Trader Joe’s founder Joe Coulombe passed away last Friday at the age of 89. “This is very sad, Joe was a great guy who built a great store,” said long-time friend Dana Mangold as she spent 30-minutes looking for a parking spot at Mr. Coulombe’s memorial before deciding to just pick up a condolences card from the Ralph’s across the street and send that instead.
“Oh, it looks like this car is about to leave,” said another mourner, Harold Porter, of an idling black Prius. “What’s with this guy?” said Mr. Porter after waiting for several minutes. The 55-year-old Thousand Oaks resident approached the driver, a 34-year-old woman watching Youtube videos on her phone while her boyfriend ran inside the memorial to say a quick goodbye. “Oh, we’re not leaving,” said the woman to Mr. Porter who just smiled and then cursed to himself about the parking situation on his way back to his car.
“I wonder if this many people will come to my funeral?” thought Mr. Porter, knowing it was unlikely. As he continued to circle the parking lot the thought of his own mortality began to weigh heavier on his mind. “What have I done with all my time? How much time do I have left? What can I do to make the world a better place?” he asked himself before excitedly seeing an open parking space and pushing the uncomfortable thoughts about what he means to the world comfortably out of his mind again.
The Avocado had made arrangements to interview Mr. Coulombe’s family about his life and legacy, but also couldn’t find parking at the menorial so we went across the street and interviewed the heirs of Von’s founder Charles Von der Ahe about his life and impact.