When Ed Polk passed away in October 2014 after a long battle with cancer, it was a big blow to the community.
Customers knew the 63-year-old as the charitable owner of Dawson’s Liquors, always donating beer, wine, and soda for events at churches, schools, and retirement homes. His Severna Park neighbors knew him as a runner — and later as a biker — who called the B&A Trail his own.
As the five-year anniversary of his death approaches, his family wants to keep those memories alive.
“Even after five years, Ed is still alive in the minds and hearts of not just his family but an entire community of people who were his friends and customers for so many years,” said JoAnn Polk, Ed’s wife for 31 years.
Several reminders of Ed are located throughout Severna Park. A plaque bearing his name is affixed to a park bench on the B&A Trail at Brandywine Avenue.
Weather-permitting, friends and family members will meet at that bench on October 30 at 5:00pm to raise a glass in Ed’s honor, marking the five-year anniversary of his passing.
“He loved biking on that trail,” JoAnn said, “and every time I see someone sitting on his bench … I know wherever he is, there is a big smile on his face.”
That’s not the only way Ed is being memorialized. In 2015, the new Dawson’s Liquors owners, Ed’s nephews Danny and Nick Cipriano, worked with a friend to create a German wheat beer that held Ed’s nickname, E. Diddy.
“Nick and I learned everything we know from Ed, and we strive to keep his amazing customer service and friendly attitude toward everyone who walked through the door alive,” Danny said.
Inside the liquor store, customers will find several reminders of the former owner.
“We keep a picture of him in the glass case on the side of the liquor store facing B&A Boulevard, and if you stop in the liquor store, you’ll see a street sign that reads Ed Polk Way, many pictures of Ed and even a lookalike bobblehead behind the counter,” JoAnn said. “We remember him and talk about him all the time.”