Anita, Iowa…..”General John C. Fremont?  Is that
right?  He’s the guy who named Fremont, Nebraska.  That’s where the last
hold-out rural roots music gathering for the summer will take place.” 
The festival Bob Everhart is talking about is actually in its 26th year,
but only the 5th year for the Everharts.  “We decided to try to save
the event after the Arnolds who did it for so many years passed away. 
They are buried in the cemetery across the street from the Christensen
Field House, where the event is held.  October 5-6-7 might very well be
the last dates we’re going to be able to do this particular event. 
After the Arnolds passed away, several incredibly inept people attempted
to ‘steal’ it away from the Arnolds, and made a total mess of this very
nice music event.  Sheila and I waited three years after their one year
fiasco, for it to cool down some, but it has never been a big money
maker, which they experienced the first year they did it.  We have
gotten it back in the black, but it’s taken five years to do that.  The
problem now is, IF the Christensen Field House raises the rent
considerably next year, it just might not make it on our calendar. 
We’re up to our necks with LeMars as it is, and Gladys Strein wants us
to take over the Hampton Festival.  We’d like to do that too, it’s the
only really nice one in northeast Iowa.  We’ll know more about that as
time goes by, Gladys is having a terrible time in California, she lost
her house, and everything in it as well, so she’s going through a
tremendously difficult time.”
     “We like the Christensen Field House in Fremont,”
Sheila added, it’s easy to use, and its climate controlled, and they
have lots of electric/water hook-ups for campers as well as a free dump
station, but the cost of renting it might prohibit us doing it again, so
hopefully the folks will come out and see a really nice show, with
tickets reasonably priced at $15 a day for adults, $35 for all three
days.  Anyone under 17 gets in free, so we hope they will take advantage
of this nice offer.  If they don’t, well we’ll just have to wait and
       “The line-up of talent is pretty remarkable,” Bob
added, “Terry Smith, the composer of “Far Side Banks of Jordan” is our
headliner, and he’s always a good draw.  His stories about when Johnny
and June Carter Cash recorded his song is pretty astonishing.  There’s
about 50 additional performing artists through the 3-day period, along
with some contests, and a great ‘jamming’ room adjacent to the main
hall.  We’ll be doing the sound, like we did on the main stage in LeMars
to save money, and hopefully that will all work out ok.  Don Diemer is
coming from Colorado to help us with sound as well as perform, and he’s a
good one.  The Nebraska Life Magazine has asked to take photos and do
interviews while we are there.”
     “Budget lunch was priced according to how much it
weighed,” Bobbie Lhea added.  There’s a Deli in the Whole Foods Grocery
Store (new in Des Moines), and you can select from a large buffet what
you want to eat.  Dad wouldn’t let us have any drinks, but we could
easily fill our plates for $7 each, and the food was delightful.  I’d do
that again in a second.  They have all kinds of food, I kind of like
the India food, as does mom, but dad is always looking at fish, or meat
and potatoes, and he’s always got a full plate for $7.”
     “The next show at the Oak Tree Opry in Anita, is
September 21,” Sheila added.  “Pat Boilesen the composer of the hit song
“Prairie Fire” will be with us.  She is known as Nebraska’s Daughter,
and she’ll be joined by three really good young performers; Emma Heyen
who is a delightful 13-year old singer, does Patsy Cline really really
well, and she’s so pretty and nice on stage.  Joining her is 13-year old
rag-time piano player Calvin Dehacek from Oakland.  He’s really super,
and he’ll make the old upright piano sing.  Jeremie Faga is also with
us, he’s a young country singer from Atlantic, so we’re sure looking
forward to a good show on Sept. 21.  Seats are available at 712-762-4363.”

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