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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Tuesday, August 12

The Waver - Ed Carlson

The Waver…how would you describe that guy? Well, he was odd, more than odd. On first sight you might think him unstable, mental, or “a poor thing” that “just wasn’t right”. However…Reno was blessed with the Waver for many years, amongst which I had the pleasure to have been waved to by him…and at the time didn’t realize what an intriguing eccentric character he actually is.

The Waver…he just walked, much like the part in the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest decided to run for a time. Waver just walked. Back & forth he walked between Reno & Carson City, our state’s capitol city. Looking much like a hippie, he just walked and waved…and SMILED. Think what you might want of him…after seeing him on multiple occasions, not knowing WHY he walked, but seeing the same guy over and again…his waves became a special part of your day if you happened to spot him. And then one day like Forrest Gump, he didn’t show up any more. You never saw him again, but yet on occasion…one might think, “Wonder what ever happened to The Waver?”

Well…come to find out…Waver had a name, and a story…one of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE…and one of conviction, and time tested loyalty. His memories are private and only his to know; but The Waver lives within all of us in our most private souls. The Waver married Bonnie Mumm after high school. After a supposed 20 year marriage, she left him and took their children with her. Nobody but them knows why, but it was over. I’m sure Bonnie Mumm has an intriguing story of her own. I would suppose though that whatever the circumstance, he found himself, and in finding himself, he found himself devastated and/or enlightened.

In the 1970’s he took to walking and waving. Strange character, but The Waver nonetheless, and all of us in the Reno/Carson valley area knew of him. After heart issues, he restricted his waving to only Reno to spread his “love”. Just a few years ago he moved back to one of his origins and remarried Bonnie so that she could work part time and have his benefits. He described that relationship renewed as “platonic”. Recently, they found out that Bonnie was dying of terminal cancer. Within that same couple of weeks, he lost his rented home to a flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bonnie Mumm (Carlson) died. In a recent interview The Waver made this comment, “The last few hours she was alive, I was laying next to her in bed and holding her hand,” Carlson said. “It was the first time in 30 years I had laid next to her.” Now that…combined with over 25 years of walking and waving…no matter how weird you are, is a story of unconditional love.

This man in speech would remind me of the epitome of a bleeding heart liberal, but yet…strange as he was…he was one of “those guys”…the kind that remind you that just when you think you’ve seen it all, perhaps you never met Ed Carlson The Waver. As a city, we share in your grief and miss honking our horns at you...crazy old bastard that we all loved.

If you are so inclined, and want a true glimpse into the bizarre mind of a man who touched thousands… CLICK HERE to see his video interview. If you would like to read his book, “I Walked to the Moon and Almost Everybody Waved”, CLICK HERE to order it at Amazon.com. Every city has an icon, Ed Carlson was ours…but he entranced many cities along his strange but personal journey.


CarlCSchmidt said...

The web address for the Ed Carlson Video has changed to: http://www.lightformfilms.com/EdCarlson.html