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Seeing Vic Snyder's recent op-ed reminded me of when Dr. Snyder and I were running for office at the same time. What a task it turned out to be, having two Vics on the same ballot, even for different races. He was running for the U.S. House of Representatives. I was running for Little Rock traffic judge.

At candidate forums, emcees frequently introduced me as Vic Snyder and him as Vic Fleming. It became a running joke between us. My campaign even produced a radio ad, encouraging people to vote for "the other Vic" for traffic judge.

At a campaign event that year, a man came up and professed his respect for my "philosophy." Hmm, I thought. I had not, as far as I knew, intentionally espoused anything resembling philosophy. Then, as he left, the guy told me he'd be at the neighborhood-walking in North Little Rock the following week. I had no such event planned.

I turned to my campaign manager, who was standing in this group, and shrugged my shoulders. She said, "He thinks he's at a Vic Snyder fundraiser."

On sharing that story with Dr. Snyder, I learned that at one of his fundraisers, a woman had been speaking very positively about him to a group, mentioning his "cute children." He was single and childless at the time. Turns out this woman had thought she was at a fundraiser for Vic Fleming.

This "tale of two Vics" got a twist in January of this year, as I prepared to participate in a musical tribute for Charlie Crow, a longtime friend of mine who headed up the local chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). Charlie--as to whom the description "prince of a fellow" would be an understatement--died on Dec. 25. I signed up early to perform at this event. I'd written a song about the songs that Charlie wrote, titled "Charlie's Tunes."

I've been involved with NSAI since 2010. And Charlie was in a church-related group with me for many years. Anyhow, on Jan. 11, a notice of the tribute went out to local NSAI chapter members, reading: "Everyone is welcome to participate, but we'll go on a first-come-first-serve basis, beginning with the following songwriters who've already signed up: ..."

Fifth on the list: "Vic Snyder."

"Vic Fleming"? Not on the list.

I was fairly sure the former congressman was not a songwriter. And that, while he surely knew Charlie Crow (a political animal in his own right), he would no doubt pay his respects in some manner other than attending the musical tribute.

To have some fun with this, I sent an email to the local NSAI chapter head: "Would you please put me on the list and ask Dr. Snyder to go last?"

The reply I received said that someone else was in charge of the event and I should contact her to see if there might be time for me to play.

Dr. Snyder was indeed a no-show. And I got to do the song I had written to honor Charlie well before the end of the event!


Vic Fleming is a judge, a writer, and an adjunct faculty member at Bowen Law School.

Editorial on 02/13/2020

Print Headline: Vic who?


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