Paul Temple: A Life Enjoyed

What you should know about my friend and what we’ll all miss

We lost a friend this week. He left us too fast, too soon. My friend Paul Temple, who saved my life, has died. Our thoughts and energies are with his partner Molly (who also saved my life) and their young son Jack, the center of their universe.

In relation to Paul’s many friends and colleagues, I’ve known him and Molly for only a short time. It’s our favorite story to tell when we introduce each other to new friends: Paul and I met about this time in 2010 in an Internet chat room where mostly grown men talked about “pounding and squeezing”. That really refers to rivets and jigs for an airplane, but what an opening line–and Paul relished the dirty prose of it all, followed by a smile and a mischievous chuckle.

The viewer roster for DreamBuildFly. Paul’s screen name was “PT”. File

Paul and I weren’t lurkers: I was moderating an internet chat room for a weekly Livestream of an airplane build in a friend’s basement in Oshkosh. Paul was a regular and we soon discovered we both lived in Madison. We stayed in touch, and by the next summer my personal life was disintegrating. That’s when Molly and Paul extended a lifeline.

By late summer of 2011 I was spending Sunday afternoons at their Schenk’s Corners apartment in a structurally-suspect easy chair talking sports, especially fantasy football, while dodging random swats from their mercurial cat Misty.

I adored these two. They watched sports together and operated multiple fantasy teams across several sports. From their sojourn in Chicago, they acquired some “complicated” sports allegiances; but I could live with it. I think Paul and Molly would be proud to know that after recently explaining NFL training camp to my six-year-old, he now keeps asking me if today is the day the Packers are cutting down from 85 to 80 players.

Paul carries on the tradition with Jack. It is unknown if in this photo they are analyzing fantasy stats. Temple Family

But it wasn’t all sportsball. We also talked politics and pop culture, eventually discovering that in 2004 during some of Paul’s political work we may have crossed paths when I was flying then-Senator Herb Kohl to Appleton, Wisconsin for a rally with Presidential Candidate John Kerry.

They also occupied an apartment at the end of the block where my parents live. Cosmically we knew each other much sooner.

Paul had an incisive wit, an expansive mind and asked great, probing conversation-starting questions. I highly respected his perspective, as he demanded the highest out of our representatives, even the ones he voted for.

With Paul, it was mostly about the planes. I don’t know how long Paul had desired to be in the skies but in 2011 he was close to beginning actual lessons and I cheered him on. 

We also made plans: someday we would own or build an airplane together. As the airline portion of my career ramped up I would get random emails from Paul with links to aircraft he found in Trade-A-Plane or Barnstormers. It was a not-so-subtle suggestion that he had not forgotten my promise. One day he’d want to build a Zenith, then a Sonex Waiex because it had folding wings that better fit a Madison garage, then he’d spot a good deal on an Ercoupe, then it was a Cessna 172 hangared at an airstrip on the edge of town. The man oozed rivets and 100LL.

Paul Temple soloed in June 2017, a proud moment for all aviators. Temple Family

When Paul and Molly bought their house on the East Side of Madison, we of course scoped the garage for its potential as an airplane womb.

I found love again and soon I was on the precipice of marriage. In usual airline fashion, I started an almost-wedding-day morning in some distant east coast city. Once released, I still had to find a way home. There I was at Chicago-O’Hare, running out of space-available seats and running out of time as my fellow “bachelor” party attendees fell by the wayside as the evening faded.

A Facebook post where I remind Paul where we should meet soon. Paul was skilled at expressing himself through memes. File

Paul never wavered. After a bus ride to Madison, he picked me up in the Suzuki of Justice (my favorite name for a car) and whisked me to my apartment so I could wash off the air transportation system. 

By 10 pm we were at the Tornado Room, a tradition that would live on with us well after the bachelor party was just a memory. It mattered little that John O’Hurley sat next to us following his show at the Overture.

A few days later Paul and Molly would stand with me and my wife Jamie as we began a new journey that has yielded two young sons. Paul and Molly made us pledge that despite my vocation we would stay in Madison and never leave as they were just finalizing their new house. We are so grateful for the bond we formed with them.

And they were there for us, especially during my long absences when the kids were in the infant and toddler stages and Jamie was struggling to find the energy. In 2018 we were ecstatic to learn that baby Jack would be coming along. Also born that year was Paul’s greatest aviation triumph; he earned his Private Pilot License. 

Having experienced the many fits and starts of student pilot training from scheduling to instructor availability he persevered. I would be fortunate enough to fly with him a few months later at Morey Field in Middleton. It would be the only time we flew together. He let me try a few landings since I was used to much bigger planes and wasn’t current on light aircraft. I leveled off just a bit high almost every time but he was patient with me. In those early hours of his flight experience, I saw in him as a careful, instinctive aviator that would make a great instructor someday.

Paul was always willing to help no matter the time or place. File

This spring things were looking great for everyone after long periods apart from our friends. Capacity limits were increasing, and Paul and I met at a Sushi place on Willy Street and feasted. Of course, we talked airplanes, life, and a new organization (Willa Brown Aviation Academy) I was starting to introduce aviation to underserved youth in Madison.

Paul and Molly had already done a ton of leg-work for the organization. Molly researched the Willa Brown family; Paul worked with me to help secure permission from them to use her name for our organization. They donated financial resources and talent to help cover the legal costs of creating our corporate and 501(c)3 certifications. We would not have been able to stand up a brand new organization and launch such complex programming, in the middle of a pandemic, without their help.

Paul, Molly, and her sister Allie with Jack attending one of his first Cub’s games. The Temple Family

I last exchanged texts with Paul a week ago on the morning our aviation camp began. I showed him some of the last-minute legal paperwork he helped create was working just fine. He “liked” the text, which was tantamount to approval. He did that for many of our textersations. His GIF and Meme game was exceptional.

It was the same on social media, whether it was a joke or a stale pop-culture reference. I may have been posting for a broad audience, but it was really an audience of one.  I always looked for that “like” from Paul, because immediately I could see his broad smile and hear his wonderful laugh.

And then he was gone. But approval came once more in the form of one last gift from the gods to Paul, Molly, and Jack on the day of Paul’s passing…

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Monster 2016 Willy Street Fair Parade Gallery


New Reporter to Expand Reach of Willy Street Blog

Hire part of new focus after recent headquarters relocation

Recently, Willy Street Blog has undergone a deliberative process to realign editorial focus following a change in permanent headquarters in February.  As part of this process, we are pleased to announce at 12:08 a.m. April 11, 2016 the addition of Silas Faisal Guyot (8 lbs. 19 inches) as Assistant Editor in charge of our Nuclear Family Desk.

Silas was recently named the 2016 Marcia Brady Fellow at the prestigious Sibling Rivalry School at the University of Southern North Dakota. His groundbreaking thesis on the link between the 1970s children’s program “New Zoo Revue” and the Cabbage Patch as an acceptable dance move in America has already cemented his status as a leading light in child development reporting.

“Reporters are not made, they are born, said Willy Street Blog Editor Fareed Guyot. “We are fortunate to have Silas on our team considering his glittering credentials.”

At the Willy Street Blog, Silas will focus on topics that will probe the root causes of vexing sibling issues such as: Whose toy is it really? Why he won’t stop bothering me? And if “mom truly loves me more than you”.

WSB’s Infant Sustainability Bureau Editor and brother Salah was effusive in his praise after meeting his new co-worker.

“I’m older than you”, Salah said.

Willy Street Blog Art Director Jamie Guyot did not comment, as is her policy, but was seen with a glowing smile following the announcement and is doing fine.

Warning of a Treepocalypse

Jenifer residents hopeful some trees can still be saved

Will the Jenifer Street tree canopy survive reconstruction and a short-sighted City tree policy?

Will the Jenifer Street tree canopy survive reconstruction and a short-sighted City tree policy?

City of Madison forestry crews have begun to trim trees on Jenifer street ahead of a four block reconstruction project that will last most of the year. Forty two trees are slated for removal. Many are being removed because they are being ravaged by the Emerald Ash Borer or may be at risk.

In the face of the loss of legacy trees comes pushback from residents over the City’s policy on replacing those trees with a species that grows no taller than the base of the power lines. Lifelong residents and newer arrivals are fighting like mad as the idyllic beauty of the street is being threatened by a functional policy that takes a tactical rather than strategic view.

A silent protest arose on the 800 and 900 block of Jenifer recently as signs affixed to many of the condemned trees sought to remind residents of the coming of a possible treepocalypse.

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Saving Trees From the Ground Up

Proposal would allow higher tree heights on terraces currently limited by powerlines


The Guyot house (right) has had this power pedestal outside their home since they undergrounded their power lateral in the late 1970s. MNA is considering a proposal to underground the primary power lines to maintain the high tree canopy which is threatened by MG&E’s tree planting policy.

The once-delayed major reconstruction or a four block stretch of Jenifer Street is moving forward again but residents are still working to blunt the impact of what may be stark changes to the look and function of the street.

The most recent initiative from neighbors is to advocate for the undergrounding of the primary power lines to help maintain the current tree canopy. The fabled canopy is under a dual threat from forced removal of trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer and any replacement trees being of a species that grows no higher than below the current power lines.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association Board (MNA) will vote this week via email to forward a recommendation to the City of Madison to include partial undergrounding of the primary power lines to help preserve the tree canopy. The initiative grew out of a series of meetings on the Jenifer reconstruction that have been held in the past months by MNA.

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The Fires of Renewal

Winter Solstice celebration at Olbrich only missing pretty snow cover

The twice annual Solstice bonfire at Olbrich Park. This celebrated the Winter Solsice. December 22, 2015.

The Winter Solstice bonfire, part of a twice annual Solstice celebration held at Olbrich Park on December 22, 2015.

The Solstice is one of the more accessible and life affirming holidays celebrated in Madison and it occurs twice a year! Centered around the astronomical cycles of the sun and the earth, the Solstice is a recognition and reaffirmation of our connection to Mother Earth.

The history of the Solstice reminds us that it is not a single deity or a collection of them that truly drives our existence; it is the natural rhythms of the earth that shaped humanity over time. This recognition is very popular in Madison with many Solstice celebrations held around the city.

Our northern city endures the ravages of winter and the tradition of a bonfire is attractive to our residents as, like in pre-Christian times, it signifies the return of heat and light from the sun after it has spent six months retreating from us.

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Willy Street Fair is Perfect End of Summer Ritual

Dry temperate weather on tap for final festival of the season

The Willy Street Fair is this weekend, September 19-20 2015.

The Willy Street Fair is this weekend, September 19-20 2015.

It has been a fantastic summer for neighborhood celebrations in Willyland. Waterfront, La Fête de Marquette, Orton were solid as ever along with some sophomores like Yum Yum Fest and Central Park Sessions. Creating addition buzz was Africa Fest and the opening of the new Goodman Skate Park in Central Park.

Our new park on Wilson street is really coming into it’s own, but it’s appropriate to bring the fun back to Willy Street for one last weekend of summer fun, music, food and celebration of our great neighborhood.

We have had some challenges this year too. The death of Tony Robinson only a half-block from where this year’s fair will take place has highlighted the work both police our city have to do to be more inclusive to our minority communities. Yes even the open arms of the Marquette neighborhood still has some things to learn.

Our funky neighborhood is also dealing with other crime such as the terrible sexual assault last weekend on the Capitol City Trail bike path and questions of how development should proceed along this street that still has many residential buildings.

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Environmental Safeguards Seriously Lacking in Central Services Demolition Plan

DOA meets with lawmakers after quiet bidding process and unresponsiveness

The former Central Services Facility is being demolished for a new State archives preservation and storage building. Residents are concerned the demolition will spread toxins that exist from 100 years of industrial activity on the site.

The former Central Services Facility is being demolished for a new State archives preservation and storage building. Residents are concerned the demolition spread toxins that exist from 100 years of industrial activity on the site.

Marquette neighborhood residents are alarmed about the impending demolition of a state storage building at 202 South Thornton Avenue, the former State of Wisconsin Central Services Facility. The 100 year-old building served as a foundry, munitions plant, manufactured appliances, housed a printing press and served as a service facility for the state’s vehicle fleet.

Neighbors, environmental groups and now local, state and federal legislative officials are concerned the Department of Administration’s (DOA) current Environmental Assessment (EA) far underestimates exactly what types and the amounts of toxins such as PCBs, PCEs, PAHs and other heavy metals remain on the site or have seeped into the ground. There is further worry that the State’s plan to contain those contaminates during demolition is woefully inadequate.

In it’s place, a four-story $46.7 Million state of the art archive preservation and storage facility will be constructed on the site along the Yahara River, for the Wisconsin State Historical Society and Veterans Museum.

The project, approved in 2013, will include greenspace and Native American ceremonial grounds which are planned for the Yahara frontage. In the future, more expansion could happen to land not in the building’s footprint on the Dickinson Street side which for now will be landscaped.

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Taking Back Bike Path Starts With Rescinding Rape Culture

Will we embrace the difficult change required to prevent future assaults?

TakeBackTheBP_CWFollowing the brutal sexual assault and attempted homicide early Saturday (September 12) of a woman along the heavily trafficked Capital City Trail bike path, the neighborhood has been organizing ways to respond.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association is planning extensive discussions of the incident at it’s Board meeting on Thursday and hopes to outline some possible solutions and strategies to forward to City leaders.

Along with that effort will be the first outward community response, a march along the bike path from Mickey’s at 7 p.m Thursday to Livingston Street where the assault occurred.

Over 1300 people have responded to the Take Back the Bike Path Event’s Facebook page but how do we move from this outrage to lasting, sustainable action? How do we move from safer walking at night tips, better lighting and mace to no rape at all?

Fortunately, at least in the immediate area, the Internet discussion following the incident on Saturday has skewed toward new thinking about how to prevent rape. Acknowledging the basic premise that one human can rape another, the majority of sexual assaults are men against women, with acquaintance rape being the most prevalent.

We don’t know the age/background/education of Saturday’s assailant. We often talk about sexual assault at schools because that is where young people are concentrated the most. But rape happens everywhere and at all ages and it starts with the culture we all accept or allow to be acceptable…current male culture and privilege.

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Marquette Waterfront Festival This Weekend

Two day music and community event kicks off festival season

MWF2014mThere are now five major community events this summer, if you also count a concert series in Central Park which will be entering it’s second year. Tomorrow (June 13) and Sunday the Marquette Waterfront Festival will commence, featuring two days of music, food and popular events with a decidedly Near East Side flair.

It begins Saturday morning with the Dandelion Dash (registration at 7:15 race at 8:30), a multi-distance run culminating in a 100 yard dash (9:15 a.m.) by the smallest of dandelions. The official festival starts at noon with El Clan Destino taking the music stage.

On Sunday at 10:30 the “Fools Flotilla” organized by the River Alliance will parade down the river featuring the Forward Marching Band. Anyone who wants to participate in this river parade with a New Orleans flair should meet at the Tenny Boat Launch on the river at 9:30 a.m.

The other river activity is more serious, The Yahara River Canoe race at noon Sunday and is open humans of all ages and human powered craft. Contact John Haugen-Wente (241-0619) to enter. Food and drink from local vendors will be available including the Wil-Mar food stand offering standard festival fair of brats, pizza and soft drinks.

The entire event raises money for the Marquette Neighborhood Association to fund it’s operations that support the neighborhood. The event was started by Bob Queen several decades ago to help fight the possible closure of Marquette elementary school and has evolved into a major community gathering.

The music at the event is a major draw. You can read more about the acts featured this weekend on stage including descriptive bios of each act and the two day music schedule here.