Philipsburg lost a champion last month.
He was always “Eddie” to me, but Edsel Hurwitz was so much bigger than that name.
He was a businessman, with real estate interests that are still part of the fabric of the Moshannon Valley and downtown Philipsburg. And while he didn’t run a store of his own, he was one of the biggest defenders of small business and a thriving retail community.
“I have an idea,” he often said to me.
He never really had just an idea. What he had was a vision for what Front Street could be, for what Philipsburg could become. He remembered a more thriving area, and he never lost that picture in his head. Eddie didn’t just hope Philipsburg might rebound to its full potential. He believed it to his core. He just needed other people to believe it, too.
He was one of the few remaining members of what was once a thriving Jewish community in Philipsburg. He was a member of the Isaac Kantar B’nai Brith Lodge in Clearfield, which was only appropriate. He did marry a Kantar girl, after all. Marge was the love of his life, and she can’t believe that he won’t come home to her each day now.
He was also someone who was always going to keep going and going, a spinning top, a wind-up toy soldier, until he was done.
That is what happened. Eddie was at work until the end. He was 90 years old, and while he still had a long to-do list, it was time for him to be done.
But for Philipsburg’s sake, I hope someone steps up to say “I have an idea” for the future.