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Today in My History

2001:   Zzzzzz
2002:  The Years Creep on Apace, and so do Ants
Conquering the Yuck Factor
2004: Justice is Served
2006:  Pine Ridge
2007:   Sticks and Stones
2008:  Flip Flopper
2009:  Forty Years Aao
2010:  A Very Long Day
2011:  I'm a Bitch
Lunch with Peter Pan
2013: Rays of Sunshine
Fog and Smog
2015: At Least It's Short
2017: Saturday 9
2018: Sunday Stealing

Theater Reviews
Updated 1/24
Popcorn Falls

Books Read in 2020
 Updated 1/9
"Dear Edward"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2020
Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


January 28, 2020

Today would be Paul's 51st birthday.  Here is something I wrote about him in 1977.

I found myself curled in the fetal position, moaning softly, this morning. Paul is alternately the neatest kid around, and the most impossible child in the world. His enthusiasm for Little League (which he has yet to begin) is really great. He is so cute, setting off with his bat, glove and ball to practice with Grant, his newfound friend. Today is his first real practice and when the black clouds formed yesterday afternoon, he was in tears for fear this week's session would be rained out too and that he would disgrace himself in his first game because he hadn't had a chance to practice.

Today is Paul's class play, in which he has a fairly large part (as a rabbit). We have been trying to get a costume together for him, with much frustration, many tears, and a lot of yelling. Nothing suited him. Long-Johns felt too rough and he didn't like the sleeves; if he wore Jeri's sleepers, everyone would laugh at him because they would think he was a girl; he couldn't find the right shirt and pants to wear. It went on and on and on for days. No matter what I suggested, he had some reason for not wanting it. Finally, I told him he'd have to go without a costume, which sent him screaming, "Everybody hates me! I'm going to kill myself!" up the stairs. A friend saved the day by suggesting Paul could borrow the monkey suit Ned was wearing in his play. Ned's teacher reluctantly agreed and Paul was ecstatic.

He has also been having trouble with his clothes. He has "nothing to wear." Yesterday it reached the height of absurdity. He had a pile of clothes 18" high to take upstairs. It included about 10 new shirts that a friend had given us. And he was standing in the family room crying that he had no shirts!! When I pointed out, somewhat angrily (i.e., I was screaming at the top of my lungs) that he had 10 brand new shirts, he fumed that he wouldn't wear them because they smelled funny! Today it was pants. Suddenly every pair of pants he owns are either too big or too small. No matter that he was wearing them just last week, he suddenly has no pants that he feels right about wearing. I dread having him get ready for school in the morning because for the past week it has ended up with our screaming at each other every single day.

Earlier this week, he and Walt were to go out to buy his baseball mitt, another disaster. They tried every single mitt in three different stores before finding one that suited him--one that was identical to about 20 others that he had tried on before. The first time out, he waited excitedly for Walt to get home from work. He had spent the day before sharing his excitement about Little League. That afternoon we had taken his new bat (a gift from Walt and me, since he was so excited about the new activity and since we don't often have a chance to do special things for Paul) and I had gone up to the park with the boys and spent over an hour pitching to Paul and just generally having a good time. He was so happy and jolly. Then Walt rushed home from work so they could go and buy his mitt. At Davis Lumber, Paul could not find anything that he liked and he came home in a snit--nobody liked him, everybody hated him, nothing good ever happens to him, and he just has bad luck.

What a frustrating kid!!

I often wonder what he would be like at 51.  His frustrations and frustrating personality changed over time, but you could still see the 8 year old of 1977 in his conviction that everybody hated him and nothing in his life went right.

He was happiest, I think, when he was on stage.  In fact, at Dave's memorial service, he told the audience of >300 people that he was more comfortable talking with a large audience than he was speaking to one person so this memorial service was the most comfortable he'd been since his brother died.. 

He was amazing on stage.  Even people who got frustrated with him off stage had to admit that stage was where he belonged.

What would have happened if he had lived?  He and his wife were planning to make an offer on a house in So. California and both hoped to get into show biz there. 

Would he, in 2020, still be waiting tables and going on auditions?  Would he have been cast in something...anything.  Paul had a lot of talent.  So do 99% of the would be soon-to-be-stars in Hollywood.  Paul knew he didn't need any sort of acting help.  He just knew it all.  But he didn't know it all.  Would he have eventually realized that?

He was a good musician and had a unique voice, but it wasn't a good voice, really.  It moved people.  It moved me.  I loved to hear him sing.  But he didn't have the voice that stars have, and he wasn't interested in voice lessons.

I have often said he was the biggest star in Davis history.  Not the most talented or the most successful -- those were people like Tony Fields, Jan Gan Boyd, and Michael Franti, who went on to movie and television and the pop music scene.  But Paul appealed to young people and to old people and he was big in Davis because he never left Davis.

Ned and I wondered what would have happened to Lawsuit if they had been performing in the days of social media.  Would their music go viral?  Or would they fade into obscurity.

We'll never know.  I loved the kid a lot.  I miss him every day.  But he was a very complicated person and if I'm totally honest, there is a small part of me that is relieved that I no longer have to worry about him, which I did all the time.


Out the window of our hotel in Beijing in 2011

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