HOUS — September 2012
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Editor's Note
Jeff Gremillion

September 2012

I didn’t know Frank Logan, a tall and ridiculously good-looking strawberry-blond singer with boyish freckles and masculine-yet-sweet features that belied his inner grit and old soul. He was poetic, funny and giving, and he died much too young in 1995, at 24, just as his career was taking off.

An alum of Houston’s HSPVA arts high school, he’d made his way from here to the Manhattan School of Music in New York. By his senior year there he was drawing raves from the likes of Stephen Sondheim. But the record-cold winter of ’94 was less kind; Frank fell ill.

He left New York and came home, calling his old high school pal Camille Zamora, now a famous opera singer, to say he was under the weather and headed south. Frank did not tell her, or anyone else, that he had AIDS. But by the time he got here, emaciated and weak, there was no hiding it. He had to be hospitalized. “Visiting him at the county hospital was painful,” recalls Camille. Overworked nurses couldn’t give him the care he needed. He’d get his meals, for example, but nobody would help him eat them.

Frank’s loved ones discovered the homey Omega House hospice in Montrose, not far from the high school. The neighborhood that had once helped him find his voice was now ready to help him find peace and surrender. Omega House volunteers fed him, played Scrabble with him and took him on walks. “When he died six weeks later,” says Camille, “it was in a beautiful private room with clouds painted on the ceiling, surrounded by friends and family, with dignity.”

Camille was so moved, she soon organized a small concert-of-arias fundraiser for Omega House and its parent nonprofit, Bering Omega Community Services, which to this day offers a range of health and social services for local people who don’t have the resources to manage their HIV/ AIDS diagnosis. She called it “Sing for Hope.”

Eighteen years later, Sing for Hope is going strong. The annual gala, now a black-tie dinner and concert featuring Camille and others, has raised millions for Bering Omega. It’s helped tens of thousands live healthier lives, and, as fate has required, it’s helped a thousand more end their fight with grace, touched by mercy.

I was asked to chair this year’s Sing for Hope on Sept. 15 with Fashion Houston founder Jared Lang (contact me to learn more). I agreed, in memory of a man I never met. Frank would be 41 now, same as me. We’d be contemporaries, maybe even friends. I wish he was headlining our show, but I’ll assume he’s its guardian angel, watching with a smile, singing along in the wings.

What a full-on fall it’s turning out to be.

Besides Sing for Hope, of which Houston magazine is a sponsor, the September calendar is already bursting with other black-tie to-do’s. Galas for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Health Museum hit this month, and the Houston Symphony opens a special season—its last under longtime maestro Hans Graf—with a swank dinner-and-concert affair.

And, as ever, fashion takes center stage in autumn. In this issue, we welcome officially the talents of James Aguiar, our new fashion director. His take on best of the season is splashed over dozens of rich spreads—from ravishing red á la Valentino and Michael Kors, to glamorous gold from Louis Vuitton and longtime Houston fave Naeem Khan.

Look for leather, find fabulous fur and expect opulent detailing aplenty.

My new Sing for Hope friend Camille even turns up in our Shops pages. The in-demand singer—who, when asked her age, will tell you “29 in soprano years”—shares the must-have accessory for busy but ever-stylish working moms like her. (Hint: It’s a great big Balenciaga bag!)

Here we go again, Houston. Welcome to another fall of dressing up, going big and giving back. Jgremillion@modernluxury.com