LAW OFFICE MONAST
www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913
ERIC DOUGHERTY AND THE FISHING-LINE CAPER REFLECTING ON ONE OF MY BEST PRANKS AND LONGEST FRIENDSHIPS O ne April Fools’ Day back in my teenage years, my good buddy Eric Dougherty and I were inspecting the books in our high school library a lot more closely than usual. At least, that must have been what the librarian returned to the states, he alternated going to school and working, ultimately graduating and taking a job at a well-known French bakery.
thought as we ambled from shelf to shelf, stringing tripwires of nigh-invisible fishing line throughout the place. By the time we were done, the library was a spider’s web of traps — even if you didn’t trip when you ran into one of the lines, it’d knock books off the shelf, causing general chaos. Honestly, I’m amazed we didn’t get caught, but in some ways, it makes sense. Back then, Eric and I were thick as thieves, flying beneath the radar. We were into camping, the outdoors, John Denver, and our jeeps. We didn’t really fit into any of the stereotypical cliques within the high school hierarchy. So we looked innocuous wherever we went. And usually, we were — except for the April Fools’ Day of senior year, when Eric masterminded this devil’s snare of interlocking mayhem. The next day, when the principal came on the loudspeaker and implored the student body to come forward if we had any information about the “fishing-line incident,” nobody had a clue it had been us. We were the last pair of guys anybody would suspect.
Meanwhile, he and Julie continued to correspond. Years later, when they fell in love, she moved to be with him in Columbus.
They stuck around for a bit before realizing that Europe was much more
interesting, so they moved to England and took up residence as managers of an amazing,
1,000-plus-year-old castle. He took a job at a bakery in their little town and steadily became a master pastry chef. Later, they opened their own quaint coffee and pastry place near Avebury, where they met.
“Honestly, I’m amazed we didn’t get caught, but in some ways, it makes sense.”
Every month or so, I still hear from him through the magic of social media. Sometimes I’ll see him playing bagpipes in his kilt, mugging for the camera with his lovely grandchildren, or volunteering with the local fire department. His life is a monument to doing your own thing and to carving out your own unique space within the world. It’s on my bucket list to visit him someday, but until then, I can reminisce about many happy adventures as friends, including laying booby traps in the high school library. –Jim Monast
Eric has always been a nonconformist. After his dad passed away when he was young, he became an incredibly independent kid, marching to the beat of a different drum. Right after we got out of high school, he started a tradition of frequent traveling. Almost every summer, he’d get a plane ticket out to Europe, pick up a Europass, and meander around abroad, meeting people and developing a whole network of friends along the way. One day while wandering, he met a beautiful woman named Julie, who worked at a tiny bookstore just outside of Avebury henge in southwest England, and his interest was piqued. When he
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