OAK TREE OPRY…..”It was one heck of a weekend,” says
Bobbie Lhea Everhart, the 15-year old daughter of Smithsonian
Institution recording artists and world travelers, Bob & Sheila
Everhart.  “The Oak Tree Opry was totally full Friday and Saturday
night.  Some folks missed the singing French dog, LeMar on the Saturday
matinee, but he really sang his little heart out.  We had some kids in
to see the Saturday night show, they sat in the balcony, and didn’t spit
on anybody either.  I guess our budget lunch this time around is going
to be the hot-dogs and polish sausages mom had left over from
SpringFest.  I dont’ mind, they are really good when they’re double
     Sheila Everhart takes care of the concession stand at
the Oak Tree.  “We just had super crowds all weekend, and that meant
several extra runs to the grocery store for more supplies.  We haven’t
had to do that before during SpringFest.  It can all be explained by all
the great talent we had this year.  I’m going to list them cause they
were so great: Clarence Hayden (Mo); Bobby Awe (Ia); Janine Sherry (Mn);
Francis Hahn (Ia); Rick & Harriette Andersen (Ia); Barb & Dale
Frazier (Ia); Lee Muller (Ks); David Green (Ia); Bill Hedren (Ia);
Steely (Ia); Joan Brooking (Ia); Marge Lund (Ia); Emma Heyen (Ia); Wally
James (Fl); Jackie Shewey (Ne); and LeMar (Ia).  I’m sure I probably
missed somebody, and we didn’t have as many ‘drop-ins’ as we usually
have, but we had so much talent we couldn’t take any intermissions and
still get them all on.  The Sunday old-time gospel show was especially
nice, and we had more attendees than ever.”
     “SpringFest has grown into a kind of regular little
festival of old-time music,” Bob Everhart added, “It’s sort of like the
‘real-deal’ when it comes to great American traditional country music. 
We know we had a lot of folks staying out at Lake Anita State Park in
their RV’s, and we had a bunch of folks having steak dinners at the
Redwood Steakhouse on Friday and Saturday nights.  The Weathervane Cafe
also had a nice increase in diners for breakfast and lunch.  Bob Duff,
who used to live in Anita, and now lives in Newport Beach, California,
came back to Iowa to spend the weekend with us, even though he is
tremendously busy working on some real estate titles for some huge
corporations in New York state.  He wanted to raise some money to help
us patch up the roof on the theater, and he sure did that.  He brought
some absolutely beautiful individually made “Oak Tree Opry” tee-shirts
and caps from California, as well as some really neat shirts from Hawaii
and California.  It turned out to be a significant auction, he raised
over $550 to fix the roof with, and that sure ought to do the deal.  He
had tears in his eyes when he told me how he was sitting in the back of
the theater watching the show, reflecting on how he used to work in the
projection booth when he was eleven years old.  And that took him to
where his grandmother lived, in the little white house that was just
west of the theater.  Jim Mailander had it torn down, it was in really
bad shape, but it sure brought back memories for our good friend Bob
Duff.  His wife Charyl, who also likes the old-time music, wanted to be
with him but she just underwent surgery and couldn’t make it, but her
spirit sure was with us.  We’d like to publicly thank Bob Duff for all
he does for us, not only at the Oak Tree Opry, but for our performers,
and for us personally.  Thank you Bob & Charyl Duff.”
     The next show at the Oak Tree features Dale Eichor and
Bobby Awe, two of Iowa’s very best traditional and classic country
performers.  They will be on May 4th, and reserved seats are highly
recommended.  712-762-4363

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