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5/19/11

Poppa Neutrino Is Dead



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"David Pearlman, an itinerant philosopher, adventurer and environmentalist widely known as Poppa Neutrino, who founded his own church, crossed the Atlantic on a raft made from scrap and invented a theoretically unstoppable football strategy, died on Sunday in New Orleans. He was 77. . . .

The cause of death was congestive heart failure, his daughter Jessica Terrell said.

Mr. Pearlman, whose improbable life was chronicled by the New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson in 'The Happiest Man in the World' (Random House, 2007), became Poppa Neutrino when he was 50.

He had just recovered from a near-mortal illness brought on by a dog bite in Mexico and, considering himself reborn, decided to choose a new name. Neutrino, a nearly undetectable particle with a capacity for constant movement, came immediately to mind.

A lifelong wanderer, he developed a philosophy that emphasized freedom, joy, creativity and antimaterialism, a creed expressed in the rafts he built from discarded materials. . . .

Two months after lying his way into the Army at 15, he admitted that he was under age and tried to secure a discharge, a plan that was foiled when his mother insisted to his commanding officer that he was really 18. After the Korean War began, she relented.

Freed from the military, he hitchhiked along Route 66, studied briefly at a Baptist seminary in Texas and became a preacher, spent time with the Beats in San Francisco, founded the First Church of Fulfillment while living in New York, sold life insurance in New Mexico, reported from Vietnam for a small San Francisco newspaper and organized a group of itinerant sign painters he called the Salvation Navy.

In the 1980s he and his fourth wife, Betsy Terrell, formed the Flying Neutrinos, a jazz and rhythm-and-blues band drawn from family members and their many fellow travelers. . . ." More

You can find more about the once living Papa Neutrino here.
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