A send-off fit for a king

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Editorial -

I met Ed some 40 years ago when I re­turned to the Green Bay Area and, as the old say­ing goes, we clicked and re­mained friends un­til his death.

Ed, in his own words, lived the good life – good job, in­volved in com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and most of all a lov­ing fam­ily and gads of friends. In his own words, he had wealth. He wasn’t a mil­lion­aire but he had what he needed.

Shortly af­ter Ed re­tired he was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent that changed his life for­ever. My thoughts at that time were how cruel can life be; this was a well­re­spected man who con­trib­uted a lot to so­ci­ety, just re­tired and go­ing to en­joy some leisure time and do the things that, when you’re work­ing, you don’t have time for.

The same time Ed was at the Health Sci­ences af­ter the ac­ci­dent, my son was in the next room hav­ing surgery. I hung around the hall hop­ing I could see him as he wasn’t al­lowed any vis­i­tors. Af­ter a while O.H. (Mar­ian) took me in. The first words he said to me, “Wil­fred will we have a food fish­ery this year?”

Ed was a true ad­vo­cate for ru­ral NL and was of the opin­ion you should be able to catch a fish for the ta­ble when­ever you wanted to, same as you could get wood to warm your home. I guar­an­teed Ed he would be able to catch a fish that sum­mer, hop­ing to make him feel bet­ter.

Ed never did get his life back to nor­mal but that did not stop him. He con­tin­ued his writ­ings and es­pe­cially “The View From Here.” I looked for­ward ev­ery week to read his ar­ti­cles as did many other peo­ple, won­der­ing what the topic would be or what O.H. was up to.

The last time I saw Ed was some months ago at a fu­neral of one of his friends. He said to me. “I hear you on Open Line some­times.” I replied, “I don’t be on much lately, I don’t think any­one is lis­ten­ing to me be­cause noth­ing changes.” His re­ply was one I will al­ways cher­ish: “Wil­fred I lis­ten to you,” and com­ing from Ed Smith, that meant a lot.

Ed’s fu­neral was one of a kind. Record­ings of Ed and Pat’s songs were played be­fore the ser­vice, the ma­jor­ity of the ser­vice were quotes of Ed’s writ­ings read by mem­bers of the fam­ily and friends, and we all know Ed’s writ­ings were full of hu­mor and fun.

The re­ces­sional, Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary’s by Otto Kel­land, was very fit­ting for Ed.

It was a send-off fit for a king. I will miss the Christ­mas cards but I will not for­get.

Bon voy­age dear friend, rest in peace.

Wil­fred Bartlett

Green Bay South

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