Monday, January 21, 2008


Eddie Graham 1945-2008

Eddie on a summer afternoon under Eddie's tree with friend and neighbor Richard .

Eddie with his vision of God and the Cosmos revealed to him after being holed-up in a neighborhood basement for 3 days and nights ( see here at NMNL "Basements , Dreams and Cosmogonies") .

In sunshine on 4th Street with idol , cigarette and malt liquor .

Eddie Graham one afternoon in winter sunshine .

A sunny spring day on 4th St. with good friend Charlie.

Eddie's memorial at 195 East 4th Street this last week .
One day Mayor Koch planted a Linden tree at 195 East 4th Street , about 200 ft. from NMNL world headquaters , and Eddie Graham sat beneath that growing , spreading Linden tree in summer , fall , winter and spring for so very many years . Through those years so many came and went passing Eddie , sometimes not seeing him , sometimes seeing him , sometimes stopping to talk , sometimes offering food and coin to help and sometimes just stopping to hang-out for hours drinking malt liquor ,talking , playing cards and passing time .
Eddie was waiting to be old enough to collect his social security check so that he could get a cheap room and live someplace other than on the street . He didn't quite make it to that goal .Sadly , just this month a room was found for Eddie at Heuss House . He died just a bit too early to live in that room .
We have been told that Eddie died of the complications of pneumonia ; a condition likely resulting from poor nutrition and extended exposure to the cold .This winter he had been denied by a real estate management company access to a basement that he had been sleeping in for more than 10 years during cold weather .
We had learned recently that Eddie was ill and that he had been taken to Bellevue hospital ... then all-of-a-sudden last week Eddie was dead .
When warm enough Eddie slept there at 195 East 4th on the street . He kept a neat camp . Everything had its place . At daybreak camp was broken and all was neatly stowed . Sometimes neighbors provided sanitary facilities ,sometimes they were found between parked cars . In cold or other inclemate weather Eddie had until this winter slept in a near-by basement .On cold days neighborhood friends often invited him in to spend time and warm himself .
Eddie built a little seating arrangement around his tree . He spent considerable time painting it all .With-in that construction he planted and tended a garden as it grew during the summer months . Later someone destroyed the seating around his Linden tree but the garden lived on .
He decorated his little establishment for Halloween ,Christmass , Thanksgiving and his birthday . Sometimes on these days he had a party with friends and strangers passing by . Though just a spot on the sidewalk it was a home . Eddie made it that way . Now all of that is just his memorial on 4th street until the real estate management company in charge of 195 cleans -up and removes it all ..
Some claimed he was the Mayor of 4th Street , a title that he cherished . He knew many of the neighborhood children and their parents . He made birthday and Christmass cards for them which they much enjoyed and cherished . He was a regular daily part of many , many 4th street families and residents lives . He is certainly missed by them all .

I lived at 195 East 4th Street for four years, and Eddie was a class act all around. He even made a hand-drawn Christmas card for me one year. Such a friendly guy. Rest in peace, Eddie.

The E.Vil. home of many a visionary.
I am greatly appreciative pf these recollections and memorials serving those folk who choose a different way.
Do I remember Eddie. In some vague way. I lived a bit farther north in E.vil and knew the folk that were indigenous there.
Eddie wasn't homeless, tho it sure woulda been nice to have a basement to keep the elements from overpowering him.
I am sure Eddie is dwelling in his sweet vision, admiring the beauty of his new home.
long live our east village 'idiots'
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