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Today in My History

2000:  Karma Overdue
2001:  Jolly Fat People
2002:  Sidelined
2003:  Sunday Shoppers
2004:  Just Call Me Guru
2005:  Cheating on the Nielsens
A Piece of Pizza, a Jug of Wine and Us
2007: The Riches
2008:  I'd Walk a Mile

The Beaux' Stratagem

Books Read in 2009
Updated: 5/20
"The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency" 

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks

Home Remedies


The Paul Picnic from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on You Tube

Look at these videos!
Alexandra Billings' Bea Arthur Story
One Voice, One Messsage
Ken Jennings Blooper
Finding the Christian Gene
Gay Education

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The Paul Picnic

Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage

Bev's 65 x 365
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26 May 2009

Memorial Day weekend, 1999, Paul's best friend Kag decided there had been enough doom and gloom and it was time to celebrate.  So he and his wife Elizabeth invited everybody to the first annual "Paul Picnic" held at a park in Richmond (next town over from Oakland).  We all had such a good time that it has been held every year since.  Walt and I have gone to several of them.   Walt's gone to a couple by himself.  This year we went back for the 10th annual picnic.

Kag sent this year's invitation on April 20, with a photo of Paul attached.

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"So, ten years ago today, the corporeal Paul left us. A lot has happened in that time. A lot I wish I could have shared with Paul. Since I can't, I'll do the next best thing – drink some bourbon with the folks that knew Paul best."

PPTFS.jpg (77459 bytes)Of course, by the time we actually get to the park, the picnic has very little to do with Paul directly, except that several people wear the shirts that Kag gave to us all that first Christmas after Paul died.

I thought about wearing my shirt this year, but I wasn't sure where it was...and, more importantly, I didn't think it would fit.  But several people did wear the FTS shirts.

Paul would have loved it.

I found out a strange thing about death and anniversaries and such on the first anniversary of Gilbert's death, when I took a ferry boat across San Francisco Bay to visit the place where we scattered his ashes off Angel Island.  On the ferry there was a little kid running around and someone asked his parents how old the child was.  "He's just a year old," they said.  It was a physical reminder of just how long Gilbert had been gone.  The lifetime of this toddler.

And so looking at Kag and Elizabeth's oldest son was a real reminder of how long Paul has been gone.

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His parents had just gotten married and Paul performed the ceremony, shortly before he died.  So he never knew when Milo was expected, or that he was named, not after Paul but for Paul.  His father's name is Paul, so they couldn't name him "Paul" so instead his middle name is Travis, for Travis Bickle, the character Robert DeNiro (Paul's hero) plays in Paul's favorite movie, Taxi Driver.

I look at Milo and realize how long Paul has been gone.

But it was a lot of fun today.  There was, of course, music.

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And lots of little kids of all ages (from Milo down to the youngest, Noah and Jack, who were around 1 yr old)

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Ned and Walt got some father and son time....

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...while they drank their Old Chub beers

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There were dogs, lots of good food, games, a playground nearby, and a long "creek walk."  We left around 5 p.m., full and happy and got lots of hugs when we left the park.  It's a really special tradition!  Too bad Paul has to miss it.


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Bri loves bubbles!



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MILES TO NOWHERE:  108 miles

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