Sunday, March 31, 2013

Turns out it was a great idea

Bring a Memory, Take a Memory was yesterday.

It was a really good day. Thank you to everyone who came and shared, and also to everyone who couldn't be there and sent something through. Lots of great memories and it felt good to spend some time remembering Stacy at her cheeky best.

Leesa took some photos which i'm confident will give to a sense of the day. Also Jennine's story seemed to resonate with people, enjoy below.

I'm definitely still collecting memories from people (i'm looking at you North America) so if you feel inclined please put something together and get it to me at some point. It feels like there is a story in there worth editing together.

Lots of love yesterday, it was good. Lots more love to come as well.


Stacy gets naked... by Jennine Birrell

When I moved to Australia, Stacy was one of the first people to become a very loyal client to my hairdressing services. She was always keen to let me try new things, help me push boundaries with her cuts and colors and even helped me out with some modeling. The gorgeous girl that she was, had no problems slotting into the role, as you can see in these photos from one of our first shoots. 

Iʼve been told about share houses and swim teams, (of which Stacy was a part of both) in terms of how comfortable people become with their bodies. But never did I expect ʻcertain behavioursʼ to enter my life via Stacy. One day Stacy had asked me for a fringe trim after we (Mike, Stacy, Harry and myself) were hanging out at their apartment in Ashgrove. No big deal, just a quick snip in the bathroom and her haircut would last a few extra weeks. A service I was more than happy to extend to my great friend. Well... Stacy went ahead of me to get ready as Mike and I went through my options of kitchen scissors. 

Much to my surprise, when I turned the corner to the bathroom, there was Stacy waiting completely topless smiling away as she waited for her much needed fringe trim.
I canʼt say whether the scream came from the prude little hairdressor inside me or just out of pure shock but the following conversation took place:

Jennine: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! (giggles)”
Stacy: “What? What
ʼs wrong..hee hee”
Jennine: “ Stacy, I don
ʼt do naked haircuts” 
Stacy: “What, come on I donʼt want to get hair on my shirt, here, Iʼll hold my boobs like this...” Jennine: “ No! hee hee, youʼre still naked!” 
Stacy: “Come on, Iʼm the one whoʼs naked...”
Mike: (from the other room)“Stacy....put a shirt on...”

So, as I mentioned, Stacy helped me ʻpush boundariesʼ.... Iʼve never done another naked haircut since.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stacy memory recording

Righto Community, time to record some memories.

This Saturday the 30th of April at 1pm the 'Bring a Memory, Take a Memory' party will be happening at our house. It will be a nice relaxed time to share some great memories of our unique Stacy.

As you know a key component of the day is to bring a memory. I'm also hoping to collect additional memories from people who cant make it on Saturday, I've got some grand memory collection plans coming folks. I'm writing today to both encourage you to take up the pen or the keyboard, and with some ideas to help incase the task seems a little challenging. I'll attach a couple of examples at the end as well.

If you were fortunate to know Stacy then you were also fortunate to have known her in a unique way. Your relationship with Stacy was different than everyone else, and you are an important holder of one of a kind memories with someone we all agree had some special moments.

I think you should take a moment and record a Stacy memory for us all to enjoy.

Here is my guide to how to bang out your memory:

1. Labels
A title is an option, a place, a time and your name.

2. Orientation
What was going on at the time? e.g. Stacy and I were on the Swim team together. When Stacy was in middle school.....
This doesn't have to be much it just helps a reader to get a general picture of the circumstance that the story takes place in.

3. The Event
Tell the story, just like you would if you were sitting with a friend and telling it. e.g. Then Stacy says "you just have to exude V.I.P." and walks past the bouncer and through the door.

4. How you felt
If you have an emotional reaction to the memory then people would love to hear it. This is what life is about, things happen and we feel and change, all good stories have feelings.

Thats it. You can ignore part or all of that if you want to. If you are a strong story teller get into it, if you are less confident then just have a crack and i'm happy to fiddle with structure for people if they want. You love Stacy, I love Stacy and we will all enjoy hearing each others little memories about our Stacy.


P.S. If you haven't already let me know if you are coming please do.
P.P.S Email stories to if you cant be here on the day.

I didn't know there were going to be foreigners here.

July 2001 - New York City - Mike Neild

As it was my second year working at summer camp I arrived ahead of the majority of staff to help set up and organise the first season counselors.

One of my jobs was to take the big yellow school bus 2 hours south to the city to pick up a group of 14 or so new counselors who were flying in from across the country. I had a list of names and flight numbers however the camp owners had failed to give me the key piece of information which was that everyone was meeting at a pre-organised terminal. 

I spent quite some time running around Laguardia International Airport looking for 14 different people I didn't know and wouldn't recognise, who were arriving at a range of times on a range of different flights. A challenging task for this moderately shy 20 year old.

Fairly exasperated and a little lost for direction I spotted a group of young and expectant looking people sitting around in a loose oval against the window of a terminal building. Having few other possible solutions I approached the group and spoke across the oval to some people who were facing my way.

"Do any of you kids what to go to Camp Echo?"

Before the people I was looking at and speaking to had a chance to answer, the person from the near side of the oval (who was rummaging around in her bag a foot or so in front of me) popped up directly into my eye-line in an explosion of curly blond hair, shining white teeth and bright blue eyes.

"I didn't know there were going to be foreigners here. Oh this is going to be fun"

Taken aback and I expect lost for words the young lady took control of the situation and introduced herself as Stacy. The Stacy Frey from my list. She quickly had me ensconced in the oval of waiting counselors and proceeded to go around the circle and introduce me with name and State to all the people on my list, whom she had herself just met in the last hour or so. 

It was a wonderful introduction and despite having no possible comprehension of the far reaching ramifications of that meeting, the moment was struck firmly into my memory immediately. 

Like a Tutu 
Simone Mouritz - Brisbane 2008

This is a two-part story about small incidents that turned into life lessons for me, taught by Stacy.  I dare say Stacy won’t remember them.    

Part One

On a balmy evening in 2008, a group of girls gather at the Norman Hotel for a steak and a chat.  Some knew eachother well (eg Sally and Gabby) and others were meeting for the first time (eg Stacy and my flatmate Alice).  All were hanging on Stacy’s every word. 

She was taking us through each and every detail of the day that Mike proposed.  EVERY detail, from the ‘teach me how to use the camera’ line to the strangely familiar busker on the side of the busy New York street.  Our favourite part was of course that precious moment when Stacy said ‘yes’ and the old lady pedestrian captured in the background of one of the photos had a look of elation as though it was her own granddaughter standing there with flowers, diamond ring and future husband. 

Stacy then takes us through the style of her bridal gown.  Her arms are weaving illustrations in the air as she speaks.  The beading, the bodice, the fishtail style of the skirt.  We are in raptures as we listen.  Then we hear some snide remarks from elsewhere in the pub.  Someone was making fun of Stacy’s ‘Montana-speak’!  I remark under my breath ‘Asshole!!’.  Stacy on the other hand, says ‘Oh please.  WHO CARES’ and continues with the conversation. 

Part Two

On a separate balmy evening, a few months prior, a group of girls are walking back to our Noosa apartment after dinner, during a girls' weekend away.  We are discussing fashion, as is always one of the topics of conversation when Stacy is present.  Who knows what led up to it – it was too long ago to remember all the details.  All I remember is Stacy pulling the hem of her shirt out from her body (like you would a skirt, ready to curtsy), whilst walking on tip toes in her sandals, saying ‘my shirt is NEW and I LIKE it because it’s like a TUTU!’. 

Moral of the story

Don’t sweat the small stuff, unless the small stuff is fabulous like a tutu - then get ultra-passionate about it!

Refer to Liz's story in the comments for some context on these photos:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bring a memory, Take a memory

Bring a memory, take a memory - a celebration in Brisbane (those outside of Brissy read below)

We all love Stacy and we all have at least one special memory of our time with her. Those memories are wonderful and often unique and I think it would be nice to take a moment to share our own little slice of Stacy with others who love her.
This is one chance to do so.

Bring a memory, Take a memory is an afternoon celebration of our beloved Stacy. It should be a great opportunity for all of Stacy’s little worlds to come together and share a different side of our favourite Montanan import. I hope everyone will leave a little richer and with a feeling that they know a little more about our special girl.

Here is how it will work:

Bring a memory.
You need to take a moment during the next two weeks to think about and write down a memory/s from your time with Stacy. This could be quite brief or even a full page worth if you get fired up, it really just needs to cast a little light on a time that was memorable to you. It should include an approximate date, some kind of location and your name.

Some people have already done something like this for the Facebook page “Stacy’s Stories”, this could be worth a look for inspiration.

Next you just come to our house on Saturday and spend some time with Stacy’s community. It will be a relaxed open house vibe and people are welcome to come and go when they can. We will pin up the memories for people to read, share some treats and remember Stacy in our own joyful way.

Take a memory.
You may be aware that Stacy was a prolific collector of fashion and decoration. She loved to get new things, and she loved to move them on again in an almost ruthless and efficient manner.

Stacy loved the idea of her friends enjoying her pre-loved possessions and giving them a second life. Guests on Saturday are encouraged to take away not only a few new stories, but also an item of Stacy’s collection as a memory of their own.

It should be a great fun day and I really hope that everyone who comes will leave with an expanded understand of Stacy and her antics, and maybe even a faux fur vest.  

If you are reading from interstate or in another country somewhere there are a few points of relevance for you here: 

I'd love to collect memories from more people than just those at the celebration next weekend. I've got a few plans in mind for the collection and it would be excellent to gather Stacy themed memories from a wide range of people. If you want to email them to me at that would be excellent. 

My plan for the year is taking some shape and a significant component of that will be spending some time travelling around the place (USA, Colombia? Italy?). I'd like to spend some quality time with Stacy's close friends and family to swap stories, collect some memories and maybe share an item or two. 

Additionally Debi is planning a Summer time "cook out" at the house in Great Falls with a similar type of memory sharing theme. More to come on that later on. 

So the message is please let me know and come to Bring a memory, Take a memory next weekend, and if you can't then get working on a special memory of your time with Stacy and get that too me sometime so we can all share in the collective memory of our lovely Stacy. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Coming home

Alright folks we are coming home. To the USA that is.

Debi and Dave are heading out at the end of next week and I'll be close behind in the first week of April. Direct to Montana is the plan for the front end of the trip.

Debi has been working hard and we now have a venue, date and time for the Funeral service in Great Falls.

Holy Spirit Catholic Parish
201 44th St. South
Great Falls MT, 59405

Friday the 12th of April.

The service will begin at 1pm and will be followed by a reception in the church hall. I hope there will be plenty of time for catching up over the weekend as well.

That is the plan, get it together folks and come and be with us to remember and celebrate Stacy the one and only.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Debi says thank you

With great appreciation I would like to take a moment out during this most hectic time. It is really important to me to thank all of those individuals who made a recent donation to my Paypal account. It helped me out financially in a much needed time.

I was deeply touched by the enormous response, it took me by surprise. Even when I think about it now, I'm overwhelmed by how many people out there gave of themselves to help me. It's a nice feeling for me to go away with, to know that the people who are so closely involved with my daughter are also connected to me.

Thank you all so very much for your support and impressive generosity.


Debi Frey

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saying goodbye

Stacy's funeral was yesterday and there is no real way to describe the event effectively through words. We estimate there were around 250 people who were able to come from all sections of Stacy's Australian community.

Family, Frisbee, Starlight, St. Marys, Elle Would fashion, girls weekend crew, medical types, KG teachers and other folks who all felt the gravitational pull of Stacy's orbit were in attendance and emotionally connected. It was a lovely turn out and I think I hugged most people on the way in, and the way out. Phew.

We were keenly aware that whilst there were a lot of people who could make it, there are probably more who couldn't. Like Stacy did, we feel the distance to her family and friends on the other side of the world, and we are keen to do what we can about that.

Yesterday my brother Dave filmed the majority of the service and below are some excerpts that I hope people who couldn't be with us find make them feel a little more involved.

Mike speaking

Parents reading

Father Nigel speaking

Additionally Debi, Dave and I will be returning home to Montana at some point in the next few weeks and we intend to hold a funeral service for Stacy in Great Falls. We don't know exactly when this will be however our intention is to provide 4 weeks notice when we do make arrangements. I know there will be some people who will travel to Great Falls for the service and I hope that 4 weeks will be enough time in advance to make travel arrangements.

I expect the date will be some time in mid to late April, however we haven't been able to put much thought into the details yet. Watch the blog for further information.

Personally I hope to be able to spend some time with as many of Stacy's close people as possible because I know she has been gone for a long time. I have plenty of memories to share and I'm very open to visiting with people and answering questions about the last few years. Again no details yet however my intentions are to make some time to reconnect with Stacy's loved ones in the US.

Thank you to everyone who came yesterday and who sent their best wishes from afar, it was a good feeling to see and be touched by so much love. She was a wonderful person and I hope to swap many more memories in the weeks and months to come.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Funeral details

Hi folks.

Great work on the memories so far, she was wonderful wasn't she?

Here is the plan for the next couple of days.

Thursday Evening.
We will have a viewing at 5:30pm at Alex Gow Funerals.
56 Breakfast Creek Road, Newstead Q 4006

This will be an informal affair with no real structure or presentations. We are all just going to gather and spend some time together and people can choose to visit with Stacy's body which will be in an open coffin. Dave, Debi and I will be there from 5:30pm and we'll hang around until people are done. It might be a nice time to visit as Friday could be busy.

Friday Morning.
The funeral service will be at 11am at St. Williams Catholic Church.
67 Dawson Parade, Keperra QLD 4054

It might be worth coming at little early as it could be busy finding a parking spot in the area. The mass will take about an hour or so. We will have a reception following the service at the same site.

Looking forward to seeing you.



Monday, March 4, 2013

Stacy Frey, Stacy Neild

If you encountered her in full flight you experienced the joy of knowing a force of nature and a spectacular person.
If you met her in poor health then you were witness to a mighty display of courage and love.

If we focus on her leaving we will be full of loss.
If we think of our time together we will be in no doubt that we have made nothing but a gain.

She was one of the best of us and we better make sure we honour her and carry her with us.

Stacy left us as she lived, surrounded by love. 

Friday, March 1, 2013


Hey I'm loving getting Stacy's blog going again, it's nice to feel more connected to you all out there. Regardless of whether you live 10 minutes away or deep in the other hemisphere we haven't been able to spend time with you recently and as limited as it is this weblog is reinvigorating our connections to some degree. Thanks for all the engagement and uplifting responses folks.

It terms of Stacy's health it's been a hard week with her ability to eat and drink heavily impeded. Stacy didn't really have any spare weight to loose and with so little going in calorie wise it feels fairly grim over here at the moment.

As a result of both how hard Stacy is finding it and due to the difficulty on connection Debi has decided that she is going to fly back down to be with Stacy, Dave and I. In one sense this is an easy decision, however it is quite complicated for Debi to extract herself.

For those who don't know Deb was with us here twice during the second half of 2012 and has only been back in Great Falls for five weeks or so after spending an unexpected three months here over the summer. It is not easy for her to leave the house, her jobs, Ottis and the reasonable list of tasks yet to be resolved to return back to Brisbane on such short notice. This trip was not in the plan and while it feels like it has to be done it is another difficult task for a mom in a horribly difficult situation.

If you have ever booked an international flight at short notice it can be pretty steep, fortunately we have the ever generous Joe Eve and his frequent flyer connections on the case. This is a bit rich as Stacy and I have received so much support from our communities (Aussie Frisbee, The Starlight family, and Team Stacy in Great Falls) and their fundraising efforts. I had the thought that if anybody had a spare dollar you could send it Debi's way as it would back the stress off a little when organizing her last minute trip. PayPal at is the way forward I guess.

It's all about connections you lot, thanks for the community love and support.