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  • "I will always remember Allen from my MAXIMA days, good..."
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MULLER P. ALLEN MULLER, JR. On January 23, 2013, Allen passed away at home, with his brother beside him, of complications of brain cancer. His interests spanned music, literature, travel, politics, drama, photography, cartoons, science fiction, jokes, baseball, bars, recording, web design, writing, convertibles, marathon running, movies.... Bigger than life, Allen lived more fully in his six decades than most people do in nine. Born in Pittsburg in 1952, as a child Allen moved every few years-dozens of towns to call home. His intellectual and creative foundation was established when he worked in San Francisco as a bicycle messenger during the electrifying summers of '67 and "68. His boss was a Maoist, the Black Panthers had an office in the basement of the building where we worked, and his trainer lived next door to Janis Joplin. Everything was happening there, and Allen was in the middle of it-as he would be for most of his life. In later years, his day job was consulting on a range of issues for government agencies. His great skill was differentiating the essential from the incidental-he would home in on the central issue while most people were still struggling with premises. Most people knew Allen as a fixture at the Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton. You could always find him there, passionately arguing his liberal humanist political positions, reviewing the latest baseball book, offering insightful reviews of a Shakespeare play, analyzing an exhibit of J.M.W. Turner paintings, playing in a band, or just trading bad jokes. Music was his lodestar, the steady beat at the center of his life. His bands in the local area included Willow Mill Park, the Charts, Rhythm Rodeo, Rudy and Torpedoes, Strutting Tuxes 40 Thieves, the Fabulous Potato Heads, and his last band, Paddy Goes West. Allen was always a driving force behind the music-literally as the drummer and emotionally as the fiery voice urging the bands to strive for more. He managed the bands, created web sites, recorded and remixed songs, and lovingly rebuilt his working drum kits, down to the last authentic detail. Allen also explored the outside world-the more exotic the destination, the better. He visited Egypt, India, Greece, Russia, Florence, Rome, Venice, Paris, England, Ireland, and more. He documented his trips with glorious photographs, displaying a skill reminiscent of that of his father, Paul Allen Sr., who was a master photographer. Allen mused "I often wonder if the photographs I take are a distortion of the reality. But I have come to the conclusion that the reality is unreproducible and that by cropping out the extraneous, I allow the viewer to focus on and appreciate each individual element. Or that's a pretty good rationalization!" Allen liked to say "Isn't it great living in the future?" His family and friends will make sure that Allen continues to inhabit that future through their countless warm and loving memories. A wake was held for Allen last week, and the response was so enthusiastic and life-affirming that a musical memorial for Allen will probably become a yearly event. Allen is survived by his brother Don, his sister-in-law Cindy, his nephew Eric, his niece Jessie, and his partner in love and adventure for many of those years, Meta. Allen's employer, Enterprise Services and Technologies, Inc., was very supportive of Allen during his illness. Services are private.

Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 10, 2013