Saturday, January 31, 2009

"The Footman" Eddie Logan Passes

Eddie Logan, Santa Anita's beloved shoeshine man since opening day, Dec. 25, 1934, passed away at his home in Monrovia, CA early this morning. He was 98. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Today flowers adorned his closed and covered shoeshine stand in the breezeway outside Santa Anita's racing office, where a steady line of Saturday racegoers have been pausing to read the notice of his passing, look at the small gallery of photos and news clippings Eddie assembled over the years, and reflect on personal memories of a man who was a link to a bygone era.

Logan appeared in the winner's circle at Santa Anita on December 27 to present the trophy for the stakes that Santa Anita named in his honor. On January 3, he suffered a seizure and stroke, from which he never recovered.

Just a few weeks ago, he spotted me down the breezeway from his stand wiping racetrack dirt off my leather boots with a paper towel. "Come down here," he commanded. He insisted that I use one of his shoe brushes instead, and that I promise never to use anything but a soft brush to clean my boots. Many are familiar with his admonition about the elements at the racetrack that are destructive to leather: salt, brace, alkali and urine.

Most of all, I will miss his traditional greeting, "Have a lucky day!"

Here at Santa Anita, we will truly miss Eddie Logan.

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