Jim Smith



  • Thanks for the Metaphors – Jim Smith
  • Inspired – Cory Schumacher
  • Response to Patrick Frank’s “Even More POed at the PO – Alan Arch


Thanks for the Metaphors

Dear Beachhead,

Three months ago I gave notice of leaving the Collective that publishes this paper. Now it’s time to step aside. Working on the Beachhead for the past 10 years has been a labor of love. But I believe each person is more than the job or role he or she performs. So, it is time to put away this mask and just be myself.

Many things in Venice are called unique, but the Free Venice Beachhead truly is. It is the last underground newspaper still alive and kickin’ from the Sixties. It has become the “paper of record” for Venice.

In addition to all the great friends I’ve made while performing my Beachhead duties, I take pride in having contributed in a small way to saving Lincoln Place, stopping lots of development schemes that would have only hurt the community, and lighting a spark of remembrance that will, I’m sure, result in a permanent memorial to the shameful treatment our Japanese neighbors were subjected to during World War II.

My only regret is that there is not a mass movement for cityhood at present. That task will be for those who will follow in the footsteps of John Haag, Rick Davidson, Carol Fondiller and all the others who have heroically stood in the path of Los Angeles bulldozers, both physical and political, and proclaimed Venice a sacred space.

I will now join the exalted ranks of Beachhead readers, who are of course, the most important part of this newspaper. If you’ve enjoyed any of the things I’ve written during these past years, you can best show it by making a donation, or becoming a sustainer, of this unique publication.

Jim Smith



Dear Beachhead,

I really enjoyed the articles written in the May Beachhead by Vanessa Cabello, Jim Smith, and Marisa Peck. I think you everyone at Beachhead is doing a great service to the community of Venice. You inspire people to help out Venice, and you put pride into every Venetian.

Keep up the good work!

Best Regards,

Cory Shumaker


Response To Patrick Frank’s
“Even More PO’d at the P.O.”(from Venice Beachhead “Letters” June 2012)

“…I won’t be sad to see that post office go, for several reasons…. It’s ugly in there…. The mural is historic, but it’s also very weird.” – Patrick Frank

I believe we live in a world where people might benefit more from writing with the hope to preserve “weirdness” in public places, rather than writing with aspirations of erasing it.

I for one could use just about as much weirdness as I can get from Monday to Sunday. Seems like these days, I have to practically search for weirdness from the time I roll out of bed in the afternoon. And sometimes I find it close to impossible to find any. Anywhere.

Sure, there’s the human stage of Ocean Front Walk, or the random colorful dispensary parking lot alleyways, but nothing does it for me quite like a good old fashioned giant “weird” mural. And finding one of those weird murals in a federal institution can be a down right staggering experience for the senses.

Weirdness doesn’t taste any sweeter than when it’s helping you zone out of day to day reality…. like staring at Abbot Kinney rising out of the doorway at the “ugly” US Post Office in Venice, CA.

My advice? Embrace the weirdness, Patrick. It may be the only real thing left in this sunshine complacent world.

Alan Arch

Inspired – Cory Schumacher
Inspired – Cory Schumacher

Categories: Jim Smith, Letters