I just learned that on the ninth day into the fourth month of his thirty-ninth year as a pressman at the Los Angeles Times, Ed Padgett was fired. Fired as a result of some sort of clandestine investigation conducted by human resources for reasons he’s not at liberty to divulge at this point. Fired over the fucking phone.
I was unsuccessful in an attempt to leave a comment of support or of use on his blog. I was swinging too severely between outrage and sadness. Still am. So I came here. To tell you a little something about Ed — which isn’t much, but it’s better than me cursing or crying.
Probably about five or six or so years ago we first met online here at Blogging.la. In January 2007 I posted an open invite for any and all fellow lunatics to join me in making good on a long-time resolution to walk the entire 24-mile length of Sunset Boulevard from Union Station to the sea. Ed commented that he was interested but had other plans. When the fateful day came in February I was joined by another B.la reader Don Hosek and USC grad student Lisl Walsh and off we went.
After the jump, Ed magically appears around Mile No. 23.
From my February 11, 2007 write-up of the trek:
A few more miles to the 405 Freeway at mile 17 or so is where Don opted to retire and await a ride home from his wife rather than continue on and get blisters on his blisters. So after a sentimental group
hugphoto Lisl and I trundled onward alongside the long and winding and rising and falling road until somewhere approaching the final mile a white Mercedes convertible came to a stop beside us and its kindly pilot asked me “Are you Will?” to which I said “Who the hell wants to know!?”“Why yes, I believe I am but a far more exhausted version of him” wherein he wanted to know where all the other walkers were and Lisl said “We’re it!” and then he introduced himself as regular B.la reader Edward Padgett and compimented us on our perseverence before saying he’d meet us at Gladstones and we said cool. After he pulled away I only half (OK, two-thirds) jokingly asked after him if he’d give us a ride, but deisel-powered Lisl who had her eyes on the prize had already gotten back into step and onward we soldiered until we kicked ass in acheiving our PCH destination at 4:13 p.m. wherein we proudly retired to Ed’s congratulations and his table inside Gladstones and he bought us a round of drinks and we talked until it was time to get back up Sunset to catch the No. 2 MTA bus that would bring us back from whence we’d come. And it did.
My point with all this is to demonstrate what an absolutely awesome guy Ed was to go out of his way to be there to celebrate us when Lisl and I put an exclamation point at the end of that 24-mile sentence. From that very moment when he drove up to us from out of nowhere I’ve been a card-carrying member of his fan club.
Looking back over the last almost-40 years of the Los Angeles Times there have been parent companies, publishers, editors, writers, and photographers who have come and gone. But in that span of ever-increasing disposability Ed Padgett has been there helping make every single paper that I’ve picked up and read. It was something I proudly acknowledged any number of mornings standing there with the day’s edition fresh in my hands.
With such a pro-Padgett bias I just can’t rationalize continuing my subscription to the product of a company so decidedly and dastardly anti-Ed. I expect when I call to cancel today, I’ll do so via representatives in Bangalore or Manila who’ll be obligated to ask the reason why I’m terminating. I’ll tell them, “They fired a friend of mine.”