Edward is the oldest crew member we have. He’s not chronologically older than say, Tok. But he has been a member longer than anyone else. Since 2001, as a matter of fact. He has served under five different presidents, attended countless outings and service activities and lots of meetings. He came to us from Troop 312, where he was a Scout and stayed active in both organizations for a while.
There are lots of special qualities about Edward. And one of them is his endurance. Not his physical endurance but his mental ability to persevere. I remember the meetings when he would show up with his bike. He lives off Nursery Road, on the other side of Irmo. Sometimes he would be biking from his job, sometimes from his home. Sometimes it rained. But he didn’t really complain. He found a way to make it to us. There aren’t many in our crew, given the choice of biking the distance he did or staying home that would peddle to meetings.
Then there is his humor, a rather droll sense of humor as anyone who has ever spent any time talking to him can attest. He sometimes can have fun at your expense. I remember taking him home a lot from meetings and his family has this long, narrow winding driveway that is difficult to back out of. But I did it each time after dropping Edward off. Then Cindy joined us this school year and there came the time I had to drop her off. She let me in on something that Edward had not for years. Their driveway is circular. I never needed to back out.
Edward is one of the most creative spirits we have ever had. A veteran of community theaters, there is little artistically that Edward hasn’t tried. When we went to Florida over Labor Day four years ago, Edward surprised me and many others in the crew by stepping up to the microphone during karaoke night at a restaurant there and belting out a tune. He wasn’t going to win any grammies. But he showed lots of brass.
He also likes to ask questions. Of everyone. He used to drive Bianca, a former president, crazy with his questions. I can remember the times I would find the two of them seated on the curb at the church parking lot deep in discussion, usually ending with Bianca getting upset. Of course, that didn’t take much.
Edward also doesn’t complain. I don’t know if that comes from being part of a large family or just his own personality. He’s run for office a couple of times unsuccessfully. We’ve had some members quit when they loose but Edward just kept going. I remember last summer when I had to make a lot of terrible phone calls to tell everyone that Sea Base had cancelled our trip. Some people were angry. Others cried. It was an awful night. Then I called Edward. ‘That’s okay,’ he said. ‘I’m sure we’ll get another trip scheduled sometime.’ He was right, of course. And I remember thanking God for giving me one person who responded that way.
When it came time to name Edward, there were lots of possibilities. Of course, there is no Indian translation for Edwardo, one of the crew’s nicknames for him over the years. And I’m sorry, Edward, but there are no penguins among the plains Indians. But one memory of Edward struck me as fitting for his name. We had gone to Frankie’s Fun Park and everyone was riding rides, or laser tag or goofy golf. Some were playing in the video arcade. I went around to check on everyone and found this large crowd gathered around a machine in the arcade. It was a dancing machine. The TV-like screen in front flashes dance steps you have to follow exactly to the music by dancing in the foot prints on the floor. As the tempo increases you have to have lightning reflexes to keep up. To the crowd’s amazement, Edward was doing just that. I remember quite a few girls were watching him, admiring his steps. This was the same guy who had trouble saying hello to girls years before.
Among Native Americans, dancing was sacred. It was entertainment but also artistic, a means of community, of expression, of connecting spiritually. Dancers were respected for their strength, endurance and creativity, all qualities I’ve admired in Edward over the years. So tonight, Edward, it is with great pride that I award you the name Satinka, which means, magic dancer. Congratulations!