Maggie Condon — the surviving daughter of Eddie and Phyllis Condon — has been my friend for years, a fact I am proud to write. Both of her parents passed into spirit some time ago, and their ashes had been kept in the family apartment.
This year, Maggie decided to put Eddie and Phyllis to rest in the cemetery where their headstone was, where they would be surrounded by Phyllis’ family, the Smiths. This ceremony — very touching, both loving and sad and funny — took place on September 26, 2015, at Christ Church in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. When Maggie mentioned it to me, I immediately asked if I could come along, and then — with some trepidation — asked if she would like me to video it, and she agreed without a qualm.
I offer this as a tribute to all Condons, Smiths, and Reppliers, at the gravesite or living vibrantly in our hearts. The other speaker is our friend and my hero Hank O’Neal, who has done so much for the music for nearly forty years.
and the conclusion:
The video is not even up to my standards — there is wind noise and people occasionally block the camera. But an outdoor scene is far less easy to document than even a noisy club, so I present it with those reservations.
This is the music played in the cemetery, which deserves to be heard complete:
But this is the song that keeps running through my mind as I think of this Saturday afternoon:
To me, this isn’t “Goodbye, Eddie. Goodbye, Phyllis.” Rather, it’s “Thank you, Eddie and Phyllis.”
May your happiness increase!