Goodbye, Dan Fogelberg

I have just heard the news about Dan’s death earlier today, and am still very much at a loss for words. I wrote this blog about Dan about two years ago. I probably don’t have a lot more to say today about Dan beyond than this tribute to him, and I hope you’ll consider giving it a read tonight.

I will say, that I was thinking about Dan just two days ago, when I happened on my “Greetings from the West” video. Sat down watched the whole thing for the first time in years. Wondered at the time how Dan was doing.

Isn’t it strange how sometimes we hold people in our thoughts, and are never sure why, but only later realize the reason?

The band I am in, Connections, has done a tribute show to Dan in the past few years. You can see some videos from that tribute show. If you’re in the Dallas area, I am sure we’ll do a Fogelberg tribute sometime in the new year. If you sign up for my email list, I am sure you’ll get the word when that comes around.

While I am very sad about Dan’s passing, I am also more honored than ever to be one of those who yearns to keep his music alive. And I hope that many of you who are players and performers will consider adding some of his songs to your sets.

I know that Dan continues to have many many fans, because for the past few years people would occasionally stop by my blog to ask about his health. I never did know anything, but it taught me that he has many fans and admirers who, I am sure, are all feeling this loss tonight.

There are so many lyrics from so many songs that might be appropriate right now. I try to pay attention to the songs that pop into my head at any given moment, and the one that came to me a moment ago was “Wandering Shepherd”from High Country Snows.

It may not be his most famous song. But at this moment they’d be the words that, if I could, I’d sing to him:

Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Lay down your troubles, your worries and woes.

Traveling pilgrim, rest for the night
Traveling pilgrim, rest for the night
Traveling pilgrim, rest for the night
Sup with the Savior and drink of his Light.

Homeless believer, find here a home
Homeless believer, find here a home
Homeless believer, find here a home
You may be lonely but never alone.

Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Wandering shepherd, wander no more
Lay down your troubles, your worries and woes.

Rest well, Dan…

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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