Public invited to join Oral Edwards as he steps back into Food Giant
Walking into a store is no big deal for a lot of people. But it gets bigger if it’s the first time you’ve walked into one in six months.
“I am getting ready for the day,” said Oral Edwards.
That day will come this Friday at 11 a.m., when Edwards walks into the Forrest City Food Giant for the first time since October.
Edwards, 81, was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident on Oct. 20 of last year. He was taken to the Med in Memphis and listed in critical condition.
Edwards owns GES Inc., which includes numerous supermarkets and convenience stores that operate under the Edwards Food Giant and FG Express banners.
When contacted, Edwards said he has not been at the Food Giant store since the accident.
“That was last October, the last time I was in the Forrest City store,” said Edwards. “And I said I’m not going to go in until I can walk in. That is my deal, and I’ve been working hard.”
In fact, the only GES-owned store Edwards has been in since his accident is the newest one, in Bryant, which opened while he was hospitalized.
“So when I came out, I asked Steve (his son) to take me to Bryant,” he said.
Edwards said he is looking forward to Friday.
“They’re going to let me out at the front door, and I’m going to walk in,” he said. “And they’re going to have a cake and all sorts of things there to greet folks. And it’s going to be fun for me, to be able to go in and greet folks. It’s been six months. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m going to get back in the swing and it’s just going to be a good time.”
Stanley Melson, manager of the Forrest City Food Giant, said it’s hoped that well-wishers will come to the store on Friday.
“Everybody’s going to be here, store management, vice president,” said Melson. “We’re going to have a cake to cut and give out to customers. We’re trying to get all the customers out this way to show support.”
According to the Forrest City Police Department report, Edwards was driving south on Newcastle Road on Oct. 20, when his 2007 pickup overturned several times before coming to rest next to an embankment at the Kittle Road intersection. Police reported that the truck came to rest about 146 feet from where they believe the accident started.
Edwards, a member of the Board of Trustees at East Arkansas Community College, did make an appearance at the Feb. 9 Board of Trustees meeting, in a wheelchair.