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The F Stops Here

Lee Quarnstrom
Reporter Lee Quarnstrom has worked for the San Jose Mercury News for the last 15 years, and previously with the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian for nine years. He was one of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters in the mid-'60s and was executive editor of Larry Flynt's notorious Hustler in the mid-'70s.

Lee Quarnstrom

'I always like what Lou Grant said--just put my hat on my head and put me out in the trash," says the loquacious newshound when asked about his last wishes. "Actually, I'd like a little graveside service with music that only I would like but that nobody in attendance could stand." In Quarnstrom's case--as many of his former friends know all too well--that means Hawaiian and tango music, and lots of it.

The big blonde wants to be buried head down, feet up. "That way it's environmentally sound--taking up less space," he says. "And I have always been known for my environmental concerns." Quarnstrom says that rather than a casket, he prefers that his body be buried--vertically--in a "big cigar tube."

Another thing the longtime Merc correspondent wants after his last exit: "To have a lot of women dressed like widows weeping at the grave site--or tarts." Well, we know that the oft-married Quarnstrom will automatically have a lot of widows at the gravesite. Whether they'll be weeping or not is not immediately obvious.

Where he's buried makes no difference whatsoever to LQ, though he'd like it to be "somewhere inconvenient with not much parking," he laughs.

"I don't really think about what happens after death, except that I won't have to see a computer ever again. I'm one of the people trying to divest myself of information. And don't say that I'm going to 'pass away,'" the columnist insists. "Say that I'm going to 'kick the bucket.' "

OK, Lee. When Quarnstrom kicks the bucket he is going to leave "a lot of crap in my house," and that concerns him. "I'd like to endow the Lee Quarnstrom Museum. It would essentially be my house on the Eastside, converted into a museum and filled with crap of no interest to anyone except for me."

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From the Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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