Ed Gadson is one of the first people I spoke to about writing this book. First and foremost, I wanted his and Paula's approval before I wrote about their son. He has been supportive, encouraging, and extremely helpful in making this book a reality. I spoke with Ed a number of times before making this interview a reality.
Did you and Eddie have the same name? Was he “Eddie Junior?”
Can you describe young Eddie growing up? What was he like as a young man?
So did he get that competitive side and love of sports from you?
How did Eddie choose CSU and what did you feel about his decision to go school there?
I love hearing the different aspects of this story. I asked Coach Mills about Eddie and how he got to school at CSU. You know how thorough Mills is… He went all the way back and told me everything about how it happened. How he got Nick’s name from Harvard recruiting list, then how he came to Union Grove and he was talking to the coach, and how the coach wanted to show him all the different players. The high school coach said, "We’ve got all of these guys. So and so can play so and so position..." Mills stopped him and said, "Coach I've got time for one unsigned guy. Who is that one?" That one was Eddie and obviously he was great a great fit. It was perfect.
While Eddie was in school, when he came home and he talked to you or Paula who did he talk about? Was it all about football in those days?
Both of you were in Japan?
So you guys stayed up in the middle of the night listening to the game over the internet?
What was that conversation like when he called to tell you about the fracture?
And how did y’all meet?
What was it like to watch your son play at such a high level of football?
Man, that’s tough love.
Only had to do that once. He got the message, eh?
When was the last time you saw Eddie?
Did you and Eddie play golf a lot together?
That's really special that you guys got to play golf together. Some sports, especially the team sports, you have a lot of people involved. But golf is really just you two out there for a long time. That's awesome.
He was pretty good from what I understand.
Was his passion basketball or football because he obviously played football quite well?
So did they already have a spot for him or was he going to have to try out?
He definitely was. It’s funny because you mentioned volleyball a couple times and I don't know if I told you this, but I have a story about CJ [Hirschman], Nick [Ellis], Eddie and me playing volleyball against some regular students. We were crushing them, 20-4 or something, and Eddie was in this guy’s face on the other team because he didn’t want them to score any more points. He was so competitive! He was so good, anything he picked up, he was a natural at it.
Do you remember the letter you wrote to Eddie that was read at the funeral?
Author’s Note: Ed found the original letter and sent it to me, which is used in the book in it’s entirety.
What was it like when you first came back to CSU?
What made you gravitate towards our team?
Think about the Coastal Carolina game, the final game of the season. Before the final score was up on the scoreboard. What were you feeling that day?
Who else was with you there at the game, was Mitch [Jenkins] there with you?
Did you ever feel that coming to the games was an obligation?
What did that conference championship mean to you?
You were the symbol of your family. We saw you, we connected with you, we could put a face and a name and a voice with your entire family. A lot of the guys never met anybody besides you. I had the opportunity to meet Paula and Mitch and I remember seeing family members from all over place. A lot of guys, all they knew was you. That’s how we viewed it, we wanted to do it for you but we knew what that meant for the rest of your family. It’s humbling to hear you say all that and to hear your perspective on all the things that happened. Powerful stuff. What do you miss most about Eddie?
If he was still here with us today, what would he be doing?
I know you can’t see it, but you have had me in tears at least 2 or 3 times today. I want to do nothing more than to give you and your family justice in this story and to share how great of a young man that you and Paula raised. Ed, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this for me today