May Synapse Clippings

Some of you get these entries sent to you via email (ala Feedburner). For reasons beyond me, the most recent entries are not coming through with any links embedded. I have no idea why and will work to try and figure it out. Sorry for the inconvenience.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and so my thoughts are 270 miles south of here, at the Kerrville Folk Festival. For the second year in a row, events are intervening to make it virtually impossible that I’ll get down there for even a day or two.

Such is the way life goes, sometimes. Dennise and I had actually both talked about going down this very weekend, and spending some days. But, we’ve been busy with other stuff.

Bill Nash texted to say that they’d do a circle at Nashbill in my honor. Can’t ask for much more than that….and hope that folks keep the reports flowing on the Kerrchat list.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Speaking of Kerrville friends, one my oldest has had a terrible tragedy. Debbie Ramaker’s 18-year-old son was killed in a car wreck that apparently involved alcohol and the driver of the car (a friend of her son’s)

Here’s what she’s posted to her website:


“I am sad to inform you that my sweet son Jared has passed. My Jared was
involved in an automobile accident that happened on May 18, 2008. He was
being driven by a friend who was under the influence and was killed
almost instantly. The boy who was driving is in jail and being charged
with manslaughter. He is just a kid and so I hope you keep his family
and ours in your prayers as both are grieving.”


Read the whole thing
here.

I truly ache for her and her family. Jared was a good kid who tolerated his Mom’s hanging out with the Kerrville crowd. Debbie’s an old friend who sang on stage with me both at my CD release party, and at Uncle Calvin’s…once upon a time.

My heart aches and goes out to all of them.

Rev. Bill Crouch died about two weeks ago. Bill was a legend in the North Texas Conference, and was my “DS” at one point. He’s also the father of one of my good clergy friends, Mary Beth Crouch. (And, long, long ago, I was the hall director for one of his other daughters…)

You can read a fine obit here.

Bill was most known for being a minister. But he was also a musician. Bill played in a group that, best I can tell for what I’ve heard, had a sort of “Kingston Trio” sound.

Bill died of an aggressive form of cancer, and his memorial service was the Monday after Dennise’s surgery…so I just couldn’t get up there for it….but I heard it was great.

But one of the things I will now cherish is that apparently Bill’s last performance as a musician –singing and playing his acoustic– was with Connections during our Denton show back in February. Bill “sat in” on several of the Eagles tunes.

And we are honored to list him as “sitting in with the band” member of Connections, and honored by the memory of getting to play with him one last time.

Well, the brouhaha over Hillary Clinton’s comments the other night continues. Her supporters continue to suggest that anyone who was offended by it is over-reacting. So, we’ll see how it plays out.

Of even more interest to me is some analysis done on her claim that “many Primaries go into June.”

Well, that appears to be technically true. But it overlooks the fact that this year’s primary started earlier than any in history.

The NYT blog has done some interesting analysis on this.


“The 1992 Democratic campaign to defeat President George Bush started much later than this year’s campaign. Bill Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, announced his candidacy on Oct. 3, 1991. Mrs. Clinton began her race last January, and her Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, entered the contest soon after.”


That means that Bill Clinton’s campaign –from “announcement” to June of the following year– was nine months. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, assuming she stays in until June, would be 17 months!

But wait, there’s more. Despite her many assertions that President Clinton didn’t have it wrapped up until June, there is ample evidence to the contrary among reports from the time. From the same NYT blog:


“Yet by March 20, 1992, the list of Democrats seeking the nomination had dwindled to the point where Phil Angelides, then the chairman of the California Democratic Party, said, “Today is really the day we start the general election campaign against George Bush.”

Less than two weeks later, on April 8, after winning the New York primary, Mr. Clinton’s deputy campaign manager, George Stephanopoulos, declared the process complete.

“It’s mathematically impossible for Brown to get the nomination, and it would take Tsongas about 90 percent of the remaining delegates to win,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said, referring to Senator Paul E. Tsongas of Massachusetts, who had already suspended his campaign, and Jerry Brown, the former California governor. Though Mr. Brown competed until the Democratic convention, Mr. Clinton was the presumptive nominee.”


As for the other events Hillary Clinton mentioned –the timeline of Robert Kennedy’s run in 1968– this chronology shows how Kennedy didn’t even enter the race until March of 1968!! He was in it until his untimely death in June of that year, for a paltry total of 3 months!!! Fourteen less than Clinton will be in, should she stay through June.

So, yes, she is correct that several campaigns have technically gone into June previously. But none of them have been quite so lengthy as the one we’re in right now.

Changing the tone completely, may I say here that sometimes I really love the Onion.

Yes, that last one was funny. But, sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. And while I love to write you all about all the great things to like about Texas, sometimes there’s this:

Man Uses Gun for Backscratcher, Shoots Himself

The reporter on this was Kimberly Durnan who, as Pegasus News noted, used considerable restraint in her reporting. And apparently she did such a good job that the DMN gave her the next story in the same…um…rich…um…genre:

Naked Mom Argues With Son, Accidentally Shoots Finger

Yep. That’s our state.

One final note: look for the Connections Band fall schedule very, very soon…perhaps as early as tomorrow. Some GREAT dates coming up…including the chance to see every show we’ve done so far, and our newest cover show, coming in September.

I promise…you won’t want to miss it.

More soon.

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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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