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     Anita, Iowa…..”The circus just isn’t what it used to
be.”  Bobbie Lhea Everhart is the 15-year old daughter of Smithsonian
Institution recording artists Bob & Sheila.  “I can remember so well
when I went to the Carson & Barnes Circus, just a few years ago,
and they had five-rings of some of the most spectacular circus acts I
have ever seen in my entire lifetime.  I think there were like 16
elephants, and when they raced around all those rings, they actually
shook the ground.  Now there is only one ring and two elephants.  That’s
kind of sad.  Who’s to blame?  Probably the economy and the high cost
of travel.  How is a circus going to be able to support all of what it
takes to put on a 5-ring show when the cost of gas and diesel is so
high? And how can they keep their ticket prices down and still attract a
large audience when there is so little money left in a household budget
to allow a family to go out and see the circus.  Well, maybe dad can
explain that better than me.”
     “What Bobbie is talking about,” added dad, “is this
terrible long slow-moving economy that won’t allow our families to even
enjoy a bit of entertainment.  We have the same problem at our little
opera house in Anita.  We’re accustomed to full houses, and this year
it’s down a bit.  Not a lot, but enough to make the difference of
whether we can add any new acts to the bill.  Red Johnson, a Capitol
recording artist just finished his great show last Friday, and we had a
nearly full house. We were probably short maybe ten seats.  Last year it
was full.  That’s an indication that the dollar isn’t big enough to go
all the way around.  What will happen when food comes into short
     “Well, I don’t know about food,” Bobbie Lhea piped up,
“but mom makes the best hot-dogs and polish sausages you ever ate at
the Oak Tree Opry.  I always have my share, and we even had a couple
left over from Friday night’s show. Guess what mom did?  She cut the
sausages up, added some potatoes, onions (green and otherwise) and some
delicious eggs, and we had a super breakfast.  She calls it a
‘bachelor’s breakfast’ and of course dad liked it a lot.  I call it a
budget lunch.”
     “We’re off to the big festival in Wahoo, Nebraska,”
Bob added, “it starts on June 21, and we want to get there early to get a
good camper spot.  That means our next show at the Oak Tree Opry will
be July 6th with the ever-popular Jackie Shewey doing a great tribute to
Patsy Cline, and our favorite young Johnny Cash singer, Sean Benz
dropping down to see us from Minnesota.  What a great show that will be,
and it will take us far far away from today’s lousy economy problems.”
     Reserved seats are sometimes recommended at the Oak Tree Opry.  They can be made by calling 712-762-4363

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