We are celebrating Thanksgiving a day early, to continue our time with daughter Mary Beth as she recovers from surgery, and I am thinking of the people for whom I am thankful. One of those is Joe Frazier.
What Dave Van Ronk called “the great folk scare of the 1960s” featured four great trios. I enjoyed Peter, Paul, & Mary, and The Kingston Trio, and The Limeliters, featuring “the man with the voice of an angel,” Glenn Yarbrough. My favorite, though, was The Chad Mitchell Trio, with Chad, Mike Kobluk, and Joe Frazier.
After his time in folk music, Joe became an Episcopal priest. In our roles as fellow clergy, Joe and I became friends. That friendship was short, because it came late in Joe’s life, but Helen and I gained much from it, and we cherish the memory of Joe.
We were talking about teleology one day, and I mentioned that the students at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago did not refer to “the grim reaper,” but to “the international harvester,” since the school was named for Cyrus McCormick, who invented and manufactured The International Harvester. That, of course, produced a story from Joe.
“When I was studying at Yale Divinity School, I worked nights in a care facility for the elderly with mental problems. Cyrus McCormick was one of my patients. I was there when the international harvester got him.”