Thursday, November 6, 2008

Iconic Seattle Mucisian Dies

I came to my blog to post about Obama's great victory and clicked on my favorite daily blog Seattle Daily Photo link at the right of this page>>>>>>

I noticed today's article "Seattle's Beloved Tuba Man Silenced" and was shocked to see when I continued reading that I knew this person.

Goodbye Sweet Ed

As The United States of America celebrates the victory of president elect Barack Obama, the city of Seattle mourns the loss of a special person. This is the second memorial posted to my blog in a week, the first about Obama's grandmother, this one hits closer to home.

This week we lost a sweet soul due to a horrible senseless assault by young thugs roaming the streets unsupervised.

When my son and I arrived at the Emerald City, from the east coast fall of 2005, Ed happened to be in the lobby of our apartment building, he had been a resident there for some time. Ed welcomed us with a big smile and asked if he could give us a hug, that was my first impression of him. He struck me as a free soul, a kindred spirit, an 'independent dealer of mirth' as Art Thiel, columnist of the Seattle PI described him.

We settled with our busy lives a mere block away from the Space Needle in a studio apt that I loved directly above Ed's studio.

My son returned to his job at sea on a ship confident that I was in a decent place in good hands with friends and a helpful building staff.

Every time I ran into Ed anywhere in the building, doing laundry, in the lobby, outdoors...he always wore a smile and if he noticed that you were having a particular difficult time his mission was to make you smile and make you forget your troubles, always offering help, holding a door, offering to carry packages...

Ed had a bit of a reputation as mischievous prankster.

One particular thing I noticed, he owned a large collection of hats and they were usually themed, if he attended a game he wore one corresponding to it, one particular chicken hat cracked me up every time I saw it on his head.

I ran into Ed once and when I asked him about his day he told me he had been outside Key Arena, most probably during a Sonics game, when a Seattle radio station, the wolf 100.7 FM, asked him to howl for a television commercial they were filming.

One evening while my son was visiting, sitting in front of the tv, I heard him say 'Isnt that your neighbor?' sure enough, Ed's howling smiling face covered the screen with the Space Needle poised behind him.

Months after I moved from the studio into an apt in Greenwood, a very cool Seattle neighborhood, the commercial was still running, it always made me smile to see Ed howling for the camera, he was such a ham.

During one of my shopping trips I found a cool hat and immediately thought of Ed, when I presented it to him as a show of appreciation for his warm Seattle welcome on that stressful fall evening he was so thankful and grateful I had thought of him it touched me deeply.

His loss to this city is great, so great that Art Thiel called the Seahawks to help arrange a memorial at Qwest Field, one of Ed's favorite hang outs, Wednesday November 12 at 6:30 PM.


I am a firm believer that one simple word, one act can touch someone's life forever, Ed's kindness touched many and he did not deserve this.

Tuba Man was a grin set to music

Images and videos of Ed

All musicians are invited to play at a special, musical memorial

Saturday, November 8th


In front of McCaw Hall


Added Nov. 18, 2008

It has been almost a week since we buried Ed. Thanks to the generosity of so many people, hundreds, probably thousands...Ed's family was able to pay for his funeral.
So many other folks donated their services, the Pastor, a funeral home donated the casket, so many many kind beautiful people.

I was one of the folks at the private funeral service. I will scan the program so that folks can see it, a tuba pin was also given along with the program as a memento.

Images of Ed as a child and many others shared by folks who had their photo taken with Ed flashed on a screen. We told of our personal Ed experiences, his childhood music teacher who first taught Ed to play on the piano, friends from childhood and beyond, people he met in so many different places not just in the streets of Seattle, many touching funny stories.

I told how on a fall night after driving the biggest moving truck in the fleet over so many mountain passes from the east coast, we arrived at our destination in Belltown exhausted and sleep deprived, the task of finding a parking spot for the massive truck began...'Good luck!' many told us, all we wanted to do was crash for a couple of hours, as we had a long day ahead of us meeting a crew that would help us move it all into a storage unit downtown.

My son finally found two parking spots in a private lot across the street right under the watchful eye of the Space Needle. As we finally made our way back into the building Ed happened to be standing in the lobby, to the side, a smile on his face, not pushy, I thought probably eccentric friendly fella in a funny hat, watchful, waiting for the right moment where he seemed to want to find a way to make us feel just a little better, to take our minds away from our pressing needs and make us realize that we should be thankful, that we had finally arrived and that our journey was only just beginning.

Ed asked very simply if he could give us a hug, he also planted a quick peck on my cheek. That was my first Seattle impression.

A beautiful oil image of Ed playing his tuba sat on an easel next to a gleaming copper casket, on top sat a fall arrangement of flowers with his furry orange and green Dr Zeus hat. Later under a canopy, as we said goodbye to Ed on a rainy November Seattle day his brother barely able to contain his sadness stood in front of the casket and reverently, respectfully with all the honor Ed deserved saluted him one last time.

Ed's story makes it to the NY Times

Video of Tribute to Ed.

Added 11.22.08 {click on the image to enlarge}

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