Frank Schiavone was our BRIDGES Historian until his passing in 2008. He was a dedicated peace activist and our very favorite atheist. Frank could not understand the need for threat of punishment (hell) or promise of reward (heaven) was needed as a motivating factor to prompt “right” action. We loved his stories and we encouraged him to repeat them so we could remember. He served three years in federal prison as a conscientious objector to war and found it ironic that he served with murderers when his crime was refusing to kill. He poses here with our Advisory Board Member, Jennifer Hale.
“Let Peace Fly” was painted by Ana Tierra to celebrate Frank’s birthday and all of his life. It tells the story of his growing up in new York with a family of Italian immigrants. It shows him as little boy with his father’s push-cart. We see him in prison as a CO. The wildlife around him is of Florida, where he resided for many years until his passing. As the boy becomes a man, we see that he has Ghandi in his head. Frank loved to work with youth at Peace Camps and was our favorite Italian cook, famous for his baked ziti. He liked to teach birdhouse construction to the campers. We see him dressed as Santa Claus, hitting the malls at Christmas-time with a sign saying “Don’t Buy War Toys!” The explosion in the painting represents the destruction of war. He went on a peace march in Russia and visited the massacre site of Baba Yahr. Every time he told us that story, he cried. Finally, we see the whole of his life encased in a Peace Dove. The inscription on the painting says, “For you who could not believe in the Creator, but the Creator believes in You.”