Dan Paul, an urban survivalist and magical street performer, has departed for his next grand adventure.
Daniel Joseph Paul
Rise in Power
Nov. 10, 1970 – Aug. 12, 2022
You are invited to gather for a memorial and remembrance of Dan Paul in the East Bay on Sunday October 9th, 2022 at 1pm
Join us at 1pm, Sunday Oct. 9th at the entrance to the Albany Waterfront Trail and take a walking tour of the Albany Bulb, a place special to Dan. Parking is available adjacent. Please bring thoughts, stories, photographs, objects, or anything that speaks to you. Following, we will gather in Berkeley. Want to contribute? Sign the Guestbook and use the contact form to get in touch with me, David, or for more details.
Dan passed away on August 12, 2022. He was born November 11, 1970 in Seattle, Wash. into a loving family. He spent his early years at his home in Enumclaw, finishing out his youth in Huntsville, Ala. While a young adult, Dan felt crowded and claustrophobic trying to adjust to the demands of a conforming life and decided to take to the streets, ending up in San Francisco at the age of 18.
Although he traveled a bit, his heart was shared between the San Francisco Bay and the Wasatch Front of Utah, where his family resides. Some people would classify Dan as homeless, but that was not the case. Dan felt very much at home most of his life. Whether surfing on the California coast, flying on rigging in the streets of Salt Lake City, cavorting with a kite in a stubborn gale, or camping on the Pensacola Gulf amid looming tornados, Dan was in his element.
Ironically, although “houseless” himself, Dan’s passion was helping others find a place of their own. Dan used his carpentry skills to bring Berkeley co-op housing up to code for Berkeley students, fought off mosquitos in Belize to improve campgrounds, and offered his assistance to many friends looking to improve their own dwellings. Dan was an advocate for true artistic freedom, and was a Burning Man old-timer. Although Dan loved dancing with fire, his great comfort came as he played the didgeridoo, letting the deep notes rattle his soul. He cherished his home on the Albany Bulb and the Berkeley community he grew to know as family. Dan’s religion was helping his friends and neighbors create a beautiful world. His tabernacle was the earth with its flowers, mountains, oceans, and air. His prayer was a gaze towards the Heavens, and his peace was knowing he was loved. Dan was greeted in Heaven by his father, who died when Dan was 9. He is survived by his mother, two brothers, three sisters and two sons.
Daniel Joseph Paul, May your spirit soar.
VIDEOS ABOUT THE ALBANY BULB, A PLACE DAN CALLED HOME
Bums’ Paradise is a 53-minute documentary that depicts the lives of the men and women who lived in the ten-year-old Albany Landfill community prior to their eviction. It follows them through the eviction and documents them one month after the eviction. The film emphasizes their concepts of community as well as the amazing art that they created. (See Dan briefly at 10:12)
Where Do You Go When It Rains?
Residents of the Albany Landfill, or Albany Bulb in Albany, CA face eviction from their ‘homeless’ encampment by the City Government. Over 60 people live at the Bulb, many for over 5 years and some as long as 20 years. But the City is not offering the people anything, no other housing nor any money to try and find housing. The people explain the trials poor people face in the United States, including low-paying jobs, the mental health system, and incarceration. They explain how they are not homeless, they have been living at the Albany Bulb for many years. The film shows their strength in the face of so much against them. (See/hear Dan briefly at 29:00)
During one of Danny's visits to our home, he saw that my husband had an old set of pole climbing spurs. The kind which uses leather straps to fasten the spike fittings to your ankle. You then have another leather strap that is big enough to wrap around you and the pole (or tree in Danny's case) for one to use to lean back into as you maneuvered your self up the tree. Danny wanted to see how far he could climb up a fir tree that was in our yard, using the spurs. He chose a tree that was about 2 feet in diameter and about 100 feet tall. It had several dead branches that Danny would break off (using a hammer) on his way toward the top of the tree. After a few rigorous and painful climbing steps, he felt he was finally getting the hang of things. But once he was about 20 feet up he said, "I'm tired. This is a lot of work and not a lot of fun!" As he attempted to climb down, he missed hooking the spur into the tree and was soon sliding his way, very fast, down the tree, but hugging (and hanging) onto it for dear life! He tried to get the spurs to dig into stop himself but wasn't successful until he was about 1 foot off the ground. He stepped off the tree and we hurried to unstrap him from the tree and removed the spurs from his ankles. When Danny turned around to show us the results of his fall, all of his tummy, chest, and the inside of his arms were raw and bleeding, leaving much of his skin on the bark of the tree. I remember Danny saying, with a huge smile on his face, "Well, I don't think I'll ever want to do that again".
To this day, whenever we see that tree or those climbing spurs, we think of Danny and his grand adventure with a fir tree and spurs.
Our dad died (suddenly) when Danny was 9 years old which left Danny without him for the majority of his life. I believe that Danny and Dad are both now together, making up for lost experiences and spending as much time together as they possibly can. I know they are creating memories and stories to then share with all of us when it's our turn to meet up again.
I love you Danny. I will never let the memories or our connection fade away. May you rest in peace my little brother.
When Dan and i were little in Enumclaw we would jump down the laundry chute to the basement and hope we did not land on the washing machine.
We had a winding stair case from the attic to the bottom floor and used pillows in pillow cases to slid down them.
Dan protected me from bullys and taught me how to have fun in life. we were like Tom and Huck i Love you Dan and I will miss you tons see you again in my next big adventure.
When he needed a break from the Bulb Dan would come and stay at the house I lived in at the time, Fort Awesome. I remember one night, I was maybe 19 or 20 years old, Dan said he’d let me ride his motorcycle. Without instructions he helped me climb on and he climbed on behind me. He showed me the accelerator and we pushed off before he remembered to tell me how to brake. I promptly crashed the bike headlong into a telephone pole and spilled off onto the ground. Dan broke into peels of his infectious laughter and immediately put me at ease.
I hope to honor Dan by remembering and recreating his delight in all things strange. ❤️
I miss you little brother!
One chirstmas, when I was young, we had the treat of a visit from Dan. I seem to remember him giving us all money for Christmas but I can't be sure. The gift he gave that none of us will ever forget was a pair of small tin snips with a string tied around the handle. He explained that it was a tree ornament to help open gifts with difficult packaging. It's been on our tree and used every Christmas for almost two decades. Any time we get a gift in a hard to open package, we ask for the "Uncle Dan Ornament".
When I was in high school I started competing in wood working competitions. Dan found that really cool when I told him about it. The next time I saw him, he gave me a small box of random wood working tools. Most of them were not things that I could use, but one was a really cool drill bit that I kept with me for years while I worked on projects. I lost it a few years ago during a move but I still think of Dan anytime I see a drill bit, which is often. I doubt he knew that his little red-headed neice thought about him regularly.
You are missed Dan.
I think my favorite memory is of a time you showed us some fire dancing and fire juggling. You had a long pole with fire on both ends and had asked Aunt Debbie to put the fire out on one of the ends. Once she did so, you flipped the stick around so she could douse the other end. But then you re-lit the first end Aunt Debbie put out! We all laughed as you spun the stick, Aunt Debbie desperately putting it out only to find that the other end was somehow still lit.
Uncle Dan, I always felt you understood me. You knew what it was like to feel the way I felt. Thank you for that quiet smile we shared as we both awkwardly sat there, both feeling like we didn't quite belong. I needed that. I needed to know there were people out there that were like me. Thank you. Wherever your next journey takes you, please save me a seat.
With Love, Lisa.