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May 19, 2004

A Thank You to Pacifica

It has made us so proud to read and hear the many kind things that have been said about our dad, Paul Azevedo. In a final Reactor column, we would like to show our appreciation to all of you.

Dad loved working at the Pacifica Tribune. Bill Drake, the paperšs publisher for many years, has always been a consummate gentleman and a great friend of our father's. We hold him in the highest regard.

We also thank Chris Hunter, the present editor and publisher, and the Tribune staff. They have been very thoughtful and considerate colleagues and friends as well.

Paul Azevedo loved Pacifica. He loved to live in a little town where the altitude from the highest hill to the lowest point varied more than the entire state of Indiana. He loved the history of geological events that formed the Devil's Slide. He loved living near the oldest industrial site this side of the Mississippi (the quarry first mined in the late 1700's). He loved the ocean and the Ocean Shore Railroad. He loved the Sanchez Adobe, Sam's Castle, and the Portola Discovery Site. He loved the pier and Grace McCarthy Vista Point, the sun in Linda Mar, the arboretum of Vallemar and the fog in Pacific Manor. He loved the story of Honora Sharp for whom Sharp Park was named. He savored the view of Pedro Point and Linda Mar beach driving down Highway 1. He loved the history of Pacifica and loved to be part of it.

Our dad loved sharing his opinion. If everyone agreed on a subject, it seemed that Dad would take the opposite view just to be sure all sides were aired. None of us have ever directly voiced our own opinions in this column, so while we have a chance, let us just say that we didnšt always agree with everything he said here.

Dad was a staunch democrat, but his conservative streak was noticeable as well. He was very protective of Pacifica and felt he had its best interests at heart. He supported the bypass when he normally might have taken the environmentalist view because he believed that the economy of Pacifica would benefit from it. The complex relationship between our parents was demonstrated when their car bore bumper stickers supporting both the bypass and the tunnel. This illustrated that he had married an educated woman with whom he shared enthusiastic debates on important subjects.

Writing the Reactor allowed Dad to know many people, including local, state and federal politicians and dignitaries, on a first name basis. Bill and Peggy Drake held a special banquet for our father's 25th anniversary working at the Tribune. Proclamations from both the State Senate and Congress were presented to him, but what impressed his mother most was Al Teglia, former Daly City mayor who also happened to be the President of the Italian-Catholic Federation. "I didn't know your father was so important", she told us.

He had lived all over Northern California, but nowhere for very long. After renting in San Francisco, our parents wanted to buy an affordable house. A realtor suggested Pacifica. They moved into a Linda Mar rancher when our Dad was 32, set deep roots and have stayed 41 years.

In Pacifica's valley of developed artichoke farmland, with its misty breezes and quirky politics, its weedy eucalyptus and active citizenry, our father was at home for good. The people of Pacifica provided a place for him to live, work, socialize, debate, and write.

As a family, we would like to thank all of the people of Pacifica and the Pacifica Tribune. Dad truly enjoyed living here and he loved all of you.

Mike, Rena, Martin and Joane

We would like to extend an invitation to a public celebration of Paul Azevedo's life on Saturday, June 12th from 12 to 4 pm at the Pacifica Library community room. A potluck starts at noon with a memorial program to follow at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made supporting either the Pacifica Friends of the library or the Pacifica Historical Society.

Photos and other memories will be added soon to his columns featured at www.thereactor.net

 
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