Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Ode to Ed June 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 10:35 am

It is with a heavy heart and a profound sense of sadness today, that I write this blog in honor of my dear, old friend, Ed Beckwith who died suddenly yesterday, while enjoying a game of golf on Father’s Day. I have known Ed for about thirty years, having met him when I was in college at  and had found work as a cook at the Daily Planet restaurant in Burlington, VT. At that time Ed was a dishwasher and bartender, and we connected right off. Ed’s future wife, Beth-Anne was my kitchen manager, and my time there, though relatively brief, was marked by what was overall a wonderful place to work and a great crew of interesting, bright and fun people. When I left “the Planet” and moved to Boston to move on to the next phase of my life, Ed came with me in the form of regular letters and cards – which were always, interesting, personal, full of wisdom and very, very witty. Ed was a great writer and I looked forward those letters like they were little celestial gifts. Once he had included a note pad that he made for me with a picture of a female bowler, circa 1950, and the personalized message on top “A Note from Lisa Borchetta”. (I made that pad last as long as I possibly could, and doled out the sheets very judiciously, as each time I saw them they made me laugh.)

As time passed, the letters became less frequent – falling into the pattern of the once a year holiday letter – but they were precious nonetheless. From a distance, I saw Ed become a father – and heard all about the joys that his son, Henry and daughter, Natalie brought to his life. I learned of the comings and goings of the Planet folks that I knew, and heard little stories about his life with Beth-Anne. When I became a mom, Ed sent a collection of books to my son, which contained some of the favorite stories of both my boys’ childhoods and started the “book giving” tradition in me that I still continue when someone I know has a baby.

But life moves on and eventually we lost touch with each other. Every few years or so when I would visit Burlington I would try to find Ed at the Planet or at the Crow Bookstore where he eventually went to work, happily surrounded by books in a job that fed his keen mind and inquisitive soul. A year ago, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Ed when I went to Burlington with my son on a college-visit tour. It was brief but lovely. You see, as for many, we’d re-connected on Facebook three years ago, which facilitated actually being able to make a plan for the visit. I maintain to this day, that re-connecting with Ed was the best thing about Facebook. In addition to just being in touch with an old friend again, Ed took FB to new heights, daily posting comments that you actually wanted to read, “bar notes” that he had saved from his days at the Planet, old photos that were classically nostalgic and American, and witty tidbits that engaged his many friends. In addition, he was constantly, supportive with his comments and “likes” and you just couldn’t help but feeling his presence when you logged in each day. Not only that but Ed was always happy to be the conduit – through which I reconnected with other folks from my past – happy to make FB introductions for old friends and co-workers. Last Christmas, Ed sent me a copy of “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol – after learning on FB that like him, I had always been a huge fan of this odd little musical rendition. That’s just the kind of guy Ed is…

So, it was not “un-fitting” when I received a post from his brother-in-law (one of the people from my past that Ed had re-connected me with) letting me know about Ed’s sudden, and un-timely passing. And as I read the posts from the friends and family members who are paying their respects to Ed and his family on this “social network” what is clear (beyond the strange new world that we live in) is that this man touched and moved everyone who knew him. He lived a simple life of enormous quality. He is recounted over and over again for his wit, gentleness, intelligence, warmth, wisdom, humor, and kindness. He possessed a sense of gratitude and wonder – filtered through a clear and crisp mind and distilled to others by a kind heart. This is a man who lived a meaningful life and touched the lives of all those with whom he came in contact. He will be sorely missed by many and the love and outpouring of support for his family and friends is a testament to the goodness of the man.

I am so very sad to hear that Ed is gone, and my deepest condolences go to his family and friends. But I am also so very, very grateful to be one of the many people who Ed considered a friend. And the love and legacy he left behind is testament to the unique and beautiful person that he was. Rest in Peace, Sweet Ed – and thank-you for all of the warmth and smiles that you have given us. This world will not be the same without you.


4 Responses to “Ode to Ed”

  1. Megan J. Humphrey Says:

    Lisa, Thank you so much for this sweet and lovely tribute to Ed, filled with memories galore of his life so very well lived. I still live here in Burlington and would stop by Crow every time that I was downtown—I just saw him last week. And you are correct in noting that this world will just not be the same without his presence in it. And so, the tears flow and my heart goes out to all of us who have lost such a precious person—all the way from Beth-Ann to his family to his zillions of friends. Best, Megan

  2. Erin Stoddard Says:

    Lisa, that was beautiful. I can see that you and Ed share the same soul.

  3. I wish I could stop crying. Every word that is said of Ed is perfect. generous. kind. witty. intelligent. compassionate. whimsical. open hearted. lovely. friend. friend. friend. and with all his sweetness, not a pushover. he did not suffer fools gladly, but he never was deliberately mean. I have a thousand little anecdotes about him swirling in my head, and a thousand instances of his kindnesses. his wonderful encyclopedic mind, recalling a story, or an event or which book a certain passage was in. his love of family, and pride in their accomplishments…I am so grateful I got to see him briefly last week at crows, he was in great form, we were talking about those fab bar notes he was posting on fb…and he was laughing that kind of shy laugh of his…I think over the years I have talked with him about every topic under the sun, when I was sad or confused he offered comfort, when happy and excited he shared the joy. I am imagine everyone who knew him will say the same. this loss is so incredible. and I keep crying. wonder what Ed would say about that. much love to you sweet, sweet friend. a piece of you will live
    in a the thousand heart you have so dearly touched.

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