A send-off fit for a king
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.
Green Bay South