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One last goodbye to Eddie Basha

Have you noticed that your grocery bag is somehow a little heavier today?

The colors of the produce don’t seem to be as bright. Nothing tastes the same. You see, my grocer just died.

Oh, he wasn’t just my grocer. Everybody knew Eddie Basha. Even if you bought your family’s food at Safeway or Fry’s, Eddie was the one you recognized on TV or in the paper or serving the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army. It was all the same Eddie.

Everybody also knew that Eddie Basha was committed to children’s education, but most of you had no idea that he loved kids so much that, for years, Bashas’ supermarkets were the folks who put all those goodies in the Ladmo bags.

For years, I knew Eddie Basha as a respected, skilled businessman, an unconditionally generous philanthropist, a devoted husband and father with the sense of humor of a Lebanese pixie. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m obligated to tell you that there was one thing Eddie Basha was lousy at: politics.

When he ran for governor, he kept telling the truth.

Eddie, you told me your father always expected a kiss from you to show your affection. That’s how you raised your boys. So i hope it’s OK if I give you this one last kiss, because I love you, Eddie.

I’m Pat McMahon.