By Ravi Kristin
A true Old Venice Icon has died.
Carol Fondiller and I had a relationship that goes back to the early “70s. When I cooked at the Meatless Messhall she was already a stalwart of the OFW. We didn’t always agree (HA!) but she always had a point that made sense. She died January 9th and Venice is the worse for it.
She help start the Venice Beachhead. That in itself would be enough the admire her, but, she was so much more. A true poet, a housing advocate and a voice for Venice that extended far east of Lincoln. She was the queen Bitch of the Boardwalk, but always for the right side. If you disagreed with her, it was a job, but when she was right, she was right. She fought for the poor, the community and for fair housing. She never backed down or gave up.
She was rude, funny, sometimes loud, but always for the people, always for us. She wrote so many articles for the Beachhead, sometimes I thought she and Jim were all there were. When I was involved in legalizing the vendors on the east side of OFW, she offered invaluable help and advice on the ways to do it, and then pointed out how badly I was screwing it up. When I got too deep, she pointed out different directions. And, she never gave up on the community.
She introduced me to the Venice West coffeehouse and John. Later, we had many coffees and other recreations with Sponto and debated every issue available on the beach. When I became the GM of the Sidewalk Cafe she thought I had sold my soul to the devil, but, I redeemed myself. Sort of. When I worked to shut down and remove the Pavillion she called me a lot of names, some, maybe true. When I worked to shut down and remove the oil well, she loved me. Just typing this is choking me up.
I know that she helped found the Peace and Freedom Party, I was a member, she was a guru.
If there is any justice, there will be a plaque for her in the circle. I’m going to miss her, even though we haven’t spoken in several years.
Goodbye, Carol. THANK YOU!