You may recall that the city has been seeking proposals to name the planned Capitol Hill parks. The deadline for submitting proposals was Monday.
That is the same day Ed Jackson took his own life with one shot from a .38 revolver as the apartment building he called home for more than 40 years burned. No coincidence in the timing of the sad event. He was going to be evicted on Tuesday.
It is very likely that Ed started that fire. In his long, busy life on the Hill, it would have represented a final act of defiance against the changes happening all around him. Old buildings with inexpensive but worn places to live coming down. New buildings with expensive but shiny places to live going up. Not many choices left for Ed. Only one day more for him to be home.
Don’t know how many people there are like Ed left on Capitol Hill. Maybe he was one of the last holdouts. But his story runs in lines that pace what is happening here. You can look at the situation and feel these things:
- Sadness that an old man couldn’t live out his last years in his home
- Anger that he endangered his neighbors and firefighters in the way he fought back
- Sympathy for good people getting pushed out
- Frustration about the need for change and progress and development
I do not mind feeling all of those things at once and do not mind remembering them. The coming park at Summit and John is not far from 1605 Bellevue, just up Olive Way. It needs a name. Even though the deadline is passed, I would not mind if the city’s naming committee considered attaching this complicated memory to the new space. Why not remember that progress has a price?