Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Ed Hoch

This from Bill Chambers, who knew Ed even longer than I did . . .

In the fall of 1968 I attended a short story writing course that was taught by former MWA President Herbert Brean. Shortly after joining this class I was invited to the monthly cocktail party which was then held in the Hell’s Kitchen West 48th Street headquarters. Ed Hoch was one of the first people to greet me as I walked through the door. Even back then he was a legend, having had several hundred short stories published. I was taken back a bit in meeting someone of his prominence but he made me feel at home. I joked that I never believed Ed Hoch the man even existed—how could one person write such quality stories yet be so prolific--and I said I thought his name was the pseudonym for a team of writers. Ed greeted that remark with a hearty laugh and introduced me to his wife Pat. We went on to become close friends and served together on MWA’s National Board during the 70’s. Ed was as conscientious as he was kind and even through the roughest winter months traveled from Rochester to downtown Manhattan to attend every board meeting. Over the years we socialized at MWA functions and he and Pat attended parties that Marie and I threw in our home in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Ed was always willing to bestow helpful advice on novices eager to break into the mystery field. He was a remarkable human being and will be sorely missed by his friends and fans. I feel privileged to have known him.

Bill Chambers