Ed Francis O'Day

If I didn't like the guy so much I wouldn't have bought that Disability
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 now!!!

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, Dwight Conner.

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.