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Tambourine Man


Paul, a young man diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability, faced an uncertain future after high school. Little did he know that a sunny spring day in 1972 would change his life forever. This was the first time Paul saw the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band, sparking a lifelong passion that would lead him to become an iconic figure in the Davis, California community.

Early Life and Diagnosis

Growing up in Davis, Paul faced numerous challenges due to his Intellectual Disability. Life was not easy, but he found joy in simple pleasures and the support of his loving family. Despite his diagnosis, Paul possessed an infectious spirit and a love for music that would soon find the perfect outlet.

The Life-Changing Picnic Day of 1972

In the spring of 1972, during the annual Picnic Day celebration, Paul witnessed the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band for the first time. The band’s sheer size, vibrant uniforms, and the powerful rhythm of the drumline mesmerized him. As the band marched past his family home, Paul couldn’t resist the urge to join in. He ran alongside them, captivated by the music and energy.
The band took a break, and Paul, with uncontainable excitement, approached the band director, Ted Adams. With a mix of determination and curiosity, Paul asked how he could become a part of this incredible group. Adams, seeing Paul’s enthusiasm, invited him to the band room the following week. This moment marked the beginning of a journey that would change Paul’s life forever.

Joining the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band

The following week, Paul met Ted Adams in the band room. Despite his initial nervousness, Paul’s passion for music shone through. Adams welcomed him with open arms, recognizing Paul’s potential to bring something unique to the band. Paul’s role was special; he became known for his enthusiastic tambourine playing and infectious energy.
Paul quickly integrated into the band, making friends and learning the routines. His dedication and joy were evident in every performance, and he soon became a beloved member of the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band family. Paul’s story was one of inclusion, proving that with support and opportunity, individuals with Intellectual Disabilities can achieve great things.

Paul’s 52-Year Journey with the Band

Over the next 52 years, Paul became a cornerstone of the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band. He marched, played, danced, and shook his tambourine enthusiastically. Paul’s presence brought joy and laughter to both the band and the audiences they performed for. He was known for his beaming smile, pride in being part of the band, and unwavering commitment to every performance.

Paul’s contributions went beyond his musical talents. He embodied the spirit of Aggie Pride, inspiring countless band members and community members with his story and his positive attitude. His nickname, “Tambourine Man,” became synonymous with the band’s performances. Paul’s legacy was one of resilience, joy, and the power of community support.

The Retirement Decision

After more than five decades with the band, Paul decided it was time to retire. This decision was met with mixed emotions from his friends, family, and fellow band members. While they were sad to see him step down, they were also incredibly proud of his achievements and the impact he had made.
Paul’s community, including his family, friends, and the Summer House care team, rallied around him to ensure his retirement was celebrated in a manner befitting his contributions. The love and support from those around him highlighted the profound connections Paul had made over the years.

Organizing the Celebration

To honor Paul’s lifetime of achievements, Paul’s Summer House care partner team set out to organize the ultimate retirement party. They launched a GoFundMe campaign, aiming to raise funds for a grand celebration. The response was overwhelming, with generous donations totaling $13,905.00 pouring in from the community and donations made by FaceTec Inc for $6,000 and Victory Auto Motive of $5,000.

The goal was to create a memorable event, complete with a red carpet, catering, live music, and a special surprise – bringing Paul’s sister from Colorado, whom he hadn’t seen in almost three years. The planning involved meticulous coordination to ensure every detail was perfect for Paul’s big day.

The Retirement and Lifetime Achievement Celebration Event

Paul’s Retirement and Lifetime Achievement Celebration was a spectacular event attended by over 200 people. The venue was adorned with red carpets, elegant decorations, and a buffet of handcrafted desserts. Tabletop gold trophies added a touch of grandeur, symbolizing Paul’s achievements.

As Paul arrived, he was greeted by the sight of the UC Davis band, ready to play live music in his honor. The most touching moment came when Paul saw his sister at the end of the red carpet. The reunion was emotional, bringing tears of joy to everyone present.

The celebration was filled with speeches, music, and heartfelt tributes to Paul’s remarkable journey. It was a fitting farewell to a man who had dedicated his life to bringing joy to others through music.

Paul’s Impact and Legacy

Paul’s story is a testament to the power of passion, inclusion, and community support. His legacy will continue to inspire the UC Davis community and beyond. Paul demonstrated that with the right opportunities and support, individuals with Intellectual Disabilities can make significant contributions and leave a lasting impact.


Paul’s journey with the UC Davis Aggie Marching Band is a remarkable tale of resilience, joy, and the power of community. His Retirement and Lifetime Achievement Celebration was a fitting tribute to a man who brought so much happiness to those around him. Paul’s story will continue to inspire future generations, reminding us all of the incredible impact one person can make.

Included below are links to Paul’s documentary for your viewing pleasure!

Paul is the Tambourine Man-https://www.fugaweproductions.com/tambourine-man/tam.html

Paul’s Causeway Classic Tribute