Still, Gloria DeJongh says, Lorraine had her doubts.
"When Lorraine came back from her trip, she wondered if she should be marrying Mr. Eddie," Gloria says. "I think she really loves the guy, but she didn't know if it was the right thing to do. But she knew he would be devastated if she backed out."
Lorraine's divorce became final December 22, the same day, coincidentally, that a Superior Court judge sentenced her to probation on the disorderly conduct rap.
Ed wanted to get married before the end of the year--"Good for tax reasons," he grunts--and the couple needed a car. He says he wanted to buy a red Cadillac, just as he once had for Alice Anne, but Lorraine convinced him it was more practical to buy a van with a wheelchair lift. The two shopped, and, after Ed did most of the negotiating with a dealer, he wrote a $4,000 check as a down payment on a used van.
Later, Ed says, he realized he should have put the down payment on his VISA credit card to accumulate bonus "points" for his cruises. The dealer cut him a check for $4,000. Lorraine was in the process of depositing it on January 6 when she nearly collided with investigators from the County Attorney's Office.
This was the supposed "$40,000 withdrawal" that Paul Blunt referred to in court papers. Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the County Attorney's Office says Blunt got it wrong, that the investigators never told Blunt it was a $40,000 withdrawal.
According to the investigators' report: "Investigator [Frank] Gary glanced at what paperwork [Lorraine DeJongh] had in front of her and . . . obtained a quick glance at what looked like a bank slip that was completed in the amount of either $4,000 or $40,000."
"Au contraire," counters Blunt. "An investigator specifically told me he had seen a bank withdrawal totaling $40,000--his very words. When he'd confronted her [Lorraine] about it, she referred them to her lawyer and walked away from him. That's a big red flag. You put it all together, we saw no reason not to go for protective proceedings on a legal argument that Lorraine was unduly influencing Ed."
Blunt backed off his "undue influence" argument after Ed Gamble acquitted himself so well during the hearing before Commissioner Gary Donahoe.
On January 19, Donahoe dismissed the petition for a temporary guardianship and conservatorship for Ed.
Ed Gamble himself was forced to pay Blunt's fees, which still has him steaming. Gary Gamble had paid Blunt a $50,000 retainer fee with Ed's money. Blunt will end up collecting about $12,500, and must return the rest to the trust.
The criminal case, if there ever was one, against Lorraine Gamble, also went nowhere. Investigators from the County Attorney's Office submitted their final report on the matter a few weeks ago. It says in part:
". . . Our office has no evidence to refute the findings of the two psychological evaluations and that of the witnesses, including Judge Tolby, who felt Gamble was aware of his marriage to DeJongh. . . . The [Wells Fargo Bank] records do not reflect any outrageous or fraudulent behavior."
The authorities and the television cameras have moved on, leaving Ed Gamble and Lorraine DeJongh Gamble to sort out the rhythms of their relationship in relative anonymity.
Ed doesn't plan on dying soon--"Might as well make 150, no reason why not," he says--and Lorraine vows to stay by his side as long as he wants her. Asked why he reckons he's lived so long, Ed resorts to another one-liner.
"I can run faster than most of the guys that have been chasing me," he says. After he stops laughing, he looks around for Lorraine, who's back in the kitchen.
Ed Gamble reaches for his horn, and toots loudly.
Contact Paul Rubin at his online address: [email protected]