I met Eddie a little over a decade ago in Sundance on what could only be described as one of those "epic" party nights. The place was packed and I had my typical wrecking ball crew with me as was pretty common back in those days. Long story short something happened behind me and here comes crashing into me this long haired mexican dude. For those that frequented Sundance you can remember that place was literally the "Wild West" with an actual weapons check at the front door. We got kind of sideways for a second, and he said to me in with a thick accent "It wasn't me man, it was him over there!" Beef turned quickly to conversation over beers and I met one of the most colorful characters that I have been privileged to know.
Eddie caught a ride in my boat that night, and we became acquaintances where we would say hello when we saw each other, and ask how the other was doing etc.. It wasn't until a year or two later when I upgraded the stereo in my boat that we actually became friends.
Back then there wasn't a whole lot of loud stereos in boats, and before you think to yourself "yes there was," understand my definition of "loud" and yours are probably very different. When I say "loud" I mean the bass is flexing the floor of the boat anywhere from 1/4-1/2 an inch with you standing on it.
I had just gotten my stereo upgraded for the second time (more bass), and I was pulling into the sandbar and Eddie helped me by holding the boat while we side tied it to another. He was very quick to notice the stereo, and I wasn't exactly being shy about leaving it turned up. He said "I think my son did your stereo!" I gave him the "I don't think so" response, and "a guy in Temecula that does all the loud stereos out in boats did it." He didn't skip a beat with a beaming smile when he saw the Wired For Sound sticker on the transom "THAT'S MY SON!! ADAM!!"
After that day it was more then just the casual "hey how ya doings" you would normally have at the sandbar with folks you would see on wild party weekends. It's almost hard to describe, but once Eddie knew that Adam and I were friends, it was like him and I were friends overnight. He really did live by the adage "A friend of his, is a friend of mine" a coin to often used nowadays but rarely meant.
I learned more about him in 45 minutes at his send off (I wouldn't dare call it a service, because to do so would be a disservice), than I did in 10 years. I had no idea that he had raised his family at a very young age because his father had moved on. The stories his daughter told about him taking her hunting literally had me envious of the experiences. A lot of friends from the river came forward and told toned down / pg stories of Eddie, but we all could read between the lines. Many of us shared less than PG stories in the back by the coolers, and we all knew him as different facets of the same man.
While Eddie may have been just another face about town to some, or a Parker local. To small time guys like me he was a giant. He is the essence of what makes a "River Legend" and I'll miss him greatly. I appreciate him throwing me a hand when I needed one, and teaching me a rope or two of the river that I probably wouldn't have learned if I never met him.
Rest in Peace Eddie.. If your up top save me a spot at the sand bar, and if you're not, we're used to the heat anyways see if you can sweet talk the bartenders into setting aside a couple cold ones for a toast.
P.S. Eddie The 21 gun Salute at the sandbar was about the coolest thing I've ever seen at the river.