I don’t recall the exact moment of how and when I first met Ed Ward. I know it was somewhere here or there in an online group dedicated to the early years of Rolling Stone magazine. He stood out with his resolute responses, sprinkled with a large dose of cynicism and probably my awe at his “how can anyone possibly know this” knowledge. On my first trip to Austin, Ed and I, decided to take his car to Kruez Market in Lockhart for BBQ. Ed’s infatuation with BBQ was like a whole other monster. He must have been so consumed with visions of brisket and Texas Clod as we left for Lockhart, that he apparently didn’t notice how stifling hot it was in his car. Taking matters into my own hands, I tried to roll the window down, but the handle came off and part of the roller assembly somehow fell into the door. Ed came out of his smoked jalapeño sausage trance and as the sweat dripped from his brow he snapped “what did you do to my car?! You broke it!” Keep in mind, the engine rattled, the upholstery on the ceiling was hanging down, the fuel gauge was stuck and did I mention the spare donut tire on the rim? I meekly responded “I’m sorry, I had no idea it was broken.” Ed replied “Well it wasn’t broken until you broke it!” We did make it to Lockhart somehow, via Ed’s middle finger and some fits of road rage sprinkled in. As I later learned, Ed’s life at this point was always about getting by on the seat of his pants. He could bang the empty flour barrel in times of need, and somehow always find a way to get by. As cantankerous as he could be, he had the biggest heart and you couldn’t ask for a better friend. His passing left a huge hole in my life. When I talked to him last, he was planning on possibly relocating to the Hudson Valley area of New York and he seemed pretty upbeat about taking an orientation trip out there in early May to check things out. I think he would have had a fresh outlook on life and it would have been a healthy move for him. I do get some joy though, even in death- knowing that by now Ed has found the best taco truck in the afterlife. He’s probably standing in line somewhere with his khaki conversion zipper pants and his obsolescent aloha shirt running the menu through his mind like a chess master working on a checkmate. Ed, I will miss you.
This was written for the Ed Ward Memorial site put up by his sister Louise. https://www.edwardmemorial.net/