Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Remembering Jim Croce, MOT

Jewish Time In a Bottle: Let's get the business part of this blog post over quickly. Then we're on to the really really interesting part.

Time in a Bottle: Remembering Jim Croce
OASIS Instructor: Jane Ellen
Thu 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Jim Croce (1943-73) began his career as an accordionist at the age of five, later claiming to be the "original underachiever." But with three albums released in less than three years and all achieving gold status (containing songs such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "One Less Set of Footsteps," and "I Got a Name"), Croce was finally on the road to superstardom when a chartered plane crash took the singer-songwriter's life at the age of 30.

OK, here's the really really interesting part.

Jim Croce z"l was a Member Of the Tribe.

Ridiculous? Absurd? Impossible? No. Not one of these things. True.

Abq Jew is sure of this, for three (3) reasons.

1. First, Jane Ellen told him it was true, and Jane Ellen never lies. At least, not about anything having to do with music.

2. Second, Wikipedia confirms!
James Joseph "Jim" Croce (/ˈkroʊtʃi/; January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was a folk and popular rock singer from USA of the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and singles. His songs "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. 
Croce was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James Albert Croce and Flora Mary (Babucci) Croce, both Italian Americans. 
On November 29, 1963 Croce met his future wife Ingrid Jacobson at the Philadelphia Convention Hall during a hootenanny, where he was judging a contest. 
Croce married his wife Ingrid in 1966, and converted to Judaism, as his wife was Jewish. He and Ingrid were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony
He enlisted in the Army National Guard that same year to avoid being drafted and deployed to Vietnam, and served on active duty for four months, leaving for duty a week after his honeymoon.
Croce, who was not good with authority, had to go through basic training twice. He said he would be prepared if "there's ever a war where we have to defend ourselves with mops".
On Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce's Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single "I Got a Name" was released, Croce and five others died when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree, while taking off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. 
Croce was buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania.

3. Rabbi Gary M Gans, recently-retired rabbi of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Marlton, New Jersey, confirms!

Lucy the Elephant lives in Margate, not Marlton
While performing yet another funeral, I spotted the rare breed of a flock of aging flower children wending their way among the graves. 
I was in the Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, PA outside of Philadelphia. 
The women in flowing dresses wearing granny glasses were not there to visit their dear old Granny! Neither were the guys in tie-died shirts, dying. 
In fact, they were making a pilgrimage to the grave of the rocker, Jim Croce. 
Still, Jim Croce the Italian Catholic, is buried in a Jewish cemetery? 
Well, it seems he converted to Judaism when he married his wife, Ingrid Jacobson, so he had the same right of every Jew, whether Jewish from birth or converted, to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Rabbi Gans claims to be a Charter Member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. (Abq Jew has not independently verified this.)

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits, in case you're wondering (Abq Jew certainly did), is
dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries. 
The Association was named for Frank Lebby Stanton's poem, The Graveyard Rabbit. Although the poem is about superstitions associated with graveyard rabbits, Stanton also establishes that such rabbits have a charmingly intimate knowledge of graveyards and a loving association with the dead. These traits are the motivation of the human beings interested in this group.
The Graveyard Rabbit (1898)
by Frank Lebby Stanton

In the white moonlight, where the willow waves,
He halfway gallops among the graves—
A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,
Content to dwell where the dead men dream,

But wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

Over the shimmering slabs he goes—
Every grave in the dark he knows;
But his nest is hidden from human eye
Where headstones broken on old graves lie.

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,
Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!

The black man creeps, when the night is dim,
Fearful, still, on the track of him;
Or fleetly follows the way he runs,
For he heals the hurts of the conjured ones.

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
The soul’s bewitched that would find release,—
To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!

He holds their secret—he brings a boon
Where winds moan wild in the dark o’ the moon;
And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet
To whoever shall sever his furry feet!

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm. 

So, while we're not really but still sort of on the subject, let's briefly talk about conversion to Judaism.

Abq Jew's good friend Mary E Carter (see A Non-Swimmer Wins the Prize! and A Non-Swimmer Considers Her Mikvah) has approached the topic seriously, introspectively, and very, very personally.

Abq Jew, on the other hand, chooses to approach conversion to Judaism from a very different perspective. A humorous perspective.

Sort of like the current Israeli government.

For those of you, Abq Jew's loyal readers, who wonder

Where does Abq Jew find this stuff?

here is one invaluable source: Thomas Friedman, in his April 26 column On a Par 5 in Dubai, Good Humor and a Respite From All Things Trump.
This threesome is at a public course and the starter comes over and says, “Do you mind if this rabbi plays with you?” They say, “No problem.” The rabbi walks up on the tee with banged-up clubs, a tattered golf bag and a yarmulke instead of a golf hat — but then proceeds to shoot a 69. 
At the end of the round one of the other players asks, “Rabbi, how did you get so good?” 
“You have to convert to Judaism,” he answers. 
So, a year goes by and the same three guys arrange to play with the rabbi again. He shoots another 69, but they all still shoot in the 90s. 
At the end of the round, one says: “Rabbi, I don’t get it. We all converted like you said, but you still shot 69 and we all still shot in the 90s. What’s wrong?” 
“What synagogue did you get converted at?” the rabbi asks earnestly. 
“Temple Beth Shalom,” they answer in unison. 
“Oh no,” says the rabbi. 
“Temple Beth Shalom? That’s for tennis!”

Anyway ... here is Time In A Bottle.

1 comment:

leroy said...

My wife dedicated that song to me it means so much to us thank you