A while back in a post about Ed Quillen’s passing I wrote, “If there is a heaven I believe that Ed is probably rattling around in the mountains there driving an old Volkswagen bus just as he and Martha did in Colorado early in their marriage.”
It turns out I’m wrong about Ed’s choice of vehicles. He was a pickup truck man. Here’s a tribute to Ed from Hayseed, promoted from the Coyote Gulch comments:
FWIW, Ed never liked that old VW beetle — it was cold and slow. Its virtues were that it was cheap to operate and easy to repair. And, for a two-wheel-drive vehicle, it was good in the snow.
But Ed was always a pick-up guy, given his druthers. When his Blazer died a few years ago he looked for a Toyota Tacoma pick-up, but found they were too expensive, so settled for a Ford Ranger with a small crew cab and a canopy. He said it was the nicest vehicle he ever owned.
I first met Ed at UNC (CSC at the time) in Greeley, where he was a 17-year-old freshman and the first (perhaps still the only) National Merit Scholar to attend what he called “Podunk on the Poudre.” We raised journalistic hell together on campus publications in those days of ’60s campus ferment, and stayed in touch ever since, via correspondence (significantly enabled by the Internet) and irregular visits, in spite of the 1200 miles between us.
His family has lost it’s patriarch, his readers have lost a unique journalist, historian and philosopher, and I have lost a dear friend. We all, in our own way, were enriched by his presence and are poorer for his passing.