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One more thing ...

So, I met Cindy Sheehan this weekend. I was in Crawford for their Easter Sunday service at the peace house. Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave the sermon. Some call him the "Dean" of the Civil Rights movement. I call him a heck of an inspiring speaker. Then Cindy took the mike and we all offered a Christian prayer before chowing down on some vegetarian cuisine.

Anyhow, I've been to the town before to cover stories for the other paper that I moonlight for -- The Lone Star Iconoclast -- but I'd never met the mom who kick started the peace movement. Check it out ...

It was interesting, being there among the really hard core activist types. As Dr. Gonzo would have said, the tension was running high; you could strike sparks anywhere. I talked to a lot of Iraq vets, mostly guys my age. There were a lot of Iraq war parents there as well, several of whom I got on the record.

The guy on Cindy's right (left side o the pic) is a friend of hers whose name is not coming to mind. I have him on my recorder talking about his son, who died the same day as Casey Sheehan. The nice thing about being a reporter is that a detailed memory is not necessary if you take thorough notes, which I do. So, when I get around to writing about the experience, I'll make sure to get his name.

Anyway, meeting Cindy Sheehan on Easter Sunday was a unique experience. I introduced myself by saying, "Hello Cindy. My name is Stephen Webster. I am with The News Connection and The Lone Star Iconoclast." I extended my hand and smiled. She pointed at me and said, "Webster? Iconoclast? I know you."

She took about four paces toward me and gave me a giant hug. I reciprocated, putting my arms around her shoulders. "Thank you," she said. Just when I thought the hug was through and I began to release my embrace she squeezed me a little tighter and said, "You guys do so much good. Thank you."

I honestly came away with the distinct impression that Cindy Sheehan is about as genuine a person as I have ever met. Not every movement can choose who speaks for it. But my preconceived notions about this woman were completely wrong. I expected something fake. I expected her to be protected, on the make, and out of the sun. Nope.

It was a great experience, and I'm sure it'll make a great story. Too bad there is little/no "local interest" for TNC. But we've always got the Internet, right?

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