Goodbye Ed McKie, 1958-2008

By: Jim Walker, Candidate for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 1

Dear Friends,

I have sad news as a very dear friend, Ed McKie, passed away in his sleep over the weekend from a heart attack.

Within few minutes of learning of Ed’s death I received an e-mail from another friend.  Appropriately enough, it was a about a poem written by Maya Angelou that started with, “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”.

Ed was a fighter and he fought long and hard to make Santa Ana a better place to live.  He was living next to the Artist Village when he died, but years ago he lived in French Court.  We had worked together to fight the gang problem back then.

My favorite Ed story was one he told about his French Court days.  He was approached by a bunch of gang-bangers while walking home one night.  They put a screwdriver to Ed’s neck and told him to leave town.  Ed said, “You better use that, because I’m staying.”

The gang members put the screwdriver down and walked off.  So did Ed and he went on to fight again another day.   More recently Ed fought his own demons that included his use of crystal meth.  He had finally stopped using the drug and had been clean for over a year.

He had even been on the cover of the OC Weekly only a few weeks ago in a stunningly stylized sequence of photographs shot in an alley way at the Artist Village that are now – even more haunting.

Typical of Ed, he had wanted to help other people that were suffering from the same problem he had struggled with by opening a Gay & Lesbian meth cessation support café.  He had been absolutely sure it would come together and succeed.  And then it did not.

While Ed would have been the first to tell you he shouldn’t have been alive for numerous reasons, it seems all too poetic that he would actually die from a broken heart.

Santa Ana will miss you my friend.

About Jim Walker

Really nice guy.