‘Paradis’ on Laurel Street

I ran into the donut shoppe on Laurel Street for an iced coffee the other morning and ran right into Ed Paradis. I knew it was going to be a good day.
I’ve known Ed since he was a kid. His big brother Mike, who died way too soon several years ago, was one of my best friends.
I typed Ed’s name countless times when he was a high school and college football player. In college he had the distinction of being named All State in two different states in the same year. He might be the only player in history who can lay claim to that. He finished up a two year stint at Palo Verde junior college in Southern California and was named All State in California. Before the year was out, he was playing for Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was named All State in Pennsylvania.
At Pittston Area High School, Ed’s alma mater, Coach Bob Barbieri instituted the practice of giving a white helmet to the best defensive player from the previous game. I once asked another former Patriot Bob Licata if he remembered the famed white helmet. “You mean Eddie Paradis’s helmet?” he asked.
I’ve always thought Ed could be a stand up comedian. Still do.
Back when he worked in construction there was always a pick axe, a shovel and a wheel barrow leaning up against the side of his house. Somebody asked him one day if he wasn’t afraid someone would steal them. “Steal them?” Ed asked. “All you can do with those things is work. Who’d want to steal them?”
He was just as sharp Monday morning at the donut shoppe. Somehow the conversation turned to the years he spent working in the Philippines. He told me he was invited to a banquet one night and the main course was dog. “It didn’t taste bad,” Ed said. “But my stomach was growling for three days.”
Rim shot.
I had to run so Ed walked me out to the car. Mainly because he had more material.
“I don’t understand all those medications for erectile dysfunction,” he said. “All a guy has to do is go to the junk yard and find a back seat from an old car, the kind he drove to the drive-in movies when he was a kid, and put it in his bedroom. Ya know what I mean?”
Yes, I knew what he meant.
“And it wouldn’t hurt if he could find one of those old speakers they used to give you,” Ed added. “Put that right there in the bedroom too.”
He may be on to something.

Ed Ackerman