Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Meet Ed

Posted on | July 26, 2008 | No Comments

The more homogenized, digitized and stupidized our world becomes, the more it’s a joy to come across guys like Ed Davis. My wife, Heidi, on Screaming Lady, beat me to the punch with her wonderful post on the man, the myth.
Who’s Ed? Ed is a dying breed. He shoots straight, talks salty in the right situation and doffs his cap politely when called for in others.
He’s a bush pilot from Vancouver (born in the California Gold Country) I met last weekend up in the mountains at our annual ad hoc summer family reunion. Ed works with my cousin, John Fuller, whose 19-year-old son, Johnny, flew into the remote airstrip near our cabin in a Dehavilland Beaver, with Ed and Savi (a defacto family member) in tow. I was back at the cabin playing Grill Boy for dinner. My brother, Kirk, retrieved them from the strip, and when they piled out of his rig at the cabin they all had beers and Ed quickly introduced himself graciously. A moment later, he taught me that in Canada they spike their beers with vodka. It makes the beer last longer and do its job better. He didn’t add that it makes grilling a new adventure.
Heidi tells the story from here.
I’ll add a few details: John says his aviation company didn’t find Ed; he found them–even though their guy ended up on Ed’s lake outside Vancouver sort of by accident and came across this guy who pulls bass out of the lake in front of his place for breakfast. He broke his neck last year (at 64)….doing a flip on a trampoline.
The day he wanted to leave the cabin, he said he’d walk to the airstrip to pre-flight his plane. The strip is about two miles, a forbidding, rattlesnake-infested wash and a long fence away. On the way to the lake I drove by to hook up with my brother and check out the pre-flight. When I pulled up, Kirk said, “You haven’t seen Ed, by any chance, have you?”
Well, there is really only one road out there, and Ed wasn’t on it. He tried the short-cut. An hour later, he arrived at the plane after scratching his way under two fences, up a deer trail, through manzanita and across the wash, which was conveniently rattle-quiet that morning.
Before he showed up, I wrote part of the “Ballad of Airman Ed” in my head (still needs a few other verses; I-IV-V-I in a classic American folk beat):
“Airman Ed, Airman Ed We thought we’d find you dead
We thought we find you staked out on the ground
With a bunch of fire-red ants
Swarming all over your pants
Ed, Ed, we thought we’d find you dead.”

Ed was only up for two days. If you take in the other 23,700-plus days he’s lived, he’s a memoir waiting to be written.
Just before he took off for his six-hour flight to Canada Sunday morning, he thanked us graciously and then ceremonially walked behind one of the Beaver’s pontoons and took a leak.
You can sit in front of a computer all day, doing social networking, blogging, Twittering,IMing and generally obsessing in the tools that supposedly enliven our world today, and you’ll never come across a guy like Ed Davis. You may read about him. But you’ll never come across him.

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No Responses to “Meet Ed”

  1. Kerri
    July 29th, 2008 @ 9:59 am

    Yeah, but I’d like to see Ed write AJAX. 🙂

  2. Kirk Fuller
    July 30th, 2008 @ 9:53 am

    One correction to the story… I did not have a beer when I got out of the car… I quickly ran into the house and got one… Ed is the kind of guy that leaves a lasting imprint on you. He is just like the sound of the radial engine starting on the beaver. A little rough at first but once he gets going he purrs like a kitten and is still reliable after dropping a piston!

    Captain Kirk

  3. Greeley's Ghost
    August 6th, 2008 @ 10:09 am

    Hilarious, Kirk! That’s a lovely description!

  4. Anonymous
    December 9th, 2008 @ 9:26 am

    I know Ed. He’s been to many a party here, just down the road from where he lives. Once he brought an inversion machine and half the party ended up upside down. And no one puked.He’s also just arrived out of the blue in his old car with a glass of rum for me to sip on. Fast Eddie we call him. And there are some stories we can’t tell. Not unless you’re upside down with a bit of rum in your belly.

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