A remembrance of my dad

Francis B. Murray (1928–2022) led a gilded-age life full of surprises and life lessons

Anna Murray

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I recently lost my father, who died at the age of 93. The following is an excerpt from his eulogy.

First a disclaimer

Bewilderment. That’s the expression on people’s faces when I tell family stories without first providing the following context:

My great-grandfather, Thomas E. Murray, Sr., was an early industrialist and co-founded Consolidated Edison. He spawned a clan of Lace-Curtain-Irish descendants who lived a gilded-age lifestyle until the 1980s, when the money finally gave out.

Frank Murray’s gilded-age life was full of remarkable stories and lessons — some surprising even to his family.

A world-class skier

Dad taught skiing at Lake Tahoe.

He also skied professionally all over the world for filmmaker John Jay who made the Imax-esque movies of the day.

Photo credit Francis B. Murray

Dad invented a ski binding that was manufactured and sold commercially. Once, when I was planning to visit Mt. Rainier, he said, “That’s where my sister Anne and I went to test out my ski binding.”

When I got there, I saw no ski facilities whatsoever. I called him and said, “There’s no ski resort here.”

“I know. Anne and I just hiked up the glacier to ski. The people at the lodge thought we were a little nuts.”

The exotic car buff

Dad was known for his amazing cars. Here’s one about skiing and cars:

In the 50s, when Dad was living in LA, he had a gull-wing Mercedes. Because the doors hinged at the top, there was no place to carry skis. So, he had special mountings made on the sides of the car.

One day he stopped short on Wiltshire Boulevard and the skis launched like missiles, goosing a woman crossing the street.

Photo credit Anna P. Murray

When Mom, an Eileen Ford fashion model, came on the scene, she made him sell the gull wing…

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Anna Murray

Tech expert, novelist, and essay writer with an ticklish funny bone. My novel, “Greedy Heart,” is First Best Book Finalist in the VIVIAN Awards.