For a time our daughter worked in the ASO offices. She, as were most of the folks who've been associated with the symphony over the years or who knew Eddie Melin through some other connection, was especially fond of him. He would often come into the office after one of his tennis sessions and continued even after he was forced to give up the game he loved. K would greet him, "Eddie, baby!" and he in return would greet her, "K****, baby!"
K was deeply saddened when she learned that Eddie has passed at last at the ripe old age of 102. Seeing as how there was no way she could come from NOLA for his memorial she asked that we attend the service in her stead. Which we did. The Rev. Dr. Murray Gossett, Paul Matney,
Dr. Dale Roller and others did Eddie proud, summing up an outstanding life in under and hour. Nice, but...
Tonight, was the last concert of the symphony season. After intermission Maestro Bairos spoke eloquently of what Eddie meant to him personally, to the ASO and the arts community and to the community as a whole. He referred to Eddie as a common man who lead an extraordinary life. In 2015-16 the ASO will honor Eddie throughout its 91st season.
But tonight the symphony honored Eddie with Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for a Common Man". The link below is to the New York Philharmonic's rendition. It does not come close to what I heard tonight from Eddie's beloved ASO, in the hall he was so proud of, a fitting tribute from our maestro and players who poured every bit of the love, honor and respect they had for Eddie into every note. I had tears streaming down my face as I listened, as I do now as I write this . My guess is Eddie did too. As Laura Street so aptly noted. "He is here! He's in the sound booth, sitting on a stair or in the seat next to you. He will always be here."