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Kelsey
About exactly 3 months before my internship started at Venice Arts, my father suddenly passed away. He wasn’t just any ordinary father, but also, my best friend. My Everything. My Rock. A local Santa Monica and Venice, resident, over 600 hundred people piled into his funeral. Hundreds sent loving messages and consuled us in the moments after. As the messages and visitors slowed the pain did not. As I got ready for my first day at Venice Arts, located directly across from my mother’s store, and blocks away from the house I grew up in on Penmar. I couldn’t help but shed a tear thinking about how happy my dad would be that we were working so close to each other but also a tear of sadness as I was unable to embrace him before my first day of work.

On June 7th, I walked into Venice Arts with a smile on my face ready to get started. For my first project I was handed an envelope. I was told to enlarge the photos located on the obituaries that would be used during a local Venice Memorial walk. At first I thought, wow how depressing considering everything I’ve gone through and then as I quickly scanned through the obituaries I stumbled upon my Father’s. Yes, Kevin ‘Mojo’ Reynolds was staring back at me, with his huge smile, as he laughed outside my mom’s old store on Abbot Kinney. I couldn’t help but feel stunned. “Your ok Kelsey,” I told myself. And with a few deep breaths I able to find the beauty and magic in that moment. I couldn’t help but think, “he’s here. My Mojo is here with me.” If you can believe it, he would have showed up that day with his loud booming voice to introduce himself and to make sure I was safe! (LOL). You see, up until that point I have only been filled with sadness and anger. But finally….I was able to smile. How amazing was it that out of hundreds of Getty Interns I ended up at Venice Arts. I ended up there, on that day, to scan his obituary. No one else, but me. No longer a depressing task but instead a magical task I was proud to embark on.

As I sit here today, a week later, on what I like to call a “Mojo Blue” Day in Venice, California, I can’t help but think I picked the right place to work. My bosses have been nothing but supportive and I have already learned some of the in’s and out’s of programming. I can’t wait until the kids fill the office space with their incredible stories and smiling faces. But until then, as my dad would say, “We out here, big time, Westside chilen cuz, 70 degrees and crystal blue skies.”
 
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 12:23PM | Leave a comment
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Friday, July 15, 2016 at 2:42PM
Kelsey—such a beautiful story. It's wonderful to have a Venice Arts' "kid" back as an Intern, especially after such a profound loss. Hoping this is a summer of healing for you.

 
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