Closet as she left it

Everything is the way she left it

The red coat she wore on the last day of her life is still in the closet. And her jackets and dresses. Her shoes and boots. Her blouses and other garments are in the chest of drawers. Her sweaters are in the cedar chest. He sometimes think about packing them up and taking them to Goodwill. But he never does.

The dishes and glassware and cutlery are as she left them in the kitchen cupboards. Thirteen months ago. He barely uses them. He eats take-out and frozen dinners.

The only piece of furniture that he frequents is the drink cabinet. It is full with bottles of gin and vodka and rum and tequila and bourbon and brandy and several liqueurs.

He lives with a cat. His wife’s cat. He drinks alone. The cat doesn’t drink but she sits in his wife’s empty armchair and watches him drink, wondering perhaps, if this night will be another night of 80-proof railing and wailing.

He has no immediate family left. He has been invited to move to places where he has some extended family and a few friends — Florida, South Carolina, Northern Michigan. He thinks about moving. But he never does. He tells them he’s too old to move. The will, the life have left him.

So he sits in his bungalow and drinks. He reads C.S. Lewis and The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton, and other spiritual literature in the hope that he will “see the light,” as the saying goes.

The other night he made the cat jump when he suddenly yelled: “I have seen the light — and it is black!”

The cat didn’t think it was funny, but he laughed his drunken ass off.

With Ed McMahon

There will never be another Johnny!


The King of Late Night TV hosted The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for thirty years between 1962 and 1992.

Back then, the Tonight Show was funny — unlike the current line-up of late-night TV shows that focus on politics where the smirking, unfunny hosts delight in bashing people.

When asked why his show avoided controversy, Johnny Carson said, “I think it would be a fatal mistake to use my show as a platform for controversial issues. I’m an entertainer, not a commentator. If you’re a comedian your job is to make people laugh.”

Now ain’t that the truth, and late-night TV just isn’t the same — and never will be — since Johnny died on this day, January 23, 2005, at he age of 79.






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Flashback: Convicted Politician Killed Himself On TV

JANUARY 22, 1987

At a TV press conference during which he was expected to announce his resignation, convicted Pennsylvania state treasurer R. Budd Dwyer pulled out a .357 revolver and killed himself. He was 47.

Before putting the barrel in his mouth and pulling the trigger, he told shocked reporters and officials to stay back, yelling “Don’t, don’t, don’t, this will hurt someone.”

Stay back!

Philadelphia station WPVI re-broadcast the suicide footage in full on their 5 and 6 p.m. broadcasts without warning to viewers. That video is the basis of the many copies that are still available online.

Harrisburg station WHTM-TV twice broadcast the uncut video. Many parents and their children were home due to a major snowstorm and saw the video.


Several other stations froze the footage prior to the gunshot and continued with just the audio, showing only the image of the dead man slumped on the floor.

Dwyer was to be sentenced the next day for taking a bribe from the California firm that won a lucrative state contract. He was found guilty on 11 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, perjury and interstate transportation in aid of racketeering.


A 2010 documentary about Dwyer’s life and death, Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer, was shown at the Carmel Art and Film Festival in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

William T. Smith, a former chairman of the Dauphin County Republican Committee and one of the key trial witnesses in Dwyer’s conviction, admitted that he lied under oath about the treasurer taking bribes in hopes of reducing his own sentence.


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