Gardening in Eden - For Reals Now
Jack Eden's obituary appeared in today's WaPo -- read it here. Jack's column and local radio spots spanned about three decades, so many DC-area gardeners are very familiar with Jack's image and name. He was a bit "before my time," so I know him mostly by reputation and second-hand stories. The fact that he was self-taught and really caught the gardening bug later in life make him someone a lot of budding gardeners could relate to. He had a straight-forward style and was not one for flowery prose or excessive verbage.
His web site, http://www.jackeden.com/, which is full of general gardening advice and not really locally specific, is still up and definitely worth a perusal.
I have to confess that I'm in obituary nut. I read them like other people watch soap operas. The obituaries are hands-down the best writing and most fascinating stories in the paper. You just can't make this stuff up! Ordinary people who have remade themselves several times and who have multiple hobbies are common. You think you know someone, but truly you do not.
The most interesting sentence in Jack's obituary for me was this one: His "Garden of Eden" column ended abruptly in 1996 over a payment dispute involving the Internet use of his column. Reading between the lines I take that to me Jack was not willing to sign over all his future rights to his columns without just compensation. And good for him! If there had been more folks like him a decade or so ago, perhaps today writers (both on and off-line) might be able to support themselves by writing for a living.