By Richard Mabey Jr.
If there was ever a true-life Richie Cunningham and Fonzie, it was my cousin, Edward Mabey and
myself. I was the clean-cut scout leader, being a bit shy and Ed wore a leather jacket, was outgoing and
was bigger than life.
Although we were cousins, we were closer than a lot of brothers are. Ed is a few years younger than me.
Ed was in his early twenties, when his mom and dad moved to Nevada. Ed moved into the old Mabey
Homestead with us for a few years. It was during those years that Ed and I grew to become brothers in
It was in the late 1970’s that Ed, my sister Patti, and myself were all taking evening classes at County
College of Morris. Ed was studying engineering, Patti was studying psychology and I was taking a lot of
various writing classes. After working all day at our respective jobs, we would quickly eat supper and
then zoom up Route 10 to County College. It was a grand and glorious time.
Ed was an outstanding bowler and I was a wonderfully mediocre bowler. But it didn’t matter at all. I
remember it was on Wednesday evenings that none of us had any classes. Ed and I would drive out to
Boonton Lanes and bowl two or three games. There was the old refreshment stand, the sound of all the
bowling balls rolling down the aisles and hitting the pins, and the echo of a dozen different conversations
filling up the bowling alley. I remember it as a most magical and wonderful era.
Ed and I actually fell of the Grand Canyon for the girl next door. For a while, it created a bit of a conflict
for us. It was Ed who won Tammy’s affection with his outgoing charm. They did date for a while, but
both of them decided that it was better for them to be neighborhood friends than to have a romantic
relationship. Despite it all, Ed and I remained as close as brothers.
Today, Ed is married and has two sons. While we do keep in touch with Facebook, our rapport of being as
close as brothers had dissipated quite a bit. Kind of sad in a way, but it’s just the way life is at times.
In memory, I can return to that magical era when Ed’s bedroom was just down the hallway from me, in
the old Mabey Homestead. We would take breaks from studying in our rooms, and go downstairs and
have hot chocolate and a couple of oatmeal cookies. It was a simpler time.
The fiber, the weave, the echo of those days that we thought we’d stay young and never grow old, haunt
me at times. Sometimes, I awaken at two in the morning from having dreamt of their memory. At 69 years
old now, I regret not taking more pictures during that magical and mystical era.
As George Harrison sang to us all those years ago, “all things must pass.” Cherish your loved ones, that
you still have with you. Hold them dear to your heart. Time and physical distance can often cause close
family ties to fade. Sometimes, the good Lord will call a loved one Home to Heaven. For all that any of us
really have, is this sacred moment in time. Show your dear family members the love you have for them.
None of us really know what tomorrow will bring.
Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.