Paul and I got together on a rainy Saturday afternoon to share conversation over caffeine (coffee & diet Coke) January 27, 2018.
Our venue of choice, the venerable Kafe Kerouac, just north of OSU on the SE corner of E. Northwood and N. High.
(DISCLOSURE: This reporter was once employed at the bar by the very Larry Paoletti himself).
From his Marietta roots, Paul has spent time bi-coastal, Boston to live and work, San Francisco for annual participation in the Bay-to-Breakers festivities, with roots back to the 1906 Earthquake. As a Boston-area resident he worked on staff at the Harvard Crimson as a typesetter, where he befriended Bill McKibbon. He migrated to Ohio University, then Cincinnati, then to Columbus where he’s lived since 1995.
CORE VALUES: Paul states, “Loyalty to persons, not necessarily DNA-family, but ‘family-of-choice,‘” quoting the British author E.M. Forster, “If I have to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I would have the courage to betray my country.”
Personal mission to EFFECT CHANGE: “To chronicle as much as I can.” Paul has maintained daily journals since fifth grade, but several years of these were lost. He possesses all his writings since 1990, and plans to bequeath them to the Ohioana Library.
He boldly proclaims his activities and opinions on social media as well. “If the NSA isn’t stalking you, you’re not doing enough; if you’re not under surveillance, you ought to be ashamed.”
Paul’s EARLIEST MEMORY: At the age of 1-1/2, in 1964, following one of Marietta’s many historical floods, he remembers looking outside and seeing a canoe drifting up their house’s driveway. They lived three blocks off the Ohio River.
The TEXTURE of EMOTIONAL CONNECTIVITY with PEOPLE: An admitted introvert, Paul feels “bonded” with his friends-of-choice. On the other hand, he speculates he’d be ok with solitary confinement should he ever be sentences to prison.
On SCARCITY/ABUNDANCE: He’s achieved a level of security with earning a living, having insurance, having his health, and pride in his daughter; but he’s well aware of his privilege.
The proverbial “BOX” we are often encouraged to THINK OUTSIDE OF: Paul has devoted his life to, “staying out of any box that might serve as proxy to employment.”
Paul’s MUSE, the fountain for his IDEAS: “Curiosity, travel observations; the ideas I have come from wanting to know things for their own sake.” I am heartened with his report that North Beach/Broadway in San Francisco still supports City Lights Bookstore and the Green Tortoise Hostel.
UNCERTAINTY: He would relish this concept rather than know with certainty, and claims to be “stable enough to appreciate I’ve lived longer than I thought I would.” Continuing this thought, the immortality, the afterlife he wants is “for someone to remember me.”
Henceforth 5-YEARS ahead, 2023: Concern about the out-of-control urban density of population growth, unaffordable rent structure, fracking. “I’m thinking about passing out copies of THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG and telling people to study.”
ANCESTRY: Paul’s aunt wrote some family history so he can name his great-grandparents.
Finally, Paul, WHATCHA READIN’? He likes the CNN and “New Yorker” legal correspondent, Jeffrey Toobin, and “I always carry, when I travel, a copy of ON THE ROAD as kind of a combination of a talisman and the Bible.”
Much THANKS to you, Paul.
And THANKS, too, toward all readers of “CAFFEINE COMMUNION.”
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