Carol Fondiller

When wasn’t there Carol?

By Lance Diskan

The first Venice neighborhood meeting I went to – 1968 – there she was. When I visited Venice to celebrate our Centennial in 2005, there she was. For us, it’s been forty years of shared struggle, joy, language and solidarity. She’s irreplaceable, and a fundamental personality in Venetian history. Abbot would have loved her.

No one has ever written about Venice with more devotion, passion or skill. Her Beachhead articles were always the most worth-reading – with apologies to all the rest of us who added filigree to her essential documentation of not just what goes on, but why we should care. Future historians who want to learn about those times need only read her articles.

She not only had a wonderful way with words, but her prose had deep outrage, humor, insight and a sense of (in)justice that illuminated her expression. Any cause was fortunate to have her as an ally.

But it’s my friend who I’ll miss the most. A familiar face – and unmistakable voice – in the crowd, whether on Ocean Front Walk or along a crumbling walkway at a Canal Festival or at a City Hall public hearing or testifying before the Coastal Commission or lending a sparkle of light to some furiously-heated debate at the Venice Town Council or – you name it.

And Carol was loyal, a value that manifests the notion of community, binding each one of us to one another. Nothing equals the strength and satisfaction of decades of communion with another soul, and every one of us who knew her was a beneficiary of that experience. Lucky us!

I’d like to thank those people who helped Carol get to live at 5 Rose Avenue. No one ever deserved a million-dollar view more than she. It’s, as Abe Lincoln put it, “altogether fitting and proper” that she got to stay in the community she helped protect and define – an uncommon common woman amidst the wealthy. I hope one of the final sights she had was an unobstructed view, over the sand and past the breaking waves to the far horizon.

The Harpy has flown. Happy landings, sweetheart; and thanks for so much everything.

Categories: Carol Fondiller, Writers