“Just as the sun was setting, Paul would make the best Gin and Tonics at Suncatcher in Dominical, CR after a long surf session! Happy Birthday Paul, we Love You!” –Mikey and the rest of the Costa Rica Dive and Surf Crew
1.that one trip to costa where we were all at the restaurant ( i forget the name...the one by the beach in dominical)....your dad gets up to go to the bathroom....we all got up and hid behind the bushes...he comes back....sees the table empty and was like...”aw man”
2. .........a few weeks back ...he...billy and i were flounder fishing...he catches a real nice flounder....and i net it...with him giving me frickin’ directions the whole time....i drop the fish at his feet and he says” thanx...you’re gonna make me take it off the hook?”....i said...”oh no...here...let me get it for you”...i step over ...take the hook out...and promptly drop the fish overboard!.....”i don’t fucking believe it” he says.....”thats it...you’re never netting another fish for me”.....then he comes over and says...”you know...you’re the only
person i would let get away with that”
3......last year bow hunting when he was really weak....i put him in a ladder stand that i had all set up for him....he made me walk him in...i kept texting him every 15 minutes to make sure he was ok...when just before dark...i get the message “got one!”....thought we both were gonna cry....so we go back looking for it the next day...we have billy with us....who knows nothing about hunting...as your father and i are being very careful to not mess up the blood trail....and leaving marking tape and tissue to mark trails.....the blood trail disappears...your father and i are disscussing the next thing we want to do...billy has gotten bored and has been wandering about aimlessly for 20 minutes...he yells over “hey....this thing you’re looking for....is it brown and covered with flies?”
There’s a million times your father has been classic... The best I can remember, is the one I told at my party that night when u were all there... How he brought down that big fishing net, and tried to show a couple hungover drunken surfers, me, Lee, and John, how to throw it and bring it in... I kept throwing it too hard, and would wind up all tangled, and I couldn’t get the knack for it, and meanwhile your father yelling, “Come on Kahuna, you can’t even throw a damn net right, are you an idiot??”
And me yelling back, “Fuck Bear, I don’t know how the hell it keeps getting all fucked up.. As soon as I throw it, it winds up a tangled shit mess!”I tried a 1,000 times, meanwhile, every time, same thing, net getting all botched up, and your father yelling and cursing at me. Each time he’d stop and show me, each time I’d screw it up worse!! It was like some bad sit-com skit’!!
I’ll just never forget how infuriated he was at the fact that I could not get the throw right on that net!!! I think he thought I was busting his balls, but it was hot, I was hungover, and we had already surfed 3 hours or more that morning... All I wanted to do was lay up on the beach, but no, your father had to drag me down to the surf to throw a damn fish net!! At last I finally got a decent throw, and felt pretty good about it. Of course, your father, being himself, couldn’t say nice, or great job, instead I got, “It’s about time you finally got the damn thing right.. Little Tater Tot over there could throw that net harder than you, and she’s a kid!!” He was always trying to get us on some adventure, be it tubing, throwing that damn fish net, or just whatever.
All the best to you Bear. If anyone can get through what you have been going through in recent years, and survive, I’m confident it’s you!! Love -- Dave (Kahuna)
Walking up the ramp at 38th st in sea isle and seeing some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen in New Jersey and seeing a lot of good surfers standing around and talking about going out.Then seeing Paul and billy pull up,with hesitation i got my wetsuit on waxed my board and paddled out.
Lots of big waves were surfed that day by only three surfers.That was the thing about surfing with those two guys no matter how big it was i felt comfortable.I knew i had them to look out for me and me for them, Also remember paddling in to a double over head wave and hearing Paul yelling that’s not big enough and laughing.thanks for always making surfing fun, no matter what size the waves were .Then there’s the time I almost beat him shooting bows,but I’ll save that for another day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD --JBird
Hey Paul, Doreen, Cailin and the whole clan,
I will never forget all those magical days I had with you all down at Strathmere. Especially Sumner Ave. When it still had the upper deck seating and we’d call out the bomb squad. Another day in Paradise. Indeed. What a blast! Thank you all so much for all the hospitality you showed me - and the encouragement and tips for surfing. What a special family.I’ve been keeping you all in my thoughts constantly, close to my heart and soul. Happy Birthday Paul! And love to all of you. --Dave Casey
“Happy 55th Paul!Amazing job Team callahan continues to do everyday with your help to keep the healing going.Thank you Doreen for the updates.I will see you soon for shore!This is a great idea Cailin!Paul,do you remember my drunk baldheaded friend Kurt who kissed the flounder you caught?You cried!That vision of uncle fester on the beach kissing that fish!That was the day you scolded me for jumping the gun to go get the marinade for the fish that was not caught yet.hahahah well, I was confident you would score!I knew that when the first time I met you,you paddled in with a fishing rod in your mouth on your surfboard.I knew you were no ordinary sportsman.Then I got to see the sacred room with the “Collection”of tools of the trade.I came out alive!!Phew!Looking foward to making more memories!!Happy 55th Paul!See you soon.Love, --Lee
Cool gray morning. First light we show up to second street. Anxious. I run up the steps. It’s overcast, gray, heavy offshore. The sun hasn’t peaked over the horizon yet. At first glance it’s big. Lines stacked up as far as I can see. One of the bigger days I’ve ridden at that point. You, Billy, Ron (dan’s dad), and I hit the water at the same time. There’s several people around but nobody is willing to paddle out. I’m struggling to keep up with the three of you on longboards. I’m constantly reminded by you that I’m slow and probably a pussy for riding a board so small. My heart is pounding in my chest as I come up from each duck dive. I’m trailing but I catch up just as we’re all sitting in the lineup. A big set comes. We both turn on it. I look at you, you’re deeper. You tell me to go. I’m paddling my ass off knowing if I blow it you’ll never let me live it down. It’s big. Doubling up. I drop in, make one move off of the bottom and (despite what Cailin says) I get covered up. I shoot out onto the shoulder. Ecstatic that I made it. I think I even claimed it. Paddling back out I can’t believe I caught it. Can’t believe I made the drop, can’t believe.... I’m not allowed to live it down. I don’t want to. The best wave I’ve had up till then. Thanks to you. And you didn’t let me live it down. At least not yet. -LP
“Flat Creek!!!” – Brad Sotter
The local deer herds will be able to re-coop their losses till Paul is able to thin them out again. I remember all the times your father would be working and drive up the bridge and it was always so nice to see him. We would talk and he just knew how to brighten your day and make you feel good. We love you Paul . --Louise and Ed Andress
I remember one day I was entering your house through the back and walked past the pool with something very large floating in it and all the sudden there’s bubble and over this giant thing turns with your dad strapped into it, he was practicing flipping himself over in a kayak in your pool!! (I think it was a kayak) scared the crap outta me, I always used the front door after that LOL Luv you all BUNCHES --Jessica Hoffman
1. I hope someday that I can look back and say that I was a good parent to my children and that I did a great job raising them. Because, as everyone does, I am just feeling my way through parenthood. I look to those that I think are role models – The Callahans are some of those role models. They love their daughter like crazy, support her unconditionally, make time that is just for the three of them and create traditions and memories. They have a strong, loving relationship with her, and probably always will. They hold her so close, yet let her go away. and it’s the letting go that can break a parents heart slowly, piece by piece. They handle everything with such grace and confidence, I hope that someday I can too.
2. After a horrible trip to Dallas, TX with my family (It was in 2002-2003 and we still say that was the worst trip/vacation ever!) I was telling someone about it – maybe Jill, maybe Doreen, Paul was there too, and because I was just so negative and complaining, he started yelling – screaming – “Deep in the heart of Texas!!” every time he saw me. This lasted for an entire summer! Randomly, he would just walk by and sing it, scream it! At the top of his lungs – Man it was annoying!! But, his way of just busting chops and making everyone around at the time smile.
3. Video and pictures from our wedding - your parents were there and they tore the dance floor up. They do a mean slow dance. --Karen Fick Fixler
by Sheenagh Pugh
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost ; green thrives ; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war ;
elect an honest man ; decide they care
enough , that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss ; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.
Before we knew Paul Callahan well, we knew some things about him that proved to be true. We knew that he was loud because we heard him. We knew that he was the captain because we watched him. We knew that he was magic because he could grant requests from thin air.
Mary was preparing for a party (how unusual!) She asked Paul if he could get her a striped bass that she could poach. Without any hemming or hawing he replied “how big?” She showed him the platter she intended to use. He said “OK I’ll have one on ice in my cooler outside your kitchen door tomorrow morning”. He did! Later that summer I had to shamefully admit that I needed a striper catching lesson. “No problem” says Paul. Only one thing; you have to swear to me YOU WILL TELL NO ONE WHERE I TAKE YOU! After solemnly swearing and exchanging the fisherman’s handshake, we were off to the secret fishing spot. Of course I am still bound by my oath, so I can’t say where it was. I can tell you where it wasn’t, however. As we pulled into the dock with mission accomplished, Frank Jankowski hollered over “how’d you guys do?” Paul honestly replied that we each caught a keeper striper. “Where dja get ‘em?” Frank inquired. “Other side of Ludlam’s” Paul replied without hesitation (or a morsel of truth)! --John and Mary Schmeltzer
I first met you through Tom (Dude), so I don’t have a long history with you like most - but I’ve been fortunate enough to know and love your family for the past few years. I think that I speak for all of us that have been on this journey with you when I say, Thank You for sharing your world with us. Though I love all of who you are, here’s a few things that stand out:
- your love for life and the bravery in which you face it everyday is beautiful to behold.
- you’ve made me laugh until my cheeks hurt...your sense of humor is probably what most people pick up about you when they first meet you.
SO, have yourself a HAPPY BIRTHDAY...something tells me that you definitely will! And PS: let me know what kind of cookies you want me to make (and hide from Doreen) again! Love, --Mindy Formento
I’ve known you for about thirty years now - and for thirty years I have been taking your abuse in the back-bay. Telling me how to navigate and busting my chops about out-fishing me. And I’d take thirty more years of it. It’s partnerships (or should I say competitions) like this that keep me going and keep a smile on my face. I just keep hoping that one day you’ll share some of your top-secret tips with me....particularly your top-secret fishing spots!! I think that I’ll have to wait an eternity for that though.... Love ya Paul. Thanks for always being a great friend to me and a wonderful husband to my best friend Doreen.