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  • Last modified 62 days ago (Feb. 14, 2024)

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New folk song a tribute to Joan Meyer

Staff writer

Joan Meyer’s tragic death resulting from an illegal raid on her home and newspaper inspired a Wichita folk singer and songwriter to compose a song in her memory.

Emily Judson, a native of Minneapolis — a north-central Kansas town about the size of Marion — who now lives in Wichita, was immediately gripped and astonished by the story of an Aug. 11 raid on the office of Marion County Record and home of its owners.

“When I first saw it, I was in shock,” she said. “My husband was working at home that day, and I ran downstairs to the basement and told him.”

The next’s day’s turn of events — when Joan Meyer died —gripped Judson, a mother of three teens, even harder.

“When I saw the videos of Joan, that’s when it really hit,” Judson said.

Performing the song live Thursday for publisher Eric Meyer, Judson said she hoped the song would honor all the staff.

Coming from a small town herself, she could not believe the raid had happened. Growing up, she was an avid reader, Judson said.

‘I read the newspaper from front to back,” she said.

She always wanted to learn about the world around her.

What she learned about the raid wasn’t what she wanted to learn.

“I was really disheartened by what happened,” she said. “I hope this honors you all.”

Judson performed the song Thursday, strumming her guitar and gently rocking back and forth in time with the music.

Eric Meyer, holding his glasses in his hands, looked pensive as he listened to the song.

“I actually remember her saying the words you just sang,” he told Judson. “I think she’d be very honored.”

Meyer said hearing the song took him back to his mother’s final day.

One question Joan Meyer asked before she died the following day after her home was raided was, “Where are all the good people?”

“People like you, doing things like this, is where the good people come from,” Meyer told Judson.

The lyrics

Everything we have is gone.

I never thought this could happen here this way.

An urge to think, to consume.

Not misleading insinuations as they say.

Truth, honesty, transparency,

This could have a chilling effect on these.

You know you’re really missed the mark

When you break a heart.

Memories, living history.

She left her apron at the door.

Purpose maintained, as time allowed,

Her life had meaning, her death has meaning now.

Where are all the good people?

Where are all the good people?

Surely good will come from this,

But I won’t be alive to see it.

Overreach, free press trampling,

With literal grave consequence.

Ignites outcries, freedoms held dear.

Choice words, the whole world hear her loud and clear.

A century she lived to see.

In a six mile radius advocating.

Father wrote while she would read,

Try to touch her copy and fierce she’d be.

Last modified Feb. 14, 2024

 

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