RIP: Eden Wingate Eastin Andes

for Eden

I wish it would rain
and we could run around in the rain
like children do –
we’re still playing children
behind the mask of age
you get old enough, you start losing friends
now we’ve lost you:
a crazy painter, singer, dancer, drummer
someone who laughed with all her heart
who enjoyed moments of joy, joyfully
an artist who never quit,
never took a break
who played in Ibrahim’s drum circle
who talked and talked until you were
overwhelmed by all the words and ideas
pouring out of her mouth
the last time I saw you,
we talked about accession, going home
I hope you’re singing and dancing in the clouds
on a rainy day in heaven
I know you’re up there somewhere
having fun…

Eden was a dear friend of mine. She was an artist, an activist and a mother to many. I’ll miss our long, deep conversations.

– Lisa Green
Eden Wingate Eastin Andes
Sister and Venice Food Not Bombs Comrade

Born 6/25/1956 with first address as 29 Horizon, Venice.
Passed into the Spiritual infinite Love 6/22/2014.
Eden is survived by her brother Earl Wingate Eastin,
her life partner Natividad Martinez,
and dog life companion Juni.
Eden is predeceased by her parents,
Eleanor Mary Butterfield and Rodney Eastin
and also by her dog life companion, Smedley (Juni’s brother).

Eden was a kind, forgiving, accepting, obstinate woman who fought to oppose unjust and unconstitutional laws. She lived in vehicles for many years in Venice. In her life’s beginnings, she could find work and afford to pay rent in Venice. She wanted to be housed again in her home – Venice – a final wish unfulfilled.

– Peggy Lee Kennedy
Eden Woman of Venice, Biker Girl, Artist, Activist, Food not Bombs collective member. 
We parked together in our vans, shared food and stood up together against the abuse of the authorities. 
I met her one rainy, foggy night on Hampton in Venice and we have been friends for 20 Years.
She inspired many in the Venice of America to live for a Free Venice.

– Calvin Moss
21:18 Wednesday, June 25th, 2014, Adullam ….. Just learned today. A text from Peggy Lee. Informed that you have found eternity. We both knew it would come. But not so soon. Had hoped that I’d run into you this June. It hasn’t hit me yet. The parking lot. United Methodists. The battles fought. The lives lived in a van. Caring for dogs. A step ahead of sidewalks. Barely rags Served to conceal our nakedness. I thought You’d surely survive me. What have I got To say to you, dear sister? Waning moon Has taken you away. And much too soon. I search my soul. Count to infinity. Remembering dear Eden. Absently ….. Roger Houston , post-beat romantic
Eden in Venice

The first time I remember encountering Eden, it was at a meeting some five or six years ago. The meeting was organized by the indefatigable Peggy Kennedy, and another great anti-war friend, Calvin Moss. The meeting was  at the Venice United Methodist Church’s Community Hall. Peggy and Calvin had an office there for “the Venice Justice Committee.”  As best I can now recall, the meeting was for street-people to discuss some strategies to organize our own self-help projects: like an outreach food line; and some monitoring of the increased tickets that we were then starting to get.  This was all just as Venice’s gentrification was now starting to get kicked-up –and by several big notches.  Eden was with us in this group.
It struck me then –how clear it was that Eden was the kind of person who was caring; and very committed to doing something. She was a great  woman that was clearly fully engaged in  opposing the harassment of us poor street-creative people in Venice. It was also interesting how she could, apparently –also always find a very unique angle –upon which to see every single thing that we discussed that entire night.
And well, that was Eden –you learned more about that once you got to know her. Her great gift to always have her own unique, and heartfelt, angle –on just about anything and everything in Venice.  Once, later on –and long after the meeting that night, an all-new minster brought into that same church apparently just couldn’t handle one of her deeper theological questions one day. It all started after one of his dubious male-privilege loaded sermons –that he apparently likes to ladle out to the book-thumpers –now whiting up the sepulchers there.

Well, of course, Eden could go on; and so all ludicrously frocked-out –he, this new pastor to Venice, just suddenly gagged –wailing that she was a ‘witch’ for her questioning of his mighty, male authority.
To which Eden chirpply replied, “Well, of course I am!”  “I’m a Wicking, to be exact!”
The guy immediately demanded a wiley, squeaking, 21st-century exorcism. All this was going to be seriously maxed by him with his favorite United Methodist ‘holy water,’ and crucifixes.
Rather than an exorcism, living on the street in Venice, all she probably needed from the Methodists here was a home.  But to us dude, it was just the holy confirmation –of Eden’s Venice Beatification.
‘Cause she could make you laugh with glee.
But with Eden, if you were ever tempted to think, therefore, that she was just the kind of person who would just talk on and on; and never actually do anything –you’d soon find out just how wrong you were. Eden simply had heart.  And it was always fully expressed –always. It seemed that whenever there  be a hand to be lifted; some work to be done; someone needed –to hand out fliers; or collect signatures; or help in cooking; or loading; or to help tow or jump someone’s broken-down vehicle –she was always around.
Truth is, Eden would usually show up even early –to do her part in lending to the community any hand, whatsoever –it needed. Every week. All the time. You could always count on Eden being there if there was some community-work that needed to be done.
She had been rich once. She had been homeless. She had been beautiful; and she had been ugly, beaten, and decrepit.  She had a freed spirit.
And she could tell stories.  She’d tell you about being 16, and on Sunset Blvd., the night of the so-called ‘Sunset Riots.’ They were  mis-labeled ‘riots’ in the media –when thousands of LA hippy kids, just peacefully walking up and down Sunset Blvd., and having exuberant fun, so freaked-out the button-downed squares of General Chandler’s LA –that they called out the Sheriffs to bring in buses and mass-arrest them. It was the turning-point that inspired the Buffalo Springfield song, “For What it’s Worth.’ And Eden could tell you about being a mini-skirt-wearing, emotionally-wafish 16-year-old; a long-legged blond; endowed with incredible curves, and hanging out at a cafe there back then called Pandora’s Box. Or, she’d tell you about the homeless Venice dog; that used to sneak into the market on Rose St. and stand there; in front of the dog-food can isle, until some customer in the store would buy it a can of it’s favorite dog food.  The owner of the store would always be trying to keep the dog out. And the dog just always knew how to get in –when the owner there wasn’t looking. It’s name was Obie, or something.
Eden grew up in Venice from the time she was a kid -and she was a living saint: one who knew every suffering and sick and broken down person in Venice; The wealthy kid who was homeless, and creative, and lived in the crawl space under a Venice house; just to keep his wealth from contaminating his soul. The skitzo alcoholic women who collected mountains of stuff in carts on the Boardwalk.  Bikers who drifted in and out of Venice. She was groovy. She married a man once.

Rumor was that she had been pronounced dead seven times –drowned, knifed, car accident, heart attack…   Rumor is she is still alive; and  here in Venice.
And I will simply always believe this.
Eden always read the Beachhead.  So hi Eden –we love you.
Be Groovy.
– Remembrances of David Busch

Eden1 copy

Categories: Obituary