Sunday, August 1, 2010

Edwin Gardner In Memoriam

The vast majority for what is posted on this site including the photos, is original content.

But every once and awhile, I "stumble upon" something that deserves your attention.

Frequent visitors to Cedar Posts know that this author works and lives in Charleston as well as Charlotte, which often makes for a very interesting contrast.

I didn't know Edwin Gardner but he was a part of my life just the same. He was someone I saw often in and around the Charleston City Marina, on the nearby streets and on the water.

You should follow the link at the botton of the story to the Charleston City Paper story by Jonathan Sanchez.

"I remember running into him at an estate sale one morning ..... and we were walking around this old lady's cramped little apartment South of Broad. There was a tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5 in the bathroom.

"Oh, see this was the bottle of expensive perfume, this was her lottery ticket, her last hope. She was saving this for the day she met that wealthy suitor who would take her away from all this."

"He never said a dull thing" reports Jonathan.

A memorial on the corner of Montagu Street and Lockwood Boulevard commemorates 64-year-old Edwin Gardner, a cycling and rowing enthusiast.

July 29, 2010

In Memoriam

In tribute to Edwin Gardner, a man truly about town

By Stephanie Hunt

Charleston lost one of its gems last week when activist Edwin Gardner died after he was hit by a car as he biked his way home from a morning row on the Ashley. Just who was Edwin? A man you couldn’t help noticing if you crossed paths at any one of his many haunts—art openings, committee meetings, Spoleto gigs, the library, the marina, Fast & French, Circular Congregational Church, Blue Bicycle Books…. He stood out because of his theatrical mannerisms, dapper attire, fantastic impressions, outrageously loud smile, and for his frequent (and spunky) sidekick, daughter Olive. While you first noticed Edwin for his physical stature, you quickly realized that his true stature had little to do with that lanky build of his and everything to do with his broad intellect and his deep and wide passions.

Edwin was a man about town in the best sense of the phrase. He was about making this town and this region, a better, safer, healthier place to live. He believed in community, in civic engagement. Edwin, alongside wife Whitney Powers, was an advocate for smart urban growth and design. He believed that Charleston should and could be pedestrian- and bike-friendly; that public schools—especially those downtown—should offer exceptional educational opportunities to all children; that empowering kids to build boats and row together as a crew could change their lives. As Tom Bradford of the bicycle advocacy group Charleston Moves put it, Edwin “lived as he believed. He lived a very considered life.” Many were stunned to learn he was 64 because he lived like he were half that age.

Edwin, who served as president of the Harleston Village Neighborhood Association, was on the Peninsula Task Force’s transportation committee and often at school board meetings, was wildly creative, robustly curious, and enormously enthusiastic. He was not afraid to ruffle feathers, or, if need be, raise hell. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you were smitten by his verve, his smarts, and his wit. As local author and Blue Bicycle Books owner Jonathan Sanchez wrote in a City Paper tribute this week, “He never said a dull thing.” And as Mayor Riley told The Post and Courier, “If he was in your neighborhood, you had a better neighborhood; if you knew him, you had a better life.”

This Saturday morning, friends, family, and community members will celebrate and honor Edwin’s life by doing one of the many things he loved to do: bike ride around the peninsula. Bicyclists of all ages and abilities will meet at Cannon Park (Calhoun Street between Rutledge and Ashley avenues) at 9 a.m. for a police-escorted, easy ride around town, staying south of the Crosstown. Helmets and everyday street clothes are encouraged. Come enjoy the streets of Charleston as Edwin did, on two wheels, and help champion his vision for a safe, bicycle-friendly community.

More information on Charleston Moves, is here.

You can read Jonathan Sanchez’s tribute to Edwin in Charleston City Paper here.

You can read Charleston Mosquito Fleet, a youth mentoring program Edwin was involved in here.

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