In Prague it was nearly impossible to meet anyone who had never heard about Edmund; the bald man with the long white beard.
Edmund was born in North Carolina in a small town called Chapel Hill. He was one of five children. He got a degree in psychology and theology. He was married twice and had a child whom he never had the chance to meet, though he made efforts to find her. He used to be a marine, a baker, a florist, a hippie, and a prisoner, amongst other things.
Edmund came to Prague in 1998. He used to live in Branik with five cats and a ferret. He was known here as a poet, philosopher, actor, singer, dancer, English teacher and most importantly as a good friend to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. There is no wonder why he was surrounded by beautiful women all of the time. When he was acting, he had roles in many movies and commercials, such as Zatracení by Dan Svátek and the documentary, Mednyánzsky by Vladimír Štric.
He was also an important part of the poetry scene in Prague. He organized poetry readings at the Jazz Club Železná and attended many other poetry readings around the city. Before he died, he had hoped to publish his poetry book but he never had the chance. We are now trying to publish it on our own. Hopefully we will find a sponsor and be able to publish it this year.
Edmund passed away last year. His death was very quick and unpredictable. He had a pulmonary fibrosis, which is a chronic progressive form of lung disease. After being put into a medical induced coma for a month, he passed away. There are those of us who still believe that if he had not been placed into the coma, that he would still be here with us. His last words before he was placed under the coma were, “Remember that love is the most important thing.”
Edmund touched and influenced the lives of many. Even though he is gone, his presence is still felt and his legacy lives on through his poetry.
“Do not grieve my passing, but if you must, then trust that I have gone no further than a thought of you, and you, of me. See me in the mirror of your soul, when youth is passed, and you, like I have come at last to time and being old. See me, in your tears of joy, or tears of pain; for I will be there too, and be again, in you. See me, here beside you, at this grave, where all things come, and come to pray. See me, in your heart, and I will see you, in mine. When Time, is no more, and we have passed beyond the key, and the door. See me, and I will see you, my friend, as the ocean sees the shore…” excerpt from “Lines Written on a Stone”
– Photo by Jeffree Benet