Today in My History
Books Read in 2020
LIFE WITH PAUL
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.
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.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Out the window of our hotel in Beijing in 2011
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