'Eddie will live on'

Dateline: Thu 25 Mar 2010

The following memories are from David Mannweiler, former Indianapolis News columnist, Star columnist and travel editor/features writer --- and if you did not know Eddie, he was a small guy, animated and almost always on a mission (and invariably cheerful):

"Two years ago, just before I retired, Eddie (who retired in 1993) was not doing well healthwise. I got our library to pull clips of stories on Eddie, including one I did on the day after Eddie retired. I wrote then that the newsroom had a totally different feeling the first day without Eddie, that there was a void that could be felt. I told an editor I
thought we should have an obit prepared, with stories and legends, etc., and my dear editor asked, "Why would anyone reader want to read that?" It may be the single dumbest comment I ever heard an editor make.
Eddie survived, but the story was never written. Too bad.

"I do recall Gene (Pulliam, publisher) asking Eddie why he was acting down and Eddie responding he had been told he could not take vacation during the Hamilton County Fair. That was akin to telling the Pope he couldn't hold
Christmas Mass at the Vatican. Gene picked up the phone and told the editors Eddie would be on vacation during the fair, take care of it.

"For years, Eddie gave Gene and Wendell Phillippi (former News managing editor)  a large can on really awful pipe tobacco at Christmas, back in the days when a lot of Newsies smoked pipes. Long, long after WCP and Gene gave up their pipes, Eddie gave them another can of pipe tobacco every Christmas. I know it went on for at least five years because those tobacco cans wound up on my desk. Didn't matter to Eddie. He was self-programed to
do something the same way he had always done it --- he wore his winter coat and boots in Spring even if it was 60 degrees outside. Never bothered Eddie. He had two dozen pens in his plastic pocket protector, too bad if you didn't. If he said "one of the twins is having a birthday today," you didn't think of correcting him. Eddie
had his version of the world and it was simple and it was why Eddie lead a very happy life. Who else could show you his new watch, which he had inherited from his late father and remark, "I came out pretty good in that deal, huh?"

"Eddie will live on, however. I opened the city desk mail each morning looking for "names in the news" to go on the bottom of my column. In 1980, the city desk mail included letter from The People's Almanac's The Book of Predictions asking an editor at The News to predict the five biggest headlines or news stories in 1985. Mr. LaFollette and I filled out the form in the name of Edwin O. Park. On Page 709 of The Book of Predictions published by Bantam in November 1980, under "Newsmen Who Voted" in "Leading Newsmen Pick Biggest Headlines of The Future," are predictions from syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, Clayton Kirkpatrick of the Chicago Tribune, Richard S. Salant of CBS News, Jack Kisling of the Denver Post and Edwin O. Park of the
Indianapolis News. Eddie never knew; Eddie would not have cared. But Eddie will live on!"


THANKS, DAVID. Also, Eddie's obit is in the Star this morning.


EllaSpeed [unverified] said:

Eddie was the newsroom version of Dostoevsky’s Prince Myshkin.

2010-03-25 07:16:03

ruthholl [Member] said:

That is wonderful. Thanks for writing that.

2010-03-25 09:34:05

Jan Kreuscher [unverified] said:

In the late '70s, I committed the cardinal sin of taking a paper off Eddie's cart instead of waiting for him to deliver the paper to me. (And then I compounded it by trying to explain why I needed it sooner rather than later and wouldn't put it back.) Yikes!!! I never did that again. You sometimes could win over WCP but not Eddie.

2010-03-25 10:16:24

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Thanks, thanks, thanks for sharing this. It made me take a nice pause and remember.

2010-03-25 12:51:21

ruthholl [Member] said:

If any of you is on Facebook, go to The Great Hoosier Daily page started by Jim Lindgren.
John Flora has posted a wonderful video of Edwin -- it's quite long -- Edwin coming to work, settling in, having some food, making coffee, etc. You will see lots of familiar faces.
It's sort of The News version of "Gone With The Wind."
I may be able to post it here, too, but in the meantime, it is up and running now.

2010-03-26 06:17:58

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Eddie was standing at a bulletin board when Wendell Phillipi joined him. It was payday and Eddie had recently put in overtime, reflected in his heftier paycheck. Eddie proudly told Wendell, "I'll bet my check is bigger than yours." Wendell modestly replied, "Well, no, Eddie, probably not." "Oh- that's right," said Eddie, "you type."

2010-03-26 07:28:50

ruthholl [Member] said:

Lord, they just keep getting better....all of you, great reading.

2010-03-26 09:22:38

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