One year ago today, Eddie Ekis died. I miss him and want to tell you why Eddie mattered to me.
When I love something intensely and a close friend loves it with equal intensity we need nothing further to achieve bliss.
Eddie and I loved the J Geils Band, the New York Giants, The Beatles, Yorkville, The Pineapple Bowl, SJU Rugby, the Beach, among other things but they all fall behind the insane number of times we watched the 1968 Mel Brooks' "The Producers." We saw it over 75 times together and add around fifty solo screenings each.
For us, the film was a ritual of joy.
We traded lines like a Martin & Lewis routine. Eddie was my best riff partner. I love friends who jump in, even if they sometimes jump without looking. But Eddie waited until he had something to say - it wasn't his style to interrupt. He'd wait for the idiots (me included) to run out of hot air then Edward dropped in the line that stopped the talking and started the rolling laughter - the kind of laughing that if you walked into the room unaware you'd think we were doing Amyl-nitrate.
I miss Eddie's humor, warmth and generosity. We all miss Eddie.
In honor of Edward Edgar Ekis, a few of the best from The Producers:
Franz Liebkind: Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer. He could dance the pants off Churchill! Hitler... there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!
Concierge: ...But you won't find him there... he's up on the roof with his boids. He keeps boids. Dirty... disgusting... filthy... lice-ridden boids. You used to be able to sit out on the stoop like a person. Not anymore! No, sir! Boids!... You get my drift?
Leo Bloom: We... uh... get your "drift". Thank you, madam.