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My Electronic Congregation - July 26, 2010

Email recently brought the sad news of the death of Ed Robinson, Connecticut resident for the past quarter of a century; but earlier a mainstay in the Hewlett NY public school system, an elementary phys ed teacher.  Jodie, Ed's wife of 65 years, provided a hyperlink to the website of the funeral home from which he was buried.  There I found this death notice:

Ed and Jodie came into view for me shortly after my arrival at Grace Church.  Residents of Valley Stream on Haig Road they had been active members of the Woodmere UMC.  The Robinsons soon made themselves integral to the life and ministry of Grace Church.  Ed provided the connection with a junk dealer in Inwood for a truck (I drove it) for the Junior High monthly fund-raising paper collection.  I had the inspiration for a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper fund-raiser; but Ed supplied the culinary know-how.  Jodie, the health insurance expert in the Hewlett-Woodmere public school system, was regularly consulted for church and Howard personal insurance purposes.  The Southwestern lanyard tie in the photo was regularly seen at the church's couples club (T-N-T), a reflection, perhaps, of Ed's Utahan heritage.  Ed, like his pastor, graduated from Williams College, he from a V5 program during the Second War. 

Two other reminiscences, one curious evidence of his temperamental liveliness, and the other a testament to this graciousness.  After church dinners or square dances in the all-purpose room (gym), I often spotted a circle of dusty white, a couple of feet in diameter, where the polyurethane finish had been abraded by someone with shuffling feet.  Thinking back to the previous evening, ascertaining just who it was who occupied that space at a table I remembered it was Ed who was marking up "my gym floor" (as it came to be known, for all my painstaking refinishing of it and all the accompanying, often irritating, rules I published about its use... forgive me, Lord, I am a sinner!). 

The other fond reminiscence is a conversation a few months before the Robinsons moved to Connecticut.  Ed had been talking with a neighbor who was down on the neighborhood for reasons, probably, of the usual suburbanite fears. Ed rarely spoke angrily but when his dander was up he would fix you with a glance making sure you knew he meant business.  Ed told the fellow, in so many words, that he didn't particularly like anyone running down the place where he lived and had made his living.  That from someone who knew very well the neighborhood would not be his to defend very much longer.

Yes, he was the bread maker and bread gifter, to thousands during his lifetime.  I can only guess at the wonderful backflow of admiration and love from his students.  I do know how very  important to him was the love of his life for sixty-five years, and for the living consequences of that love.

God bless, Ed.  

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