Peter Francis Jr. in Lake Placid

At the time, Peter was the number one world expert on beads and had been a very good friend and mentor to me, freely giving his excellent advice and guidance since the inception of my African Trade Beads business. I readily accepted an invitation to visit him whenever I was in the States and looked forward to a long term beading friendship. Later in the same year as my visit, whilst on a trip to Ghana, suddenly and very sadly, he passed away.
You can read more about Peter in a permanently published tribute to him and his services to the bead world

I found Peter hard at work, cigarette in hand as usual .. in his Center for Bead Research .. in the basement of
his folk's home on the outskirts of Lake Placid. Surrounded by a mountain of paperwork, he was attempting to
keep up with the e-mails and letters that were constantly arriving from bead researchers and collectors worldwide.

His house was nestling in woods and luckily Peter's bead Research Center and living quarters were in the rear
of the building .. as out front, roadmen were laying a new stretch of tarmac .. and the air was thick with fumes.




Escaping to fresh air .. we visited the monument at the John Brown Farm a National Historic Landmark
which became a "pilgrimage" site for free African Americans and white abolitionists.

This monument and the historic property behind it, commemorate the man who took up the black slave's interests
in an armed struggle that created one of the most enduring legends in America's history.