
Mary Katherine 27 Dec 05 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Carlos Gaivar 27 Dec 05 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Peter Kalven 28 Dec 05 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Jenny Brawer 28 Dec 05 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 05 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Val Bracy, FOX8 News 28 Dec 05 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Bob Vernon 28 Dec 05 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Gretchen Weber 28 Dec 05 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,Richard Clark 28 Dec 05 - 11:58 PM
GUEST,Gary Babad 29 Dec 05 - 09:13 AM
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Subject: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 09:51 PM

I am deeply saddened to pass along the tragic news that my close friend Stevenson Palfi, music documentary filmmaker of New Orleans, took his own life a couple of days ago. He had lost his home, his office and most of his possessions to the hurricanes that devastated New Orleans.

Many on this list will be familiar with Stevenson's award-winning film "Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together," about Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and Tuts Washington. He had also produced a documentary about Papa John Creach, and at the time of his death had been working for several years on an in-depth video biography of Toussaint, to be called "Songwriter: Unknown."

If you'd like to see some photos of him, there are quite a few on the web site I set up in memory of another good friend, Keith Briggs at www.aliveandpicking.com. There are several photos of Stevenson and Keith taken during our frequent visits to New Orleans.

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP
From: Peace
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 09:56 PM

I am very sorry, Mary. I hope he found the peace that may have eluded him here. I hope you are OK. Please accept my sincere condolences.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP
From: Peace
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 09:57 PM

http://www.aliveandpicking.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 10:48 PM

My condolences to you, Mary Katherine.

So much creativity..gone but not forgotten. Words are too small for these experiences.

I am sending you positive vibrations.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 10:18 AM

The untimely death of Stevenson will be a haunting memory for me for years to come. thank you, Mary Katherine, for starting such a site to pay small homage to a man who couldn't have realize his true contribution to the world and those of us who knew him. My saddest thouhts are for Nell, his precious daughter, who i know was a shining light in his life. I hope a day will come when she can find peace and a semblance of understanding in this tragedy. Stevenson will be terribly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Stephen Tyler
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 05:47 PM

I was deeply saddened to hear the tragic news. Stevenson was one of the truly independent filmmakers, a maverick, a free spirit, an artist who paid a steep price for remaining true to his art. He will be deeply missed.

Steve Tyler


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Michael Goodwin
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 07:46 PM

Hey, Mary C. I was devastated to hear that Stevenson had done away with himself. I knew he'd been depressed, and I went by his place on Banks St. several times last month hoping to find him, but it was boarded up, and neither his nor Polly's phones were working. (My wife's place is just one block up Banks from Stevenson's; in fact, he was instrumental in her buying it. He had initially suggested that I buy it, but when I passed he brought it to her attention. This was a few months before I met her. Stevenson actually introduced us, and did a swell one-camera video of our wedding! Anyway, she did buy it, and usually whenever I went to visit it or her, I stopped by to say hi to Stevenson.) I hope the footage and other materials for his Toussaint project survived the flood. I've seen most of it, and it's of stupendous importance. Perhaps we'll speak more about this in coming weeks. We're all very sad at this grim news. Death don't have no mercy in this land! Best, Mike


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 07:56 PM

Michael: Stevenson and I talked on the phone regularly, never less than once a week and sometimes more often, even after he was evacuated to Mississippi when the hurricane hit. If there were any signs, I missed them all. He told me that all the edited and unedited footage of the Allen Toussaint documentary was stored in a vault at Tulane University, as are all his other -- masters? In recording we would call them masters, though I'm not sure what the film equivalent is -- and that everything came through fine. If you want to email me offlist you can go to my web site at www.aliveandpicking.com and click on the link that says "email Mary Katherine." I have spoken to both Polly and Nell several times, and can give you updates if you want them.
Thanks to all of you for your expressions of support. I'll pass them along to his daughter. Stevenson was a creative and gentle spirit who loved music, and preserved it by telling the stories of the musicians of New Orleans (and other places)with his own unique vision. The documentaries he produced will be his legacy. And he was also a dear friend for more than twenty years, and I'm so sorry that he couldn't see any way out but this.

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Marilee (McGuire) Southworth
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 03:29 AM

I was introduced to Stevenson in 1990 by one of his colleagues, Chris McGuire, who had worked with him many years ago in Jackson at Mississippi ETV. I was immediately impressed with the passion in his eyes as he talked about the musicians and the city he loved so much. Nell and I sat down to their piano and I played for her, relating my own love and dedication to the instrument, and I will never forget that day. I left feeling so inspired by this person, so moved and impressed with his vision and experience, and I was so grateful that our paths crossed frequently once I moved here - a friendship developed that I treasured very much. I am so very sad that he is not among us anymore, and wish Nell all the peace and strength in the world.

He was a truly creative soul and will be missed greatly - it was an honor to know him.

Marilee


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Frosty Horton
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 11:50 AM

I don't know what to say that hasn't been said so well by these friends. Beth & I are in shock. We had offerred Stevenson our home in Nashville as refuge from the storm and had spoken many times during his stay in Tunica, MS. He last phoned a few weeks ago from his home in New Orleans in th midst of cleaning up and we discussed getting together when I came down to continue clean up at my parents' flooded home. Time didn't allow a visit then. He did confirmed that his Toussaint 'masters' were safe. I was with him in Los Angeles 20 years ago when he filmed Herb Alpert, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Robertson, and others at the start of that amazing documentary that I truly hope will someday be completed as a part of his legacy.
Last summer, Stevenson screened for Beth & I a wonderful short piece about Ernie K-Doe he'd just edited complete with scenes from his ledgendary WTUL radio show and his shoe shine stand. It was another afirmation of his love affair with NO music and he was very up beat.
We will miss you, my brother.
Frosty Horton


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM

What terrible news! I didn't know Stevenson very well, but I met him and spent a little time with him back in '79-'80 when "Piano Players Never Play Together" was being filmed.

My good friend Eddie Kurtz was originally Stenenson's partner on that project, but the untimely death of Professor Longhair led to a parting of the ways ~ Eddie didn't want to invade the privacy of Fess' family by filming the wake and funeral, but Stevenson decided to go ahead and shoot, at which point Eddie quit and washed his hands of the whole deal, leaving Stevenson alone to finish shooting and to do all the editing, post-production, etc. Eddie is one of my oldest friends in the world, and I understood his point of view, but I am glad that Stevenson captured a record of that sad event and completed the film the way that he did.

(Eddie's voice ~ uncredited ~ can be heard off-camera during the segments where Fess is being interviewed in front of a sort of patchwork tapestrey that was the backdrop of the Tipitina's stage at the time. I was present, by the way, while that interview as being shot.)

It's hard for me to fathom most of the suicides that have occurred in the wake of the Katrina flood. I can't really sit in judgement because I realize that my family and I have been much luckier than most, not only because our house wasn't totally ruined, but also (and mostly) because we have resources and connections outside the city. But then, so did Stevenson, and look what happened to him...

Folks who had nothing, or nearly nothing, are generally holding up reasonably well. It seems to me that the more-or-less affluent (those who really had something to lose) have been more susceptible to terminal despair. For example: One of our family doctors, our kids' pediatrician, did away with himself a few weeks ago. With very few patients or potential patients in town, doctors and (especially) dentists have been fairly desperate to keep up their income, plastering the steets with handbills advertising their services. I'm sure most of them have substantial bills to pay each month, not only for the equipment they use in their professions, but also in many cases for mortgages on rental property that suddenly became useless. It's easy for me to say "Hey, it's only money," but for those facing serious financial shortfalls, I suppose the problems can seem insurmountable. Of course, every person's case is unique, and I certainly don't know the particulars of Stevenson's problems, but I'd guess that he was in despair over his financial and/or professional future...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Steve Steinberg
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 09:12 AM

There is no question how deeply we share in our grief at the passing of this very dear friend and colleague. Depression is an illness, a very serious illness for some. It is only in this context that we can hope to understand why a person such as Stevenson with so much talent, so much warmth, and so much to offer to his loved ones, his friends, and to everyone else in this world would take such a drastic and terrible step. In the aftermath of this cruel tragedy I believe it's important to let all those we know in our community who have suffered how much we value them and care about them.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 11:17 AM

Stevenson was an incredibly complex person, as is so often the case with creative people, whether musicians or filmmakers or writers or makers of any kind, and the reasons that led him to take this step were probably as varied and complex as he himself was. I've told Nell about this thread, and she has asked me to print it out and save it for her. Right now she can't cope with much of anything but the tremendous loss of her best-loved daddy, but eventually she will read and appreciate all your notes.
A range of ideas are running through my mind about how best to remember him; I'm going to suggest to Nell that she establish an annual scholarship in his name for a student who is going through a film program at one of the New Orleans universities or colleges; there are probably lots of creative young people out there who would love to produce a music documentary but need a start. The best way to remember him is to keep his work alive; for this reason I have already suggested to her that she oversee the completion and release of his unfinished (but *almost* finished, as he was constantly telling me) Allen Toussaint documentary. I hope that happens, and will continue to encourage her to do so. I don't know the status of his Ernie K-Doe documentary; he showed me a 30-minute or so excerpt the last time we saw each other, but I understood him to say that K-Doe had died before he finished shooting, so there may not be enough raw footage to finish that one. The part I saw was hilarious, though, and I'd love to see something happen with that some day.

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Jonathan
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 02:00 PM

This is Stevenson's cousin Jonathan.

Stevenson spend a few weeks with me here in the Berkshires around Thanksgiving, including screening the Jazz Funeral segment of Piano Players at the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center (where I am Artistic Director) to open up an evening with the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

For most of my life Stevenson has been someone that I have looked up to, and as an adult he has been a colleague. I have screened all of his completed documentaries and have felt a part of all his unfinished ones. And he's family.

His death has hit me hard. Really hard.

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to keep his memory alive.

Hi


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,David M. Jones
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 02:04 PM

I returned to New Orleans after three and half months in exile in Louisville only to find that this wonderful, but troubled soul had taken his life. Stevenson was a good friend for two decades. I have worked with him on several projects including "Songwriter Unknown" and he has been a great influence on my own documentaries.

The last time I saw him he gave me a copy of his K-Doe demo and he seemed to be in great spirits. I had not spoken to him since the hurricanes so I had no idea he felt so depressed. As with everyone posting on this site, I wish there was something I could have done. I hope Nell will be able to someday see the completion of his ultimate documentary. In the meantime, he will be sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,jvillemarette@berning.com
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 03:18 PM

Hello friends,
I share with all of a you in the loss of one of the most kind, sensative, and creative people I have ever came in contact with . I was introduced to Stevenson when I was 18 years old through Julie Gustafson's documentary Desire. Julie thought that Stevenson would be an excellent mentor for me in my creative development as a film maker. Since our meeting in 1996 we became very close friends. Stevenson was not only a great mentor in the business but became a great role model for me in life. His kindness and good nature helped me develop as an editor, but also a man. He tought me lessons in the edit suite and in life and for this I am forever greatful. I imagine Stevenson's compassion has touched many people in his life. We know of all of the great things he has done, although his humbleness prevented us from knowing every story of kindness that he administered. I am sure there are many who were touched by him as well. You blessed others Stevenson Palfi therefore you are blessed and I will really miss you.   


Sincerly,
Jason Villemarette


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,George Ingmire
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 07:17 PM

It is truly touching to see and read everyone's postings. I knew Stevenson through his last editors, Aaron Walker. Stevenson was one of a kind. Deeply thoughtful and aware of the plight of the artist. He gave me priceless advice on many occasions about filmmaking and protecting my work. There is no way to fully address the loss this world has experienced with his passing.

Stevenson had a keen and passionate eye. The music and culture of New Orleans has been repeatedly subjected to misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Fortunately, Stevenson's body of representational work was always with the city's best interests in mind.

I am planning a radio show in memory of Stevenson in early January. The show will include excerpts from an interview I conducted with him on another show in December 2004 (Longhair celebration). If there is anyone who would like to contact me and share their thoughts, feel free to email me at wwozdj@gmail.com - my name is George Ingmire.

As I mentioned, there is no way to truly embrace this great loss, but allow me to recommend a book that addresses the subject of the artist and depression: "Darkness Visible - William Styron."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Jon Cleary
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM

He was a good man. I'm so sad to hear the the news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Jacob B
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 12:07 PM

While I didn't really know Stevenson, he was a friend of friends in college. I feel for your loss.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Polly Starnes
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM

I have known about Stevenson since 1983 or so when Maryland Public Television aired "Piano Players". I knew then that this was a man I wanted to meet. On our next trip to NOLA, my husband and I made arrangements to meet the family. What a treat. Nell was about 4 & learning how to use the dreidel. She entertained us all. We have remained friends. Stevenson was an intense talent. He produced music film documentaries that will be part of his legacy forever. His ability to bring people together is another. Who else could have gotten THREE piano players to play together and be happy. I have revisited the tape and notice the beauty of the lighting and Stevenson's ability to get the frames just right and bring energy to the video that keeps the viewer engaged throughout the production. "Piano Players" is a timeless video as Stevenson will be as a person. Stevenson will be in my memory as one of the more special people that crossed my life's path. Katrina piled depression, hopelessness and fear on all of us. Clearly, Stevenson, as a genius talent, was overwhelmed with all of these emotions. I pray that our Stevenson's spirit is always with Nell and walks with her throughout her life, guiding her while also bringing out her beauty and talent. Much love, Polly Starnes


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,GUEST - Cindy
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:14 PM

To Mary Katherine and friends of Stevenson.
This is Stevenson's sister Cindy.
Mary Katherine, I can't thank you enough for starting this site and for the numerous people who obviously have been touched by my brother's life.
My brother was my best friend while growing up and I have many fond memories of family vacations, sibling rivalry and always knowing that he was initelligent yet not condescending, creative, athletic, and socially and politically involved,particularly in high school.

Time and geographical distance distanced us during the last 20 or so years, but we always kept in touch. This year we actually visited twice; here in Indiana in May for our mother's memorial, and at Thanksgiving in the Berkshires. I thank God for that time together, and for who Stevenson was as a brother, father, son, uncle, nephew, artist, and gentle spirit. We will miss him greatly; may his legacy stay strong and perhaps some goodness can come from this awful tragedy. We're all here on this earth to be of sevice to each other.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Grandpa Frank and Grandma Rose Ella Palfi
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

We are truly sorry and send our deepest condolences. Stevenson, we wish we could have spent more time together. Hasta la vista.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Cousin Roseanne
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 11:01 PM

It hurts to lose family. I will cherish our last time together in May after the memorial service for Stevenson's mother, my aunt Dottie. I had never Googled my cousin until today; I didn't want to. He was just a cousin I loved and missed. Family; not famous. I had missed him before when he lived so many states away. And now he is gone. And that hurts. Prayers that God will help carry the burden of sorrow his family has right now.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Gene Bowen
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:23 AM

Wow...Stevenson has been on my mind since the waves hit New Orleans...for some reason today I googled his name to see if I could find a means of contacting him...

I worked with Papa John Creach for many years as his tour manager where I met and worked with Stevenson throughout the Creach documentary.....

Being a New Yorker I always had to shift to lower gears around Stevenson, who had lost his Chicago pace for a New Orleans stride...

Stevenson's clock ran at another speed...it was always about translating and presenting the artist as true and honestly to film...his respect for his subject was astonishing...how long it took did not matter...only the quality and integrity of the artist and process was most paramount...

I never met anyone like Stevenson who could stretch a buck as long and far as he could...a buget master...

My love to Nell and Polly...

Stevenson, big hugs to you and say hi to Pops, Gretchen and Jeff for me..

Gene Bowen


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 01:51 PM

Nell and Polly have decided to celebrate Stevenson's life at a memorial/tribute gathering in New Orleans, sometime in March 2007. If anyone would like to be notified once the exact date and place are set, pleaes send me a private email by going to www.aliveandpicking.com and clicking on the link that says "email Mary Katherine." Include your contact info, and I'll be sure you get a note so that you can join us if possible.
Thanks to all for these wonderful words and expressions of love and sympathy, which I know Nell will treasure in memory of her father for many years to come.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Odette Horton
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:37 PM

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time and thought to help us understand and get perspective on this loss. I hadn't been in touch with Stevenson for many years. I am sorry for his passing, sorry for those he left behind, especially Nell, and sorry for all the survivors who are suffering. My thoughts are with you all.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 01:36 AM

That was a typo - the memorial for Stevenson will be held in New Orleans in March 2006, not March 2007. I must be distracted, or something...

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Brian Wood
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:55 AM

I reside in England but keep a close eye on New Orleans' affairs and often visit. Saddened to learn of this loss and the tragic circumstances. I keep a database of New Orleans musicians and their activities and would like to include a reference to Mr. Palfi. It would be helpful if someone could let me have his date and place of birth and other relevant details of his musical activities.
R.I.P
Brian Wood


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 10:37 AM

His ex-wife Polly just sent me this, which I have tweaked in a very minor way. It contains most of the information you requested; his date of birth was August 27, 1952, per his father. I had previously thought it was 1953, but I figure his father knows what he's talking about, since he was there at the time!
********************************************

Stevenson James Palfi, acclaimed film and video documentarian, died at his home on Wednesday, Dec. 14th, 2005. He grew up in Chicago, Ill. and graduated from the Laboratory School of the University of Chicago. After receiving a degree in Philosophy from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., Stevenson made his home in New Orleans for the remainder of his life. His long time friendship with members of the New Orleans music community is familiar to all.

Stevenson is perhaps best known for his award-winning documentary "Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together", featuring three generations of New Orleans pianists Isidore 'Tuts' Washington, Professor Longhair and Allen
Toussaint. He was currently in the final stages of production on "Songwriter, Unknown", a feature-length program about New Orleans musical empresario Allen Toussaint.

Among other honored Palfi productions are "Played In The USA", a 13-week series of documentaries and short films, hosted by his friend Martin Sheen. Included in that series was his own "Setting The Record Straight", revealing the remarkable musical versatility of violinist Papa John Creach. Other New Orleans musicians immortalized by Stevenson include Preservation Hall banjoist Emmanuel "Manny" Sayles and the ever-entertaining Ernie-K-Doe.

During his career, Stevenson was honored with John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation funds, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, as well as substantial grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisiana State Arts Council and the Channel Four network of Great Britain.

Stevenson is survived by his daughter Nell Palfi of New Orleans, his father Alfred M. Palfi of Michiana Shores, Ind. and sister Cindy Penfold of Avon, Ind. His body will be cremated and a musical memorial celebration of his life and work will be held in New Orleans on a date to be announced.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Brian Wood
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 11:07 AM

Mant thanks to Mary Katherine for her prompt reply to my query. My sincere condolences to all for the loss of this distinguished gentleman.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Patrick Davis
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:43 PM

The University of Chicago alumni magazine is interested in running an obituary on Mr. Palfi, who is listed in their alumni database as having attended in the 1970s. Does anyone have a newspaper obituary or a list of accomplishments and survivors that I can forward to the magazine staff? I didn't know Mr. Palfi but attended University of Chicago and have enjoyed his piano legends film thoroughly, and will never forget the 2oth anniversary showing at the New Orleans Museum of Art, with Mr. Palfi, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo in attendance, among others.

Again, if there is information I can pass along to the magazine, please email me at youtalktoomuch(at)hotmail(dot)com. Thanks--Patrick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 06:13 PM

It's on its way to you by private email.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Ana Lopez
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 12:37 AM

I just learned of Stevenson's death through a friend of a friend, googled him, found this site and can barely type through the tears. Nell, dearest, I met you some twenty years ago when you were just a baby and in a cast, in one of Andy and Odette Horton's many backyard blues and bbque events (in fact I have a half-dozen pictures of you and Stevenson and Polly from back then). We -- Hamilton, my husband, and I-- loved your dad deeply. You probbaly don't remember the weekend we spent together in Navarre Beach in the early 90s, or the many dinners we had over at your house on Banks st. or in my house in the French Quarter. We brought your dad over to Brazil, which he loved; had planned to bring him to Cuba...
I feel so deeply for your loss, our loss. Our world is so diminished without him.
Stevenson was a brilliant, thoughtful, creative and meticulously ethical filmmaker; I always referred my students who talked about wanting to do documentary work to him. The classes he taught for us at Tulane were brilliant and he was an inspiring teacher, friend, mentor. A beacon.
I am do sad that yet another of New Orleans's beacons are now dim: Stevenson was one of them.
Please contact me offline -- lopez@tulane.edu-- when and if you read this. Whatever I can do to help maintain your dad's legacy -- to help finish the Touissant documentary, to find a suitable repository for his work -- will be my own small contribution to the celebration of his life.
He loved you deeply and was so so proud of your achievements. I miss him so much already.
Please do contact me when you cn, if you want. I am here for you.
Ana Lopez


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Jerry Brock
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 05:00 AM

In celebration of his wonderful spirit let's think about Stevenson's ever ready and genuine broad smile that reflected the best in all of us; the love he possessed for his daughter Nell, family and friends; his ability to listen and offer encouraging words and advice; his willingness to share what he had learned; and his love and understanding of the art he pursued and accomplished. My deepest condolences to family and friends. Best always ...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Paul Schierhorn
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM

He was a gentle soul who never pretended to have it all figured out. I drank a fair amount of wine with Stevenson; saw him give up smoking with humor and resolve; watched his "piano players" documentary with admiration; will miss his grainy voice with a smile always in it over the telephone. Your peace is out there, Stevenson; you will find it and it will find you. Let's the rest of us find him through each other.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 04:48 PM

Refreshing because the site was down for 48 hours.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Brent Joseph
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 09:42 PM

Stevenson,

I am just going to assume that you can somehow read this.

Every once in a while someone asks me "What is the best film about New Orleans?" I tell them to watch "Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together." That film avoids the hype and captures the magic like no other film. I thank you for a life of great work. You were a stand up guy. I will always remember you. I don't really smoke cigars, but I am going to smoke one in your honor right now.

Rock on,
Brent


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Steven Pitts
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:20 AM

I went to high school with Stevenson in Chicago and just learned of his death through an article in the NY Times. I had only seen him once since high school (about 7 years ago) and last spoke to him around four years ago. It is so sad that he is gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Charles Chamberlain
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 12:14 PM

Although I didn't know Stevenson extremely well, his presence will be missed greatly. Our family condolences go out to Polly, Nell and the Palfi family.
I got to know Stevenson while working at the Hogan Jazz Archives, and my wife Carolyn taught Nell in high school---one of those strange small world convergences in NO..

So I used to have cheery and fun conversations with him as he dropped off Nell and I dropped off my son at school.

May his work live on and inspire others (I love the idea of the scholarship in his name for aspiring film students).

As with others, I hope Nell finds peace amid this great tragedy.

RIP Stevenson

Charles Chamberlain,
Historian, Louisiana State Museum


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Kathy Block
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 04:44 PM

I have many warm memories of Steve from high school.
Kathy Block


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 04:50 PM

I've just learned that Stevenson will be mentioned in a piece on tonight's edition of ABC World News Tonight about the rise in suicides since Hurricane Katrina. He was also mentioned in a story on the same subject in today's New York Times.

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Carlos Gaivar
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:24 PM

After learning of Stevenson's death on ABC News, I Googled his name and found this web site. We had several long talks by phone years ago and one short meeting in person back when "Piano Players" first came out, and I wrote about it in "JazzTimes" magazine, but we hadn't communicated in decades. I still feel his loss deeply, however... as I did when so many of my brothers who returned from Vietnam found life back in "The World" so difficult that they too chose to end it all. For those of you who have lost a loved one, I understand that words are little comfort... but know that you are not alone in your pain. The rest of us can honor the creative spirit of the man by treasuring the things he loved and fought to preserve.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Peter Kalven
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 01:31 PM

Dear Nell, Polly, Mary Katherine, friends and Palfi family,

I too went to high school with "Steve", as he was known to us then. I have not seen or spoken to him in these many years. It saddens me to hear of his passing and it brings home the tragic state of New Orleans to those of us who live thousands of miles away.

I am pleased to read of his success and the kind thoughts of those whose messages proceed mine. We knew each other in a time when the course of our lives was yet known and I am struck by the memory of a tall, long curly haired, good looking athlete, with a thoughtful spirit, a pleasant smile and gentle humor and the voice of a spokesman. He was a leader among us, and it is apparent that stayed with him.

Nell, I lost my father when I was a young man and was moved by the world of people who knew him.

If the character of a man can be known by his friends, then know that your father was rich among them. The expressions of character here are similar to the memories evoked by the news of his death. Remember him for his smile and he will warm your soul for the balance of time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Jenny Brawer
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 02:20 PM

I heard about Stevenson's suicide this morning from our friend, Richard Clark, Stevenson's housemate during our college days at Clark. I see Stevenson ambling and smiling down the street. Greeting friends, discussing philosophy, just beginning to love making videos.
I remember the last time we spoke, late one night,out of the blue, reminicing, and his telling me how he was caring for and with his dear daughter Nell.
I see and hear him so clearly. I'm so sorry

Stevenson, a very dear good friend from younger days-I always felt I could just run into him and pick up where we left off. I still do.
all my thoughts are with his family and friends and close ones-
love, always
jenny


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 03:30 PM

We just got the announcement in Columbus today about Stevenson's passing. We are with you in mourning. Our second line parade on New Year's Eve will be in his honor.

Through good times and bad, we've got to let it roll.

Brighter days,

Arnett Howard, King of Creole Funk, Columbus, Ohio


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Val Bracy, FOX8 News
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 05:23 PM

Dear Friends of Stevenson:

I am a reporter with WVUE here in New Orleans, working on a story about depression after the storm and the city's rising suicide rate. Would it be possible for one of you to be interviewed about Stevenson, his life and his death? If so, please call me ASAP at (504) 483-1540.

Thank you,

Val Bracy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Bob Vernon
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 07:08 PM

Skip Godwin just called me to tell me about Stevenson. I am in shock. I talked to him not long ago after trying to track him down after the storm. He was a great friend of many years and I will miss him very much. Rest in peace, my brother. Your work will never die.
Bob Vernon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Gretchen Weber
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 10:08 PM

"New Orleans:Live'n Kickin' " will debut in Aspen, Colorado on New Years Eve. The program will include live performances by Eddie Bo, James Andrews, (Satchmo of the Ghetto), Trombone Shorty, the Pinstripe Brass Band, Marva Wright, and Wanda Rouzan. I can think of no better way to celebrate Stevenson's life than to attend...with a big wad of tissues in my pocket.

Stevenson's mother and I became friends when he was about 13 years old. He was a charming teenager...bright, articulate and so likable. His family have always been memorable people in my life. Having talked to his father and communticated with his sister via e-mail several times in the past few weeks I know how much this web site means to them. I am sure Nell will always cherish these notes too.

"Judge not, lest you be judged." Let us celbrate the life, the talent, the person, who was and is so dear to so many of us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Richard Clark
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 11:58 PM

To family, friends, and all who were blessed to know Stevenson:

We met and became close friends at Clark University. We shared enthusiasms for film, theater, modern art and philosophy. We shared an apartment where we rehearsed plays, enjoyed music and talked and laughed together. Stevenson loved driving off campus with me in my MG convertible--We favored going to a steak and brew place that showed the silent films of Chaplin and Keaton and the Keystone Cops. I worked with him on his first documentaries--the fledgling films he made of musicians appearing at Clark University. We were in plays together on the Clark stage. These memories haunt me now. I am devastated by this tragedy. Even though our lives went in very different directions, my feelings for my friend have never waned. I admired and adored him as a confidant, fellow artist and human being. And even though we shared only a few visits and letters since college,
when we did make contact it was as though we had spoken just yeterday. I remain forever grateful for the warmth, humour and intelligence that were the hallmarks of our friendship. I already miss him desperately. I just wanted to say this to you and to him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Stevenson Palfi RIP (Dec 2005)
From: GUEST,Gary Babad
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 09:13 AM

Stevenson was my Teaching Assistant at Clark for a video workshop I took. While I have not seen him since, it's amazing how someone can stick in your mind. Sometimes when I shoot home videos, or if I see a particular technique used in a film or on TV, I've thought of him and of what I learned from him even back then. He was a great teacher, great fun and a wonderful human being. Condolences to his family and friends; I know he will be missed.


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