As I wrote recently, each year I dedicate the time I spend on BLASST to someone or a group. This year I am dedicating my time to a few individuals who have meant a lot to me.
Last Friday morning changed my world and others. If you read this week’s obits you will see that Ed Levison left this world and went on to the next. So, much to my chagrin, the second person I’m donating my time for this year, even though he doesn’t know it, is Eddie.
Eddie was one of the last people I saw before I left Ohio last Fall. We talked over the phone throughout the winter. Sure many of us knew he was sick, but you could never tell how sick because he was too busy giving his close friends a ration of s##t all the time. He talked so fast you couldn’t get a word in edge wise. The more sarcasm he shot at you the more he loved you. Eddie was just plain funny. His mind was sharp as a tack and quick as lightening. You never knew what was going to come out of his mouth while he was with you except when he was leaving. Eddie was a character and an enigma.
He was always well tanned, impeccably dressed and his blue eyes and wonderful open laugh were deeply engaging. Eddie had a big boy toy collection that was almost obnoxious if it weren’t for the fact he shared them with everyone- even strangers. He loved doing that. Eddie was very philanthropic, but stayed low key about it. Recognition was not his thing. If he liked you, you received a paddle with “Just an Affair” printed on it which was the name of his home on the water. If he didn’t like you, you earned it. He was king of the “art of the deal” – a true businessman. He even talked me into buying a car I didn’t want, hate but still have to this day. Now I will probably never sell it.
You can tell something about a man by how he treats his mother. Until her passing a couple of years ago, no queen was ever treated as well. He adored her. Eddie had that class that too few men have anymore. He was always telling me to go buy some. I would respond that I tried but they won’t sell me any or I got in the wrong line, then asking him where did you get yours – at the Circle K. You had to be quicker than he was or just sit there while he turned you into minced meat until you broke out laughing.
Eddie loved Buckeye Lake as I do. My hope was to be beside him on July 1 this year and to forgo either his boat or my barge. Eddie was a gladiator against the cancer he was fighting right to the end. I had no idea I would never see him again because of the way he talked to me in what turned out to be our last talk. He got me going and my blood boiling over things some people did or said. He loved doing that to me. The phone conversation ended the same way as when he’d leave my home – “Hey… I’ll see ya!” and just like that, away he went.
Eddie’s death gave me an education and reminded me of a saying my father had that I can’t forget. It can apply to each and everyone of us in many ways if you think about it. “Every day of my life I pay a very high tuition to a very private school.” The older I get and the closer to a death bed I come the only good thing I can think of is the wonderful people I will get to see on the other side; especially those I didn’t get to say goodbye to.