This is one of those non-gaming posts that I have long been threatening to write. I wish that the circumstances were different.
Last Sunday I got the dreadful news that a friend of mine had passed away. Ed was a tabletop buddy from the old days hanging out at Matrix Games, and while we were never “best buds” we did have a great deal in common and there was never any scent of acrimony between us despite the game store drama that inevitably came up in those parts, to which I was often a party, alas. Ed and I were also the only people in the area who were fans of Traveller, and we talked that up a great deal over the course of years.
Ed was one of the most naturally upbeat people I’ve ever met. I can’t recall that he ever spoke a genuinely unkind word about anyone, even though his wit was sometimes biting. He was a incorrigible practical joker; it wouldn’t have surprised me if the whole thing had been a put-on. Of course it wasn’t, but I would have been simultaneously outraged and overjoyed if it had. Everybody who wasn’t an irredeemable douchebag liked and respected Ed for his mild and genial nature, warm personality and penchant for never taking himself too seriously.
Ed was only 45. There were no indications that I was aware of that he was in ill health in any way. It was completely unexpected by everyone. I’m told it was quick and painless, and Ed made sure he’d leave a legacy, donating his body to research and medicine so that others would be helped now that he’s gone. Predictably, he even left us with jokes and non-funereal music. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to listen to Starship Trooper (Yes was another love shared by Ed and I,) the same way again. And maybe with perspective that will seem like a good thing.
This past weekend we drove up to the Cleveland area for the memorial service. The ceremony was lovely but I’m afraid I myself was more than a bit overwhelmed by it. It’s taken me a couple of days to get this out, and that’s why. I’ll miss Ed Cole. Cleveland gaming and Cleveland television, the field in which Ed worked and in which he was respected by all for his charm and professionalism, will miss Ed Cole. I wish Meredith, his wife, all the best moving forward, and I’m glad that she got the time that she did with him.