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GUEST,Sandy Paton Obit: Jonathan Eberhart (18 Feb 2003) (112* d) RE: Obit: Jonathan Eberhart 21 Feb 03

So many people have mentioned his introducing them to sushi. He did the same for Caroline and me one weekend when we were down in Washington to take photographs of him at the Trolley Museum to serve as the cover illustration for his solo recording -- "Life's Trolley Ride." Apparently Jonathan had picked up a good bit of the Japanese language while singing in Japan with Andy Wallace and Mike Rivers. Anyway, he had been looking for a particular Japanese love song, only a fragment of which had he previously heard, so he asked our lovely Japanese waitress if she knew it. She did, and he coaxed her into singing it for him. Then, in a gallant gesture of exchange, he offered her a song of his own, namely, the title songs of his solo album. Yep. "Life's Trolley Ride." It was not done maliciously, either, but quite innocently. Still, it was delightful to hear the poor girl try to get around all of those "L" sounds with a tongue that was not familiar with them.
    I won Jonathan's friendship, I think, not for a version of a Robin Hood ballad, like Art, but for my successful response when he introduced me to the Limerick game in which player #1 writes the first and last lines of a limerick, preferably with no noticeable connection between them. The player #2 takes these and adds the connecting three lines. Here's one of the results:
    Jonathan gave me "With the grace of a fragile gazelle" (line 1) and "Was a secret no one could tell." (line 5). I played with it and handed him back:

    With the grace of a fragile gazelle
    Moved the late actor, Zero Mostel.
    How he'd glide cross the stage,
    At his girth and his age,
    Was a secret no one could tell.

Another that grew the same way:

    To the sound of the funeral drum (Jonathan's line 1)
    The mourning procession did come.
    How their cries did resound
    For their priest, who had drowned
    In a vat of Dominican rum. (Jonathan's last line)

Like "Fictionary," it's a great game for word play, folks. Try it, in remembrance of him.


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