Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh, The People You'll Meet

       When I took up the game of bridge, all I wanted to do was get out of the house and hang out with friends. The Bridge Center  seemed a better alternative to the local tavern. I had no idea the fascinating people I would meet.

       Ed Holcomb of Gloversville, New York and Charleston, South Carolina was one. When I met him five years ago I was shocked to learn he was 88 years old. Fit and sharp and still handsome, he and his wife Nan, who was 90, were having dinner with the group before our bridge game when Nan got chilly. I saw Ed quickly finish up his dinner and say he would be back before the game started. Twenty-eight minutes and one pale blue sweater later, Ed returned. He had driven 12 miles back to their home just to keep Nan comfortable.

       He was a brilliant physician. His credentials include Chief of Staff and Chief of Medicine at Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, New York; and Captain of the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII. He was an avid sailor and the oldest active fencer with the United States Fencing Team. He was an intelligent, generous and kind man.

       His son told us about the cabin his dad built by hand for their family in the Adirondacks in the early 60s. He used wood from an old ramshackle barn. One night friends in a neighboring cabin had drunk so much beer they had a tower of empty beer cans. Ed decided to use the tin cans (pre-aluminum) and build a radio antenna. Sure enough his son remembers being able to get a station out of Madagascar. Who does this kind of stuff?

       But he had me when he walked in with Nan's sweater. Rest in peace, Ed.

No comments:

Post a Comment