A Randy Travis song states, "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind when you go." Well, I can definitively say that Ed left a lot behind - a legacy of giving, service, advice, and pride. During our junior and senior years in college, Ed often hosted barbecues at his Ukiah home and was a regular presence in our lives. Being a retired California Highway Patrolman, he impressed upon us the value of education and loving what you do. He often would say, "Finish your education. Your education is the one thing in life that can never be taken from you." I used that statement with many students I've worked with over the years - an example of Ed's legacy.
|Ed with his grandchildren|
I appreciated a lot of things about Ed - especially his time he always gave. The emergence of social media has helped many of us keep in contact and I am proud to say I did keep in contact with Ed over the years - and he was always appreciative of friendships, proud of Mark's accomplishments and those of Mark's friends, and always provided good advice.
So now comes the time for the new "normal" - life without Fast Eddie from Ukiah. He is going to be sorely missed by so many, but his legacy will always live on. There are people who enter your life - and because they are part of your life, YOU become a better person. I am a better person for having Ed Stamelos and his family in my life. I know I am one of thousands of people who can state this with confidence. Gone but never forgotten.....