Folks from the Venice community and beyond gathered at the Clubhouse Ave. lifeguard tower under a grey sky on Saturday morning, Aug. 28, 2021. It would have been Paul’s birthday.
Slayer, Paul’s favorite band, played in the background as friends filled out cards, drank coffee, and quietly took in the solemn occasion.
After a prayer was read, people holding flowers took turns sharing stories, moments, and memories of Paul. Some were about the first time they met him, some were about working with him at Chrysalis, some were funny, some were tear jerking, but they all had one common component; they all paid tribute to a man with an infectious smile and a unrelenting joy for life.
God bless Paul Williams!
I-Phone photos by Venice Paparazzi’s Edizen
VIEW JUNE 29, 2021 ARTICLE & PAUL’S POETRY BELOW!
JUNE 29, 2021 article:
Paul, the guy who ran the pressure washer for the Venice BID has passed away. Paul loved thrash metal and that is why we became friends. He would stop by the improvised workout area on Speedway and 19th ave. and listen to the Slayer and Pantera blasting. This evolved into story swapping about shows, musical analysis, old bands, new bands, guitar players, etc… You name it, if it had to due with thrash metal, Paul and I talked about it. Like probably everyone else who knew Paul, I was shocked and saddened by his death. He was such a cheerful, positive guy, always smiling and ready to help. RIP Paul! You are missed!
A message from Venice Beach Bid:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Paul Williams, our Head of Clean Team.
Paul led, mentored and inspired our team from the very first day of Venice Beach BID operations. He was quite possibly the best-known face of the BID to many in the community, always smiling, because he genuinely loved the work he did and the community in which he worked.
He was well respected and looked up to by his fellow Chrysalis team, taking much pride in teaching them the roles and responsibilities expected of them, and seeing many improve their personal lives with the power of a job and a regular paycheck.
Paul was an expert with the pressure washer, but even more so with a pen. His poetry now hangs in our BID office, inspiring us all to be grateful.
It’s indicative of the attitude of optimism that is firmly rooted in my heart.
When I step out into the world this morning,
I will be doing something I can truly understand,
I’ll be putting another shovel of dirt on the personal demons I’ve buried by developing and sticking to a plan.
I finally got tired of being led through doors in shackles & being caged
like the beast I so often resembled,
From living & dying hidden in plain sight, following the bad advice of those demons
self created and chemically assembled.
It took a multi-spectrum intervention, perhaps divine in nature
to give me pause for serious reflection,
To lead me to a door I could walk thru by choice,
to a place with the help for me to change my direction.
I didn’t have to swallow my pride,
I didn’t have to sacrifice the basic essence of my being,
I just had to listen & learn, to trust in the vision of who I could be,
the person good people were seeing.
It wasn’t easy, it’s still hard at times, it is still a long road ahead “Lord Knows,”
I like this path I am on though, so I will keep following it wherever it goes.
I went from standing up after coming to only to fall back down,
to scared to try and change, to prideful to openly cry,
To this person I am seeing in the mirror this morning, “THANK YOU CHRYSALIS”
as I walk out the door this morning,
I THINK I CAN FLY!!!
We express our condolences to
Paul’s family, friends, and his Chrysalis family.
Words from Paul’s colleagues:
“To my brother, who made me look forward to coming to work. Love always.”“Paul was a marvelous person, a great man.”
“Paul, a friend I didn’t want to go, and I know he didn’t want to leave (too soon).”
“Paul, like a wall. A great example. A true friend to all.
I still hear his voice echoing down the hall.”
About Venice Beach Bid: A Nonprofit Organization Helping to Make Venice Cleaner and Safer. VeniceBeachBid.com