This cache is placed in memory of our cousin Lois’ husband, one of the finest men we have ever known, and one of the funniest, perhaps even peculiar. Paul was, by his own admission, a dumb kid who did not care for school, ironic considering the course of his later life. As a teenager he dropped out and got a job working at a golf course. Most golf course work is summer work, but Paul was a good worker and his boss offered him a job after the summer ended on one condition, he go back to school. Paul took the deal.
After high school Paul joined the Navy. After taking the usual battery of tests to determine his GT score (in the Army we called it your Army IQ) they gave him a list of jobs for which he was qualified. “Fire Control” caught his eye; fighting fires on a ship would be really cool. That’s not what they meant. They meant shooting those big guns. Paul was good at his job and rose quickly through the ranks, making chief petty officer in nine years. It’s been done in eight years, but nine is still pretty good.
Maintaining the guns in top working order was one of his most important responsibilities, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t have fun doing it. One of his favorite gags to pull on some unsuspecting kid, fresh out of training and newly assigned under him was to tell the kid to fetch him a Fallopian Tube Repair Kit. The poor kid, having no idea what Fallopian tubes are, wandered the whole ship asking everyone he met where he could find a Fallopian Tube Repair Kit. Paul had done this enough times that everybody else on board was in on the gag.
Somebody higher in the ranks recognized talent when he saw it and the Navy sent Paul to college with the promise of commission after graduation. Alas, medical problems arose and, after fourteen years in the Navy, instead of making Paul an officer they made him a civilian. Nevertheless, Paul stayed in school, eventually earning a master’s degree in education. He taught math for awhile and then moved into school administration, eventually retiring as principal of the Jack Benny Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois.
His medical problems persisted and the last decades of his life were lived in constant pain. Yet Paul loved to laugh and he and Best Girl became close phone buddies, each referring to the other as “Sicko.” Paul died three years ago. We loved him and we miss him terribly.
You can still see Paul in his native habitat at Split Rock Lighthouse. Among his many other accomplishments, Paul was the grandson of Keeper Covell, the second head lighthouse keeper at Split Rock. Paul spent much of his childhood at Split Rock. There was no fence in those days and he remembered being tethered to a post so that he could not fall over the cliff. Look for the picture of the whiney four-year-old boy with his parents and little sister on the wall of the visitors’ center. He always claimed he looked that way because the sun was in his eyes, but don’t you believe it. He was whiney and snively then, and to the end of his life. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it. Many of the artifacts you see in the keeper’s house belonged to his family. The uniform on the manikin was his grandfather’s. The toy chest was his and his siblings. As the oldest surviving child of Split Rock Lighthouse in attendance at the 100th anniversary celebration in 2010, Paul was honored to be the first in line at the ceremonial lighting of the lamp.
So what does all this have to do with Evil Alien Conquerors? Paul was a connoisseur of fine rotten movies. He loved them all, but Evil Alien Conquerors was his favorite. It is so deliciously dumb. From a purist’s point of view, perhaps Evil Alien Conquerors should not be considered a rotten movie because the main characters are supposed to be stupid. But Paul was never a purist and this is his cache in his honor.