My Penultimate Will and Testament


In the past couple months, my friend Mark, my friend Linda’s sister Cathy, and a country line dancing friend of mine, Norma, all died. It’s time to get some of my final wishes down in writing, should I ever become incapacitated or dead, not that I’m anticipating either happening to me, but like they say, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

I use the word “penultimate,” because I expect to make changes before I die, especially since I’m just writing this in sort of a stream-of-consciousness way.  I just want to be prepared with some sort of written document in case anything ever happens suddenly. After all, I was a Boy Scout. Who’s to say what might change? Maybe when I’m on my deathbed, I might suddenly scream out, “Screw Uncle Tony, he’s not getting my watch,” or something like that. Last Wills are impossibly tough to write, because you want it to accurately express your final desires, and you don’t expect it to change. It’s your LAST Will. It’s final. Plus, you’ve gotta feel like you’re putting the whammy on yourself just by writing it. Penultimate Wills don’t come with that pressure. It can always be edited. It’s just what the Pirates of the Caribbean would call “a guideline.” It’s also optimistic, because it shows that you don’t think you need a final draft just yet. This should be a breeze, and, in a way, it is a civic responsibility. Please understand that these are just my wishes at this current moment, they’re not chiseled in stone (though that would be cool).

I’ll leave off the “Hereby, being of sound mind” line, because I can’t really vouch for that. I can say, though, that this is probably as sound as my mind gets, and it’s not likely to get any sounder as I limp into old age. They say that there are two ways than a man can be sure that he’s getting old. Number One is he starts forgetting things. Number Two is…gee, I don’t remember. That’s another reason why I’m writing all this down now.

I saw a T-shirt that said, “I never though I would grow into a grumpy old man, but here I am, killing it.” I regret that I don’t yet have that T-shirt, but I do have a lot of t-shirts and clothes. Upon my demise, I donate them all to the mission in Lancaster. I think it’s on Water Street. Otherwise, Goodwill, or rags at the car wash.

John Brand gets my James Buchanan bobble-head doll. I think he will appreciate it more than my brother Donald would, though I know they both can’t say enough about the only President born and raised in Pennsylvania. John also gets my Lancaster Barnstormer stuff. Go Stormers.

Margaret Brand gets everything related to A Little Bit Better, the Children’s Book I wrote that was illustrated by her daughter, Eileen. Margaret gets my rights to the words in the book. Eileen already has the rights to the illustrations. If you dig around, I might have 40-50 copies of the book on a book shelf someplace just waiting to brighten some children’s lives. Plus, I’ve got some of the “Deleted and Bonus Material” that shows how the book evolved. It’s in a kitty liter bucket marked “A Little Bit Better.” (Clever, huh?) You can also have the framed artwork that Eileen drew that I bought at auction. They’re hanging on my Wall of Fame in the back room.

Deborah Jean Beck Donohue gets my tricycle, record collection, cd collection, video collection, and VCR equipment. Any beer or alcohol left over goes to her, too. Throw in the breathalyzer, too. She won’t use it, but it might give her a laugh. I know that I laughed every time I showed it to her and she slurred, “I’m not drunk. Go ahead. Take my blood pressure.” Debbie also gets the poster she had made of me and Muhammad Ali from a picture taken at the Vista International Hotel at the World Trade Center. I outlived both Ali and the hotel. Otherwise, I would give them this great picture taken by Angelo Dundee.

Earl and Ali

Maria Fundus gets my wine rack and wine glasses. It’s empty now, but I’ll try from now on to keep it stocked with a supply of Pinot Grigot. Maria also gets back the 25th Anniversary Mavericks T-Shirt she gave me. Odds are it will be clean. I only wear it when I go to Mavericks concerts with her, and I do have a washer and dryer, which I bought with my landlord Ed Pelton. The washer and dryer are all his now.

Barbara Hennig gets the armoire in my bedroom, and the big vase in the kitchen. Her husband James Cuozzo gets all my tools and any handyman sort of stuff. Jim also gets the Dutchland Rollers stuff.

My favorite skater, Vanitti #29, a.k.a. Jessie gets to know that I’ll be rooting for the Dutchland Rollers forever.

Geralyn Becker gets the big framed picture that her sister Marianne took of us singing at a LAM Dance. Geralyn also gets full rights to all the issues of The Cyber Space Cadet Gazette, which she helped to produce by letting me write them while I was supposed to be working at Cyber Medical. Hi Guys!

Marianne Driscoll gets her mother Arleen’s bowling ball, which I have kept unscathed from hitting too many pins. If I have any plays written, they, and all their rights, go to Marianne. As of this moment, I’m working on two of them: Alicia Off and Miles to Go Before I Sleep. If I live another decade I should complete both. If any of Marianne’s kids wants my LAM ring from Las Vegas, they can have it.

Patrice Davis gets a copy of all my screenplays and first choice on all my books and audio books by other authors. Whatever she doesn’t want I hope Marianne Driscoll will somehow manage to donate to Veterans, Africa, Goodwill, or Dentist’s offices somewhere.

Linda Merensky gets the unicorn spoon holder in the kitchen and the screen rights to Two Ships Passing…One Failing. If the book is ever finished, she can have the rights to that too. Linda also gets “The Band,” the complete collection of blow-up instruments I used to take to Karaoke.

Isabella, the little girl who lives upstairs gets my clarinet. That way the neighbors in Lancaster can all remember me whenever she practices on it.

Peggy Carbone gets my saxophone. She had to endure hours of listening to me practice when I first was learning how to play it as a kid in South Ozone Park.

Tierney O’Rourke gets all the rights to Bless Me, Jack. After all, it is his story.

The Hall of Fame of the Trotter in Goshen, NY gets the screen rights to Miles to Go Before I Sleep.

Joe Becker of Lancaster gets all the furniture that’s left after my friends pick out things they want. I don’t think Joe will want the stuff, but he’ll know how to sell it.

Tilda Virgilio Clark gets the book of Tuscany cooking I was supposed to give her months ago. And she also gets one of these:


She’ll know what it means, and it’ll give her a big laugh. She really would prefer if I did it with both hands, but I couldn’t hold both hands up and hit the enter key with my elbow. Believe me, I tried.

My nephew DJ, a teacher and sports coach on Long Island, NY, gets all my sports equipment.  He also gets my train style pocket watch to time his slow runners.

My niece Beth, a Lieutenant in the NYPD, gets my pet pig, Buzz Lightpig.


Caution: he’s a lot bigger than he looks in this picture.


My horseracing computer (The Dell) and all the horse information goes to my friend Caesar in the group. Don’t worry about deleting any porn first, Caesar said he could do that himself.

My Harness Racing watch goes to Archie in the I also turn over the reins of the group to him. To the group I leave all the horse paintings and sculptures. You can have contests to see who wins what.

Barbara Flaherty a.k.a. Princess LaLa and her husband John don’t need any material things to remember me by, but, LaLa, I’ll contact you from the afterlife and tell you what Heaven is like. (I’ll also try to find out if Republicans are allowed there.) LOL

I don’t think I have anything that my relatives in Johnstown would want, but they’re welcome to have my TV’s. Maybe some Eagle luck will rub off on their Steelers.

The rent should, of course, be paid up until the end of the month, so anyone can stay in my apartment for a few days and go sightseeing in Amish country. (Unless I croak at the very end of a month, 😉).

I know that my cousin Debbie and my Aunt Jane love to travel (and probably would like to visit the Outlet Stores in Lancaster). Don’t wait too late. Come on out for a visit while I can still show you around.

My brother Kevin gets anything with a Batman logo, and the stuff on the shelf next to Buzz Lightpig. Speaking of pork, LOL, he also gets congratulations on making Chief in the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. There sure are a lot of cops in my family tree. I’m glad none of them ever found out that I smoked pot. Wink. Wink. (a squirt or two of Visine) and another Wink. Wink. Kevin gets all my other laptop computers. Hopefully, he will find enough material on them to inspire a story or two for his blog. Then he can give them to his adopted children Zane and Aiden. They will probably find them to be old-fashioned, as I’m sure they have the latest techno devices, but they can just take them apart or smash them if they want to. That would be fun.

Everything else goes to Brother X, who will be in charge of sorting out the mess. That’s what you get for outliving me, Bro. You coulda put the whole stinkin’ thing on Kevin, but you took those 10,000 steps a day. I have a checking account with The Fulton Bank in Lancaster, PA; another checking account with HSBC in Nassau, NY; and a NY Life Annuity Plan. For details look in the locked steel box that is always somewhere in my bedroom. The key is in it. The key is always in it, otherwise I am positive that I would lose the key. There’s no money in there, but you should have enough money from my accounts to cover any final expenses with a little left over for a party for my friends. Otherwise, could you loan me the balance? LOL. I also have a betting account with Yonkers Raceway. I’m sure that you and a lot of other people will be very surprised if there’s any money left in that account.

I don’t want to be buried, but I would like my picture taken in a fox hole, just to prove that there are Atheists in fox holes. No, you don’t have to haul me around. You can Photoshop it. I don’t want any priests talking at any memorial celebration held in my name, saying that I’m in a better place blah, blah, blah. Even though I might be in a better place, if Trump is still President.

My first choice for the disposal of my carcass is to have my body donated to science, but if they send it back postage due, my backup plan is to be cremated and have my ashes sprinkled on a Harness Horse track. A burial at sea would also be nice, if the Navy feels compelled to honor me, thusly. (While I was on active duty, they offered to “throw me overboard” on many occasions.)

Please play, Prop Me Up by The Jukebox If I Die, by Joe Diffie.

If I should die while hooked up to a machine, unplug me. Wait five seconds and plug me back in. See if that works. If it doesn’t work, then…

Peace & Love, and all of the above.

  1. Earl Paulson

P.S. To get “dibs” on any of the other valuable momentos that will someday become available, just let me know what I have that you’d like to have, and be prepared to wait a very long time before delivery. (Hopefully.)

P.P.S. The washer, dryer, refrigerator, and the table in the back yard are not mine. They belong to the landlord. Everything else is up for grabs. I hope it becomes the longest going-out-of-business sale in history.


A Tale of Two Teams

“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”

-Rod Stewart


Happy Eagle Fans

Eagle Fans

It was the best of times…Philadelphia Eagles fans

Patriot Fans

It was the worst of times…New England Patriots Fans

I got to Fat Pigs Sports Bar in time to grab the next to last bar stool.  The seat next to me was the only one left.  A man came in and asked me if anyone was sitting there.

Everyone else was wearing something that indicated that they were an Eagles fan.  His shirt said, Just Do It.  So I said, “That depends.  What team are you rooting for?”  He said the Eagles, so I offered him the seat.  Roger was from Uganda, and had lived for a short while in New York, and then went to school in Minnesota.  It made for interesting conversation.



The Eagles were having a dream season until their quarterback, Carson Wentz, got hurt and the dream became a nightmare.  Then the backup quarterback, Nick Foles, rose to meet the challenge, and the dream continued all the way to Super Bowl LII.  The Eagles scored first and led for most of the game.  The dream was very much alive.  Then, a few hours later, the Patriots had the ball with just seconds remaining in the game.  They were trailing by 5 points and everyone knew what was coming next, a Hail Mary pass to the end zone.  Sure enough, on the last play of the game, the Patriots had their giant receiver, Gronkowski, standing in the end zone, with a swarm of little green men surrounding him.  Tom Brady threw a perfect pass that was headed right for the outstretched hands of the mountain, who towered over his defenders.  But Eagles can fly.  The swarm flew up and batted the football away from the big man.  The Eagles won the Super Bowl 36 – 31, and Nick Foles was voted the MVP.  Pennsylvania was party town.

I stuck around for the after party, but after a while my camera got a little drunk and started taking some very blurry pictures, so I knew it was time to go home.

Blurry Eagle Fans

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles.  This season, you gave all of us in Pennsylvania an opportunity to fly like an eagle.  Thanks.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,








Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day…


Twenty-five years ago, Bill Murray starred as Phil, a Pennsylvanian weatherman, in the movie Groundhog Day in which he inexplicable kept living the same day over and over again. The local library celebrated the event by showing the movie over and over and over again. Happy Groundhog Day. If you like the song, I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher, this was definitely your day to visit the Lancaster library.

The celebrated groundhog in that movie, Punxsutawny Phil, is still making his prognostications and today at Gobbler’s Knob the rotten little rodent saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. That normally would not sit too well with Pennsylvanian’s, but this year we’ve got bigger fish to fry. On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. So, a long winter, or an early spring is inconsequential to a Super Bowl victory by our Eagles.

This Groundhog Day was special to me, though. It was also First Friday, a day when Lancastrians (that’s what we call ourselves) support both their local musicians and the local purveyors of alcoholic beverages. I chose to go to a local sports bar, Yorgo’s, because some of the Dutchland Rollers were scheduled to make an appearance there. The Dutchland Rollers are the local Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby team, and I’m a big fan. Watching them brings me back to the days when Charlie O’Connell and his San Francisco Bay Bombers used to school the New York Chiefs at the Armory in New York.

I settled into a comfortable bar stool and glanced up at the TV. It was like Groundhog Day for me, as I was immediately brought back to relive my high school days. My old High School basketball team, Christ the King, was playing against Brother X’s old High School Team, Archbishop Molloy. What are the odds that these two New York high school teams would be featured at a Pennsylvania sports bar? Plus, I graduated from Christ the King 52 years ago. Sunday is Super Bowl 52. I looked around to see if Bill Murray or Rod Serling was in the bar. I was surprised that I didn’t see either of them.

Many years ago, when I was a bellhop at the Vista International Hotel at the World Trade Center in New York City, I had the pleasure of showing Bill Murray to his room. He checked in late one night and was probably coming from a Saturday Night Live rehearsal (or, more likely, an after party). He was upbeat and cheerful, telling me jokes and just being an all around nice guy. He was impressed with the wood paneling in the elevator and asked me what it was made of. I didn’t know. Afterwards I looked it up just in case he ever came back to the hotel. Alas, he never did, and the hotel was destroyed on September 11th. If you’re reading this Bill, it was a cherry wood veneer.

Back when I went to Christ the King, we had a very good basketball team, but Molloy had a better one, and they beat us every time we played each other. (Just in case you’re wondering, I wasn’t actually on the team. I was a cheerleader. My athletic ability back then was the same as it is today, nonexistent.) So, I was not surprise that the CK Royals trailed the Molloy Stanners throughout the game. But then, with about three minutes to go in the game, the Royals popped a few three-point shots and took the lead, and they held it to the end winning 64 to 61. I cheered like they had just won the national championship. The rest of the people in the bar looked at me like I might have been celebrating First Friday a little too long.

I went back to eating the delicious steak dinner I had ordered, and then I saw Mega Pixel and some of the Dutchland Rollers skaters. We talked for a while and then had a waitress snap our picture and I wished them success in the season ahead. I’m sure that picture will wind up on their website,, so look for it. All in all, it was a very good day, and not one I would mind reliving over and over and over and over.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Go Eagles.