If I didn't like the guy so much I wouldn't have bought that
Income Policy from him. He cornered me one afternoon in
front of the Russ building, on Montgomery Street, the Wall Street
of the West.
I was in the life insurance business
so I could have "sold" myself
the policy as I was licensed for both Life Insurance and Disability. Ed
persuaded me that I should "get covered right this minute-what
would happen if you got hit by a Mack Truck"? He wrote
the application right then and there, and I gave him a check
for the first quarterly premium, to be "covered" right
I had known Ed for just a few months
and I didn't know he was an alcoholic otherwise I wouldn't
have fixed him up with Peggy Nolan. Peggy was a secretary for
another friend. She was
very attractive, smart, funny and somewhat of an "intellectual," a
serious book reader, like Ed. They were both about 40.
A few days later I heard from her. She was calling from
her apartment. That night was their first date and Ed was
in her bathtub. Ed was so drunk she couldn't get him up
and out. I had no remedy for the problem. Evidently,
after sleeping it off, he left. That was their last date.
Some background on Ed. He was raised in San Francisco,
Catholic schools all the way. He joined the Air Force. His
B-29 was shot down over occupied France. His family was
notified that he was “missing in action” and “presumed
dead.” But he had bailed out of the plane and was
rescued by a teenager, a young woman with the French Resistance
who guided him across Allied lines.
Ed had married before going into
the Air Force but after he was home for a few years, he divorced. They
had two great kids, Deaky and Ronny.
Ed and I had now become good friends. We played a lot
of tennis together. He even played on my touch football
team. He had great hands.
I had told Ed about our Torah study
group, which I had organized back around 1972. (It's still going!) I
attended every Friday morning, and Ed wanted to take in a session.
He became a regular and even brought in a pal of his from AA,
Jump ahead a bunch of years, and
Ed now met the real love of his life, Orly. Ed stayed
ON the wagon the rest of his life.
But when Ed was around 70 he became
seriously ill. While
he was in the Veteran's Hospital in the City, I visited him a
number of times. Even during his illness we had great laughs
together and "heavy" philosophical discussions on the
meaning of this whole thing. When Ed transferred to the
Veteran's home in Yountille, near Napa. I visited him just
once more. We talked on the phone a few times but he didn't want
company. He was very uncomfortable and we both knew it
was "only a matter of time."
He had met a Rabbi in the hospital
who was caring for Jewish Vets. Ed asked her if he could convert, to Judaism. I
don't know what she said, but Ed died before any formal plans
were made for that to take place.
I really miss the guy.