New Bench: Asa Scholz

There’s a new memorial park bench, installed at the summit of the hill in the northwest corner of the park, directly at the head of the Peace Symbol.  It’s dedicated to Asa Scholz (1990-2011).  He’s probably the youngest person to have a memorial bench in the park. Asa’s family have posted this memorial text:

Asa Scholz

We achingly miss our beloved Asa. Born and raised in Oakland/Berkeley, Asa moved to the Venice Beach area as a young adult. He found community among the beach drum and dance circles and in his work at Baby Blues BBQ restaurant. Asa was always a friend to strangers and, living on his own for the first time, opened his doors to struggling members of the community. Before moving to Los Angeles he spent several months doing volunteer work through LEAP NOW, in Guatemala, India and Uganda. He especially valued his work with Guria, a non-profit in Varanasi, India that fights human trafficking and forced prostitution, where he volunteered at their school for children of prostitutes, who are barred from other schools. Asa touched many people in his life, with his playfulness, his love for adventure, his curiosity, his generosity, his compassion, and sometimes his pain.

From the words of Asa’s family and friends:

You shot arrows into the sky at night.
You found the highest rock and jumped first.
You caused your parents to hold their breath and laugh out loud.
You welcomed strangers and made new friends on the beach; you were easy to talk to, and made people feel heard—as long as they weren’t telling you what to do.
You were a joyful and adventurous cook—from sushi, to roasted rabbit, to making beer and mead.
With your friends, you made everything seem like an escapade, making us laugh at your dance moves, your funny voices, your stories.
You watched documentaries when you were down, and conversed easily about string theory, American imperialism, dolphin hunting practices, or any topic, really.
You had so many questions and wanted to know so much!

To honor the memory of Asa, may we all embrace our distinct individual gifts rather than trying to fit in. You have touched our lives, Asa, changed us, and for that we are grateful.

‘When you are sorrowful, look again in
Your heart, and you shall see that in truth
You are weeping for that which has been
Your delight.’
— Kahlil Gibran

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