Mark Twain was Right!

“… my good friends the Allens … one of the best of their many excellent dicta is that “to play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk.” 

~ H. S. Scrivener, 1903 

It’s hard to wrap my head around thanking the sponsors, golfers, and volunteers and reporting the success of the THIRD Annual Matthew Butcher Memorial Golf Tournament. 

Harder still to imagine the trial to come later this summer, knowing how important it is that the men who murdered my son be held to account, knowing still how much it still hurts us all to relive.  

I sent along a video to the Faces of Courage organizers this Mothers’ Day. (I'm so inspired by the work of the moms!) 

Here's what I said:  

“My son Matthew was murdered on June 24, 2010. He was 27, a sweet boy with a kind heart. 

I don't know what kind of gun the men who broke into the medical marijuana dispensary where he was working used to shoot Matthew in the back of his head, but this I do know: people should go to work and then go home, alive. And I know that the more guns there are and the easier it is to get them, the more people are hurt and killed with guns. 

People are so nice to the mother of a murder victim. They say with great sympathy: No one should lose a child; it's unnatural. 

They are right. It IS the worst thing that can happen.  

And yet it is with optimism that I face the future, inspired by the anger and passion of moms, many moms, to inspire action for sane and sensible gun policies. 

It is then in Matthew's memory that I commit this Mothers' Day to do everything I can to make sure not another mom -- or dad -- loses a child to gun violence.”  

Many, many families of murdered victims never get to witness even some measure of justice served and so I will be there to represent. In Matthew’s memory. 

Steven (Butcher) shared his “little brother” update (see Steven Butcher’s first publication here) on these pages. Sending out the golfers, he added: “This course, Brookside #2, this is the last course my brother played. We played here late Wednesday; he was killed the following Thursday afternoon. 

“It was his favorite course – our home course – and we played it as often as we could.” 

Twice this week I’ve scolded someone about golf: It is not the elitist snobby sport of my youth. 

For twenty years, the alliance between public golfers and public golf workers has been rich and deep, a history of mutual respect and shared struggle. The fight to stave off Richard Riordan’s golf privatization schemes in the mid-1990’s left public golfers stronger and more organized than ever and that’s been good for golf, great for golf workers. 

As I embark on my newest work adventure (Don & I & Mocha the Chihuahua have moved to Riverside and I’ve a new assignment with SEIU 721 as the Regional Director of the Union’s Inland Area), the first 

fight I face is bargaining a fair contract for the workers of the Coachella Valley Water District. These workers bring water to the desert; they are the reason we have food. And yet the elected members of the District’s board seek to strip these men and women of family health benefits. 

I start from this theory: The jobs of the CVWD workers are good jobs, for now, and these jobs being good jobs benefits the entire Coachella Valley. 

I met a man in the City of Coachella this week and he took me outside to point to the fields just beyond walls of the water district plant, pointed to a place he and his family, his father and his family before him, live and maintain the irrigation systems that green the desert. 

Miguel spoke to me about his work as a Zanjero with the pride of an artisan. 

I looked up the word Zanjero, found it on a list of jobs that no longer exist. 

William Mulholland started his career as a Zanjero, a water magician, generation after generation of proud men bringing the miracle of water to the desert and food to our tables. 

To end this brief update then: Please mark your calendars for next year’s tournament on Saturday, July 19 in Pasadena, and plan on joining us for another beautiful fun day of golf and friendship in honor of Matthew’s memory. 

If Ron Kaye can golf in the Butcher Memorial Tourney, anything is possible. 

Perhaps the miracle I need in the Desert to protect the benefits of the CVWD workers, will come from golfers! 

Justice be served. 

* Even if he didn’t say it, which he apparently did not! 

Follow the Matt Butcher Memorial Foundation here ~ me on Twitter here @JulieButcher 

#MBMF #JusticeforMateo #NoMoreNames



Vol 11 Issue 61

Pub: July 29, 2013