“ I was sixteen when he approached me at a party with an opening line so outrageous
That I did not speak to him for ten years. Then , of course, I marriedhim. Thus began
THE FORTY YEAR PLAYDATE.
Paul was never without his beat up 8mm camera . The case was 75% gaffer’s tape,
Holding together scraps of the original plastic. Nothing was she from that camera’s eye.
Everyone was film fodder. Friends, family, strangers on the street would suddenly find them
Selves cast as spear carriers, lovers or marauders, suddenly toldto hold a flower or a hat
Or a baby borrowed from a bewildered mother for a movie he was ad-libbing as he shot.
If there were no humans handy, inanimate objects would do as stand-ins. ( Sexpots
And cowboy trailer link)
Paulconsidered postcards the perfect social medium. Few ,or no words , and a visual
That would bring a smile. The halloween card read “Boo and all, Y’all.” The bathtub
Card, announcing his move to New York, lived on more refrigerators longer than any
Postcard extant, giving new meaning to the words “ COOL CARDS’.
(Jingle man, Kissmas and Halloween cards.)
DONT WORRY, BE HAPPY.
Paul could n’t bear for people to be unhappy so he tried to fix it. He worked small,
but it always worked. Example: A weekend in the Hamptons, where it dared to rain
On some of the beautiful people. Paul loved it by returning from the penny candy store
With a small brown paper sack. He disappeared into the bedroom. “Hoarding Hershey
Kisses?” I thought. So unlike his generous self. Oh, no. Soon he emerged with a large
Sheet of paper upon which were drawn lanes, and a bunch of Mexican jumping beans,
Each with post-it racing stripes and numbers. Suddenly it wassailing faces having races.
And those famiily holiday dinners everyone dreads? Not if you invited Paul. At that
Awkward dinner’s over now what point, he would summon people, on by one, into
Then, where , with his camera and props from a huge duffle bag, he would
Create imaginary members to be added to our family tree, already full of nuts.
(Examples of family portraits)
EVERYTHING WAS JUST DUCKY WITH PAUL.
Early inour marriage I introduced him to the wit and wisdom of Sesame Street
And he was hooked. Saturday mornings we propped up in bed and watched
Sesame Street, sipping strawberry daiquiris, until friends labels us Decadent.
We switched immediately to bloody marks, but never stopped watching. Paul was
Particularly charmed by Ernie and hisRuber Ducky song, which inspired him to
create. his FAMOUS MASTERS REPRODUCKSHUNS in collaboration with Matisse,
Bonnard, Monet, Botero and others.
( ducky pics withCopyright 2002.)
EVEN HIS FOOD WAS FUNNY. Jim Lloyd, artist, physicist and dear friend)
One night when his patient wife Nancy had experienced quite enough of us, she
Served us white wine and sandwiches of black bread topped with thin slices of
Apples, a mild cheese, and prosciutto, and wisely went to bed two flights up.
Two flights up our latter woke her when Paul wanted more food. So, using Nancy’s
Sandwich as a template, he triumphant bore fro the kitchen these: two half-slices
of Wonderbread, each topped by a fresh peach half with, where the core had been,
A Vienna sausage. He kept a straight face until he couldn’t.
THE ORIGINAL PHOTOBOMBER.
Paul could not bear pomposity at any level. This the sudden skirt hoist as I pushed
The button for a formal portrait.
NOBODY EVERY SAID THE WORDS ‘PAUL MILLER’ WITHOUT SMILING.
Mary Byram Jones