Ed (#764) 01-18-15

I have seen Ed before at five points in Sarasota, always holding a sign. Usually it is something about the ills of rampant capitalism, but today's message was “Violence Insults King's legacy.” When I approached Ed I was braced for a cantankerous curmudgeon. Instead, I got an open, friendly man who appeared delighted to talk. And be photographed.

Nearing martin Luther King's birthday, Ed puts the capitalism sign away and carries the “King's Legacy” instead. Ed is 94 years old, and still plays tennis. In fact he played tennis the morning that we met. In the past he was a doubles Florida Champion in the masters division. He was born in Cleveland and moved to Sarasota in 1948 (the year I was born). During his career, he was a lithographic stripper in the printing industry, a job that no longer exists.

He has a holistic view of society and is jaded by our government. Ed seems nearly outraged by the behavior of industry and the banks. And he is very sympathetic to the people, both here and abroad, who are adversely effected by them. He is open minded about the meaning of God – one daughter moved to Israel and converted to Judaism. Ed has carried the signs for many years. Only once did a man become hostile to the capitalism sign, and tried to take it away. Passersby came to Ed's defense and the sign was saved.