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We would all love to live a life well lived. Wow that’s a mouthful for an opening line, but it’s true and I was recently asked to write a quick note about a guy who did just that—lived a life well lived. His name is Ed Lassen and he is my sister’s husbands father. For you visual learners my sister Sheila married a guy named Mark Lassen and his dad was named Ed Lassen. I guess I could have said my brother in laws father, but I’m doing this on one cup of coffee. Anyway here is what I wrote in tribute to a great man…Mr. Ed Lassen:

Ed Lassen. Did you know that it is physically impossible to say those words three times without smiling? Try it…I’ll wait. Ed Lassen, Ed Lassen, Ed Lassen—-see I bet you smiled.

That alone is quite a legacy. We all hope to live like Ed, Eddy, Sonny—-or whatever you called him–so that one day people smile when they mention your name. One can only hope, but for Ed it was a reality. Whether you knew him a lifetime or met him for one minute, you were better off from the encounter. 

One of the funnier encounters with Ed occurred in Carlisle, Pennsylvania somewhere between 1989-1997. I worked as a pharmaceutical representative in Carlisle and I walked in to office and was greeted by a nurse who stated, “I met your father-in-law this morning.” I gave her a puzzled look, knowing that my actual father-in-law lived in Lancaster, Pa. If he was in town, I would surely be aware of it. She picked up on my bewilderment and said, “You know—Ed from the Cape!” Then it dawns on me who she meant—-Ed Lassen. Ed was slinking his way from the Cape down to Florida to escape the winter, and probably had to urinate in Carlisle, PA.

As it turned out, Ceil and Ed stopped in at the local Dunkin Donuts for a coffee refill. Ed held the door open for this nurse, struck up a conversation with he…as he always does…and as fate would have it, they had a mutual friend…me.  Come to think about it, I am sure all of my friends are mutual friends with Ed because he knows everybody!  And surely by now he knows everyone in heaven. 

In fact, Ed is probably so popular in heaven right now that when I die and am standing in judgement in front of St. Peter, I plan on using this trump card.  After St. Peter goes through the long list of everything I did wrong in my life, and just as he is about to pull the lever and send me into the gates of hell, I am going to shout from the top of my lungs, “I KNOW ED LASSEN! In which case St. Peter will relax his grip, look at me like the schmuck I am and say—“Oh, why didn’t you say so?  Come on in!  Ed’s holding court on cloud nine—-just look for the crowd.”

I know Jesus AND I know Ed Lassen.  That should be enough to get me into heaven!