About Edward Post, 1921-2006

I walked out of Memorial Hall with Erik and Mani after hearing Joan Didion give a reading on the first year of her life after the passing of her husband. Didion’s experiences became the contents of The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir that the New York Times characterized as one of the ten most memorable books of 2005.

It gave me a lot to think about.

“I felt grief in waves,’ she read. She described a kind of grief that comes and goes, that constrict ed her throat and sates hunger.

I thought about that as we walked in the early spring air. Upon departing, I opened up my cell phone to call Susie. Susie took off for Salisbury after lunch to spend the day with her father.

She answered without a greeting. “I think he is gone,” were her only words.

Susie cried. I told her that she loved him and he knew it. She cried some more. Then I heard commotion in the background. Susie hung up. Eddie died before he arrived at Rowan Regional Hospital.

I am rocking on a porch swing out back of 125 E. Corriher. There is a foos ball table and a ping pong board on the deck. Eddie made the deck treated wood. He carved a spot in the wood to give a spot for a large tree. Now that tree holds grilling tools.

The early evening light casts a blue light on the dark shadows. Andrew Eton interviews Rose, Jonny, Phyllis, Susie and David. The room glows in yellow warmth. Pictures of two Pliskens stare directly out through the glass of the sliding doors.

It is not my place to suggest the interpretation of his life for his funeral. But if I had the opportunity, I would say that his legacy comes from his ability to teach, and to teach with love. Eddie had a lot of loves. He loved tennis, skiing, and bridge. The games near me are further testimony of his search for avocation.

I remember our last conversation. Eddie was lying in bed. Eddie spent most of every day of his last months in bed. We made a bet. Forty cents — I pick any four teams, he gets the rest, for the winner of the NCAA tournament.

He played a lot. He always said “bend your knees.”

He ran Zimmerman’s Department Store. He had several storefronts in downtown Salisbury, as well as branches in a few other communities.

“If someone wants to see one pair of shoes,” he said, “don’t bring back fewer than three pairs.”

You can see the results in his family. It is not just that they all play tennis well. Although they do all play it well. Today Jonny played racquetball. His comment about the game was that he let a player who was equal in skill to him win the match. That is not normal for Jonny. Normally, Jonny works hard enough to win that match.

People never really cease to exist if they remain alive in the minds of others. I’ll take Duke, UConn, George Washington, and West Virginia. You can have the rest. Have a tic-tac, while you are at it.


One Response to “About Edward Post, 1921-2006”

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