CASEY: Rest in peace, Ed Shamy, former Roanoke Times columnist | Local News

CASEY: Rest in peace, Ed Shamy, former Roanoke Times columnist | Local News

Ed Shamy remaining the Roanoke Instances late in 1993, for a newspaper work in Maryland. So forgive by yourself if you simply cannot remember a lot of of the amusing, acerbic and informative metro columns he wrote all through a 5-12 months stint at The Roanoke Times.

If you do, maybe you remember the “Strange Veggies” contest Shamy launched in the early 1990s, when he encouraged visitors to bring strange and misshapen veggies from their residence gardens to Victory Stadium for Shamy to examine.

The Roanoke Occasions internet marketing department handed out “Strange Veggies” T-shirts to the backyard farmers who confirmed up, recalled previous editorial page editor Dwayne Yancey.

Alternatively, you may well remember Shamy’s fixation on community loos for freeway tourists. One particular of his favourite targets was the dearth of restrooms along Interstate 81.

As Freeway Bladder King of Western Virginia, Shamy expended a long time examining I-81 relaxation parts. He knew the distances between each down to the mile, if not the tenth of a mile, and possibly the urinal-commode ratio at each just one, too.

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Inevitably he found out the southbound lanes experienced numerous a lot more general public bathrooms than the northbound lanes. And following that, not a taxpayer greenback of spending for the highway’s southbound facet was secure from Shamy’s scrutiny. He put in yrs milking the northbound unfairness for all it was truly worth.

One of people columns appeared in 1991 below the headline, “Restroom squeeze has us on keep.” It was an open letter to Virginia’s then-transportation secretary.

“Our kidneys can stand it no additional,” Shamy wrote. “Please, sir, we request no more than the rest of our state presently enjoys. A heat location to go to the lavatory is all we seek.”

From a different, in September 1993: “One hundred and 20-a few miles, Ironto to Verona, between relaxation stops,” Shamy wrote in a September 1993 column headlined, “Northbound motorists not nicely-rested.”

“It’s a Virginia history,” the column continued. “You will see a few relaxation spots together the southbound lanes of the highway in the course of that stretch—none on the northbound lanes.”

Final week, I realized Shamy died in his sleep on Thanksgiving, in his household in Georgia, Vermont. He was 63. His widow, Kim Asch, notified me by e-mail, in advance of a memorial service she held for friends and family this previous weekend.

By then he’d been out of journalism for 6 yrs, and labored occasionally as a substitute public college instructor. He had suffered for some time with Serious Obstructive Pulmonary Sickness, Asch mentioned. The similar ailment claimed the lives of both of his mom and dad.

Here’s the commencing of his obituary, on

“Edward T. Shamy Jr., 63, fiercely devoted partner and father and a relentlessly genuine, often hilarious, chronicler of the communities he served as an award-successful journalist, would no question report information of his passing on the morning of Nov. 27 this way: ‘Let me explain to you the tale of how I woke up useless.’”

The 2nd of 4 youngsters, Shamy grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey, and St. Louis, Missouri, where by his mothers and fathers experienced moved when Shamy was in junior higher. There, at Parkway Central Large School, he was voted equally student authorities president and “most humorous.”

Even as a teen, in accordance to his obituary, “his willingness to talk his thoughts and obstacle the standing quo was already evident.”

As a superior-schooler in the 1970s, Shamy was showcased on the CBS news journal “60 Minutes,” at the time a person of the most watched demonstrates on tv. He was interviewed for a segment titled, “The Scenario From School.” And according to the obit, Shamy instructed the interviewer “if he had his druthers he’d skip all 4 several years and do a little something else.”

Alternatively, he went to Columbia University, where he played soccer, tended bar nights to make ends meet, and acquired a diploma in political science. He bought into journalism soon after a stint in the Peace Corps in Paraguay.

As a reporter, editor, columnist and often all a few, he labored at newspapers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., in that order. He wrapped up his profession in Vermont, as metro editor and later columnist for the Burlington Free of charge Press, Vermont’s newspaper-of-history.

When Shamy obtained laid off from that job, in 2008, he made the decision to get into the organization as a publisher, Asch mentioned.

“He figured out at property how to generate a company prepare,” Asch advised me. “He received a enterprise financial loan from the county’s financial growth company.” With that, he bought a smaller weekly, The County Courier, based in Enosburg. It was about a 45-minute generate from their house. The newspaper was work printed in Plattsburgh, New York, on the other aspect of Lake Champlain, which divides the two states.

“He noticed it as a occupation he could have in journalism that no person could fire him from,” Asch stated. “What he located was that becoming equally the publisher and the editor was the worst of two worlds.”

On celebration, editor/publisher Ed Shamy experienced to acquire a ferry journey throughout the lake in the center of the night to retrieve his newspapers from the printing plant.

From the obit: “His hyper-neighborhood concentrate and penchant for the offbeat encouraged a lot of evocative stories about the life and periods of the ‘real’ Vermont.” Amongst these were “a dog’s close to-deadly run-in with a porcupine while mountaineering Mt. Mansfield” and “a guy in look for of his dentures misplaced even though skydiving around Addison County.”

As editor/publisher of The County Courier, one particular of Shamy’s big scoops was a federal marijuana-smuggling scenario in which customers of the Hells Angels from Quebec had been charged with smuggling weed into Vermont inside of truck tires.

The pot was headed to a Vermont dairy farm whose owners had been indicted, too. Despite the fact that most other news shops ignored the tale, Asch reported Shamy played it like “the Miami Vice of northwest Vermont.”

But rather of driving sports activities automobiles and donning designer fits, the Vermont locals “wore Carharts (overalls), muck boots and drove tractors,” Asch said.

“Several kinfolk of the [local farmers] indicted had been advertisers. They pulled their promotion,” Asch explained to me. He sold the The County Courier to just one of his employees in 2014.

Shamy’s very first relationship ended in divorce. His very first spouse, Jennifer, however life in Roanoke.

He’s survived by Asch, who life in Ga, Vermont, their son Ezra, and two daughters and a son from his initially marriage: Corinne Lawson, of West Orange, New Jersey Lillian Shamy, of Charlotte, North Carolina and Alex Shamy of Brooklyn, New York.

Call metro columnist Dan Casey at 981-3423 or [email protected]. Abide by him on Twitter: @dancaseysblog.