Our View: ‘The parting glass’
Posted: February 9, 2013
Melvin S. “Jim” Harmon Jr., master of the one-liner and quick riposte, was a funny man, a very funny man. He was also a very talented one. Music, both the teaching and performing of it, was his area of expertise.
But he was much more than a mere amalgam of two signature attributes, wit and talent. Mr. Harmon, who died earlier this week at the far-too-young age of 58, was — how exactly do you put this? — a presence about town. The $64 description might be “ubiquitous.”
But that he was — whether taking Handley’s Hilltop Singers through their choral paces, or entertaining the Bloomers Luncheon crowd as a member of The Consonants, or changing direction and lending his bass to the chamber-choir efforts of Winchester Musica Viva, or representing Stonewall District on the Frederick County School Board. He did get around.
A favorite song of Jim’s, at least of recent favored vintage, was “The Parting Glass,” a classic Irish ditty of longing and departure, which Musica Viva sang at its last two Christmas concerts. The choir will sing it again, for him, at his memorial service this Sunday (4 p.m.) at Braddock Street United Methodist Church. It’s a perfect tribute, and send-off, for a man who “spent (life) in good company.”