*I wish there was some other forum for me to post this in, but I didn’t want to use Facebook (it feels impersonal to me at this point) and this was all I had*
Almost everything we have ever written here has been insanely ridiculous, about sports, and out for a laugh. Today, however, that will not be the case. Today has been a reminder in not taking life for granted and being certain that people in your life, be it friends or family, know that you love them.
Early Thursday morning I, along with everyone that knew him, lost a great friend & brother. Parents lost a son and a wife lost her newlywed husband. There are no words for the sorrow being experienced by those who were close to Paul Warren. P Dub, as we called him at Lipscomb, was one of the finest people I have ever called a friend. While I have no words to ease the hurt myself and others are experiencing, I wanted to share some of my favorite stories about Paul and some of my favorite things about him. I would like you guys to use the comments section to share memories and thoughts about him as well. This post is simply a tribute to our friend, Paul.
*I am a year older than Paul and was on the golf team and in Tau Phi with Paul at Lipscomb. I got to double dip in time spent with Paul. As far as the golf team goes, Paul came in as a freshman and started whipping everyone’s butt. He quickly became number one on the team. As a humble kid, I almost felt like this made him a little bit uncomfortable. Even though he was the best, he never wanted people to think of him as the best.
*Paul Warren could always make you feel like you were the funniest person on the planet. I have no idea if he ever thought anything I said was funny, but I would never have known from his reaction. He laughed every time. If I had a joke or a saying I was thinking about using I could gain confidence in it by saying it around Pdub. On this same point, I also think that Paul just loved to laugh. He enjoyed life.
*Paul was a great guitar player. As good as he was at golf and as hard as he worked at it to get better, he was just as good and worked just as hard at playing guitar. I will never forget the time he and Ralston (the guy in the “T” hat in the picture above with Paul) brought down the house during the Cowboy Show as they played the long guitar solo from Freebird. The entire crowd stood for about 8 minutes. He also played some with Dustin Lynch when Dustin was just getting started playing in bars around Nashville. He was an all around super talented individual.
*As Paul was a year younger than me, he pledged the same social club at Lipscomb that I did a year after I was in. That meant that Paul pledged under me. Pledging was not the easiest thing and pledges weren’t always treated with the kindness and respect most human beings are treated with. Anyone that has ever pledged knows this as fact. But there was something different about pledging Paul. I was talking to another Tau Phi guy (Trevor Brown) earlier and I told him “Paul was SO nice that you felt bad about asking him to do anything for you. You just wanted it to be over so you could hang out with him.” The greatest Paul Warren pledging story is this: One day, Paul was in charge of completing an active’s (Jon Masters) laundry. This was a common task for a pledge. So Paul does the laundry like he is supposed to and gives it back to Jon. Jon soon notices that the clothes don’t smell clean. You know when you do laundry and you sniff the clothes that you can smell the detergent. Jon couldn’t smell detergent. Jon goes to Paul and says “Paul, when you did my laundry did you use detergent?” Paul gets a distraught look on his face and simply replies “No sir, I forgot.” Needless to say, Paul did the laundry again. No other measures were taken against him because it was so funny that no one could be upset with him.
*Paul was funny, but Paul was never the boisterous guy yelling and cracking jokes to everyone trying to be the center of attention. Paul was funny in a quieter, more dry way. Paul’s funniest moments were brought about by questions from others. I can’t think of any certain answers or one liners he had off the top of my head but I’m sure some of you guys can.
*Paul was up for whatever you wanted him to be up for. Granted, as we have gotten older and moved to different places being “up for whatever” has taken on different meanings. It’s crazy how much you take for granted when you were in college and saw all of your friends every single day. Anyways, one of my last big time memories with Paul has probably been a few years ago now. A buddy of mine wanted me to go play in an invitational golf tournament with him I believe in Dickson, TN. He said see if you can find another guy or two so we can take a group over there. I bet I called 10 people. Out of 10 people, you know who said yes? Paul said “Man, I haven’t played golf or in a golf tournament in a couple years but I’m in. It’ll be fun.” I wish I could say he went out there and won the tournament, but he didn’t. I think we both shot in the 80’s the first day. But we enjoyed being with one another. Paul could always get excited for doing whatever you wanted to do.
I know that many of you that will read this knew Paul even better than I did and will have many more stories and memories to share. Writing is something that helps me clear my head and my head has been full of stuff since this morning. I want to find many ways that we can honor Paul and his life, this just happened to be the one I thought of first. I hope you will take time in the comments to share even more stories and more memories you have of Paul. He will be dearly missed by many. To his wife, Molly, his parents Johnny and Kathy, and his sister Lorie, I am so happy to have known your husband, son, and brother. If we can all strive to wake up as joyful as Paul Warren did everyday this world would be a much better place.
Paul, I love you brother.