That’s him. I’m sitting on his lap. Actually, I rushed in and jumped on his lap just before the picture was taken because I thought it would be fun. Or maybe funny. It wouldn’t have been, of course, but what do kids know. You can see that he and his then wife, Elsie, appear to be a kindly tolerant couple, enjoying the antics of a fun little boy. But really, on the inside, they are thinking how annoying I am and why am I flitting here and there when the adults are trying to have a party. His name wasn’t really Ediola Manzkenstein, it was Ed Manz. Or at least that’s what he went by at the time. He just told me his name was Ediola when I asked him. Later he became known as Carl Manz. He was my father’s best friend for a very long time. I remember him as pretty easy going.
I’m not certain of his entire story, but I believe he came in to the picture around something to do with my father’s time in the army. Maybe they were army buddies and went AWOL together. Don’t know for sure, but they remained friends right up until my father’s death. In fact, after Ed and Elsie parted ways, Ed/Carl was allowed to marry my father’s youngest sister, Laura. Auntie Lolly we called her.
Here she is when she was still Lolly. Looks like a day at the zoo, back in 1955. She wasn’t together with Ed/Carl back then. In fact, in this picture she was only 15. It’s amazing that MC Hammer pants were in style way back then.
Auntie Lolly had a tryst with a young man by the name of Fabian, about 5 years after this photo, and they begat my cousin Kevin, out of wedlock. Born at roughly the same time as the Angel Monster, they became good friends as very young youngsters and remained so, until we moved away again. Ed/Carl became stepdad to Kevin after he and Lolly married. Ediola stayed with her right up until she died from metastatic cancer at the age of 38. Seven months from onset until death. She also got gangrene in her right leg a few days before she died. Maybe that’s what actually killed her. She never got a chance to grow old. He signed her death certificate ‘Edmund Carl Manz’. He signed my father’s death certificate 5 years earlier, but just as Carl Manz, brother-in-law.
The last time I saw him was around 1970 when I took the long and boring day-liner journey to La Pas Manitoba to fetch the Angel Monster back from time he was spending with our father. They lived there, in the small northern Manitoba town. The Campbells were there too and so was my Icelandic Grandfather (Afi), Magnus Jonsson. Ed invited me to make a grocery delivery run with him to a logging camp. We drove out over the frozen landscape, it was about 900 degrees below zero, and unloaded boxes of groceries from the back of a 5 ton.
Easy going, that is how I remember him. I am told, though, by people that have known him recently, that he was a harsh step-dad to Kevin and that the easiness left him, and he grew into a crabby old man. I guess that can happen, at least that’s what I plan to grow in to, a crabby old man.
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