July 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Beach Bench Dedicated to Jeffrey Solomon

50-year Venetian is remembered by wife, family, friends, neighbors and elected officials.

By Nick Antonicello 

A tearful and ringing remembrance of local activist Jeffrey Allen Solomon took place on a sunny Saturday morning, June 22nd, as family, friends and well-wishers took part in a bench dedication that was viewed as better things to come for a stretch of Venice that has seen its condition and visitation tarnished in wake of the pandemic and encampment crisis. 

About 150 or so gathered to hear fond stories of Solomon, who was born in Westchester and played basketball at Westchester High School and Upland College on an athletic scholarship. Solomon was scouted by the Lakers and in 1963 received a tryout at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, then home to the team. 

Solomon delved into many professions, as he was a popular Las Vegas croupier and moved back to Los Angeles in 1976 and met his wife Fran on a blind date on a Monday and moved in together on a Tuesday!

Always keeping his eye on Venice, they purchased a condominium on Navy Street where his wife Fran still resides today. 

A regular roller skater and hoops player at the beach, Solomon’s life was synonymous with his beloved Venice. 

Solomon was one of the more visible and popular members of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and operated Venice Beach Walking Tours, a true passion of his life. 

Beyond the throngs of friends and family members, West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman presided as the Master of Ceremonies, who Fran served as his legislative deputy until her retirement. LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath who represents Venice along with LA City Councilmember Traci Park (CD-11), also a Venetian offered remarks to those assembled with Horvath offering a proclamation from the Board of Supervisors. Also acknowledged was former LA City Council member Ruth Galanter and Fran Solomon’s colleagues on the Venice Neighborhood Council which included Alley Bean, Erica Moore, Lisa Redmond and Steve Bradbury. 

A GoFundMe page has raised over $16,000 for the purchase of the bench and plaque, and special thanks was given to The Los Angeles Parks Foundation, Estefany Salas and Justin Yoshimaru, the Waterfront Café, Miriam Belous, Ron Krause, Ashley Wodehouse, Zoe Atlas, Dani Atlas, George Seide, Amy Rubin, Pilar Boehm, Gail Sandler Reiss and Jake, Andy, Dave and Vince. 

A poem was offered and read in part, “don’t learn to live without me – just learn to live with my love in a different way,” 

A community toast was offered by Leonard Atlas and a breakfast/brunch followed at The Waterfront, just steps south of the dedicated bench. 

Jeffrey Allen Solomon passed on January 26th of this year.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-one year resident of the neighborhood and covers all things Venice. Have a take or a tip? Contact him via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in News, upbeat
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