Look at his picture. That's a great smile. Nearly every picture of Paul I've seen has that big smile, his eyes lit up in joy, happiness, expectation. His friend, Kristin Fallon, left a tribute
that says, in part,
"Paul was one of the few people I met at Binghamton whose smile could light up your life. The innocence, hope, confidence, and humanity behind his smile often made me take chances that I wouldn't have thought to before. "Relax, Fallon" I heard over and over again whenever I spoke to him. Destined to make a difference, Paul selflessly attempted to make me realize that life is too short to worry or not to take risks. He knew it long before this tragedy. He listened to people. He cared, and I know he continues to do so."
Take the time to read all of her thoughts.
Paul's friend Seth Mates wrote a tribute
to Paul just days after the attack. In it, he says,
"As I sit here typing right now, three days after the tragedy, tears are still streaming down my face. A picture of Paul and I sits just inches in front of me on my desk, with Paul smiling that ear-to-ear smile that we are all so accustomed to. In fact, I was getting together some photos of Paul at work on Friday, and someone came over and asked, 'Was this guy always smiling?' It sure seemed like it."
See what I mean about the pictures of Paul? Seth goes on,
"Paul had this innate ability just to bring out the best in himself and the best in the people around him. I wouldn't be where I am today if not for him -- if he wasn't there to be a friend in college, and there to offer a kind word or a friendly face during the summer that I interned here, I would probably wouldn't be one of the happiest people in the world, doing exactly what I've always dreamed of doing.
His absence right now has caused an emptiness in my life and in the lives of many others which will never -can never - be filled."
Read Seth's words.
Paul was not some smiling clown, if you're starting to think so. He was energetic and focused. Involved in the college radio station, Paul went to work to make it better than it had been. And he succeeded. So well that he was nominated for 'Student of the Year' at BU. Here
you can read the letter written by Brian Napolitano, Seth Mates and Jeremy Klaff in April 1999, nominating Paul for Student Leader of the Year at BU. Take the time. Read it.
His friend from as far back as Paul's Regis High School days, Brian J. Manning, eulogized his friend
, saying, in part,
"Paul never ceased to impress me, and it was always on so many levels. He had such an enviable relationship with his family; to watch him with anyone in his family, especially his mother Elaine, or his brother Eric, or his grandfather Jerry, was to witness love, and it was never short of amazing. At Binghamton, his leadership at WHRW was unprecedented; his ideas for the station ingenious; his enthusiasm incomparable. There were a number of Sunday evenings in college when I would be sitting home reading and the phone would ring. I'd answer, and I'd hear Paul say, "Beej, you're on the air. Don't curse!"
There were two things that Paul did recently that impressed me tremendously. The first was something that Paul wrote about in his application for business school, which he recently completed. He said that after working for about fifteen years in the business world, he planned to retire and begin a second career, most likely as a high school teacher. It was not something I'd ever heard him talk about, but it did not surprise me at all. It actually made a lot of sense. I saw it as a mark of his character. Paul always wanted to give back, and what better way than that.
The second thing was that for the past few months, he and Aline have been working for New York Cares on Saturday mornings, volunteering at different places around the city. This did surprise me a little; most of the volunteer work that Paul had done before this was probably more in the extracurricular vein of, for example, the Binghamton radio station. It had always been work where he could take a leadership role. Giving up Saturday mornings to work for New York Cares was something different. It was another form of Paul's desire to give back to his city, and it's proof that Paul had such a big heart."
Labels: biographical, memories