Remembering Ed Whalen
By CHRIS GERRITSEN -- Calgary Sun
I was shocked and saddened when Ed Whalen, my pal and fellow Page Six scribe, had suffered a cardiac arrest, fell into a coma and later passed away.
Ed was a giant among men with a heart of gold. He was a real ring-a-ding-dong-dandy. I've never met his equal.
Ed led by example. The amount of time and energy Ed contributed to charity was unsurpassed. Whether it was emceeing the kickoff to Homeless Awareness Week or hosting the Children's Miracle Network Telethon or throwing his weight behind his Used Sports Equipment Drive for less fortunate kids, Ed made time for it all.
It's difficult to put into words how much Ed meant to us young media pups. He was the grandpa, the veteran who, through words of wisdom, encouragement and praise, enabled us to keep our eye on the prize.
It's been an honour and pleasure to share the Page Six space with the legendary Ed Whalen. His columns about the lighter side of life brought us years of laughter, many times bringing us to tears.
We chose not to run Ed's last column Monday because, at the time, he was gravely ill and we didn't think it was appropriate.
But outside of his great charity and personality, Ed prided himself in making us laugh.
Ed will be missed, but the spirit of the man will live on in all of us -- in the meantime, in between time, always and forever.
Here now is Ed's final Page Six column -- we're sure he would have wanted you to remember him with a smile. Farewell, kind sir.
The final column from Ed Whalen
This report is from a newspaper in Charleston, West Virginia a couple of years back.
During the Christmas holiday, a five-year-old boy was showing his little brother around the Christmas display at church. "Here are the shepherds," he explained knowledgeably, "and there are the sheep and the cows and the wise men.
And here is Mary (she's Jesus' mother) and that's Mary's husband, Virg."
A teacher, who was nearby, overheard and offered a correction.
"Mary's husband was named Joseph, dear," she said, "not Virg."
The five-year-old wrinkled his brow, then asked: "How come they always talk about Virg and Mary?"
Also from my child-file today, this was left over from summer out of Fort Worth, Tex.
It was there that a young boy went on a camping trip with his dad. After one night in the woods, the father asked his son how he was enjoying outdoor life.
"Fine Dad," said the boy, "but next time let's bring Mom and the ketchup."
Puttin' on the Ritz
It was the Christmas break from school and the event we're about to describe occurred on a flight from South Bend, Indiana to Cleveland, Ohio.
Among the passengers was a young man in full formal attire, including tuxedo, top hat, cape and cane.
Well, as you might imagine, he got considerable attention. So one woman, unable to contain her curiosity, approached him and said: "Excuse me young man but why are you dressed like that?"
The guy replied: "Well ma'am, I'm student at Notre Dame and I'm going home for the break. I'm wearing this formal attire strictly for my mother because every time I've come home in the past, the first thing she's said to me was: 'Oh Eddie, do you have to dress so sloppily?' "
Behind the wheel
In Naples, Giuseppe Bartoldi was busy at his accounting job when a uniformed driver came in and asked to borrow a wire coat hanger.
He said: "I seem to have locked myself out of my truck."
Bartoldi gave him a hanger and went out to see if he could help. The driver, sure enough, used the hanger to get the door open, returned it to Bartoldi and then drove away -- in his armoured truck!
And herewith a bad story involving vehicles, this one from Gloucester, England.
It was there that police had a big campaign aimed at cracking down on drunk driving.
Believe it or not, they nailed a student driver for drunk driving -- a student driver who had an instructor with him in the car.
Another problem was the fact the instructor was drunk too!
Sometimes a guy just can't win. A botanical expert told Dick McLoughlin of Greenbrae, California that there was a way to keep deer from lunching on his garden. He told Dick:
"Simply place some old tennis sneakers among the plants.
The deer will take a whiff of the odour and flee in terror."
Dick did it -- planted an old pair plus two pair borrowed from a neighbour, all three of them very strong smelling.
Next morning -- the plants were gone and so were the shoes!
Chew on that one
In Bordeaux, France a patient complained to a dentist about the amount of money being charged for pulling a tooth.
The patient said it was tons of money for two seconds of work.
The dentist replied: "Well if you like, next time I will pull the tooth out very slowly."
Thought for the day
Nothing makes a child as smart as having grandparents!