It’s difficult to believe that it’s been more than one month since Paul’s passing. In that month, I’ve met many of Paul’s friends, some from his political campaign for Congress in San Francisco, some from his days of running high school track & field in Maryland, and many from his days of a serving a small town in Pennsylvania as Council President and a Rotarian.
Whether in a formal, prompted setting in front of a large group, or during a casual conversation over sandwiches or a beer, each of Paul’s friends shared a unique memory of Paul. Some memories were quirky, some were serious, some were inspirational. Each of these memories, these stories, ended with the person having a different view of their world as they knew it, thanks to Paul.
There was the Rotarian who said she can never recycle her Rotary International monthly magazines because Paul told her, “That magazine is the only magazine worth reading.”
There was the childhood friend who shared that as a middle-schooler, when he stood at the neighborhood bus stop, his conversations with his fellow classmate, Paul, helped ease the feelings of dread that going to school during that transitional age can bring, simply because he knew that every day at the bus stop, he had someone to talk to.
There were several people who shared that Paul’s encouragement pushed them to run for political office, and that his guidance helped them win the election.
Some of my favorite memories of Paul take place in the community garden. As Council President, he created that garden, which was a former vacant parking lot. It now holds 68 plots, each 10 x 10 in size, as well as a composting area, a community herb garden, a firepit with picnic benches and wood Adirondack chairs, and a fig tree (planted and cared for by Paul). Ironically, and appropriately, Paul lived across the street from that garden, so I had started to think of him as the “watchman” of the garden. That garden, and Paul’s house, is adjacent to the studio where I practice yoga, and if he wasn’t in the garden, I’d often see Paul, behind the big bay windows in his kitchen, typing away on his Mac (most likely prepping a new blog post) or chopping vegetables, as I walked into class. Though he’s not there now, taking class at that studio and visiting the community garden is a nice way to remember Paul.
The Relentless Storyteller
Now that Paul is gone, he lives on through the stories of others.
But wow, I’m really going to miss his stories. And I’m going to miss reading them on this blog.
His topics ranged from musings about everyday occurrences (see: The Serious Problem with Hotel Room Windows), to recollections of his days of traveling another county (see: African Safari: Herbivores and Omnivores, A Trip to Communist Eastern Europe, Visiting the Equator, Visiting Laos), to his meticulous evaluations of domestic and international airlines (see: American Airlines First Class Domestic Meals, American Airlines Food Fail, Which International First Class is Best: Cathay Pacific, Qatar, or British Airways?), to his unfailing love for his tuxedo cat, Billysky (see: Billysky the Beautiful Cat Loves Lent, Billysky Cat Goes to the Vet, Introducing My Kitten Name Billysky, Billysky Cat and the Missing Cat Toy).
Similarly, each of Paul’s posts concluded with how his view of his world had changed.
A Final Wish
One of Paul’s final wishes was for this blog to be kept alive for the next two years.
We can only do that with more stories.
As Sarah Sees the World, I will be posting to this blog regularly, and will be weaving posts about stories of Paul with posts about travel (maybe even with the topic of airlines), pets, random thoughts, cooking, Paris (my personal favorite travel destination), exercise, and family.
If you have a story about Paul that you’d like told, please message me here, and I will share it with his readers.
Thank you for reading!
Sarah, I have a nice story about Paul’s memorial mass a few weeks back that I’d like to share. Contact me via email if you have a chance.
Thank you! Will do.
I remember when we were in the building stages of Yoga Home. Our GC was trying to get everything wrapped up, and as is often the case in construction, we were running behind. Flooring was being laid, paint was drying and our front desk was being built from scratch. We had the back door open for ventilation and all were hard at work.
Next thing I knew, a gentleman I had never met before wandered in and asked me how things were going. Paul introduced himself as our neighbor and told me if there’s anything I needed to know about the Homeowner’s Association, to reach out. What a welcome to the neighborhood!
What a nice story, Kerri! Thank you for sharing.
Hi Sarah, I’m Pauls’ cousin Debbie from Mass. Paul was a very special person to us and I want to continue following your blog. He was a very interesting person and want to get to know him better by reading his blog also. I remember seeing the garden but seeing Paul working in the soil with passion and receiving the fruits of his labor was another talent he mastered.
It’s nice to meet you! Thank you for reading Paul’s blog. I hope you are able to get to know him better through this blog! He wrote many wonderful blog articles about the many aspects of his life.
Thanks for keeping this going – I would love to share stories about Paul – please send me an email.
Thank you for reading and for offering to share! I will send you an email. Hope you are well.
Hello everyone on Paul’s blog. Paul’s cat has been taken care off by Paul parents since he passed away. I got a call from Paul’s brother that his father passed away suddenly on Thursday. His mom is going thru some health issues as well. Jim his brother was reaching out to me about Paul’s cat billysky to see if anyone would at a certain date can give a billysky a great safe home. Can you spread this to other animal lovers out there. I know Paul didn’t want to see billysky at another shelter. Thank you for your time. Miss you Paul
Thank you for this news. I am very sorry to hear about Paul’s father’s passing. I will spread the word about BillySky’s needing a new home. I hope that together we can all find her one! Thinking of Paul’s family. Miss you Paul.