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     Kearney, Nebraska…..”It was a weekend full of
adventure.”  Bob & Sheila went out to Western Nebraska for several
performances of old-time country music.  “We really don’t call it
old-time music anymore,” Bob said.  “Country music is a very old musical
genre in America, one of this country’s oldest.  So that makes country
music today very old.  What Sheila and I do is play country music when
it was young.  This is exactly what the World Theater in Kearney wanted.
This recently restored and renovated theater is a marvel.  It was built
by the Masons in the ‘twenties’ as a vaudeville house.  This weekend it
became that once again.  Sheila and I opened for the movie “Walk The
Line” the recent, very successful film about Johnny Cash’s life.  What
the World Theater wanted was a performance of the music, the songs, the
styles of songs that Johnny Cash would have listened to when he was a
boy growing up on a cotton farm in Arkansas.  That was easy for us, and
an incredible adventure into a room of over 500 seats where the
acoustics was phenomenal.  This is a tremendous music hall, with
amazingly comfortable seats and beautiful decor, and though we certainly
didn’t fill the theater, we certainly did well with our program and our
CD sales as well as our pay which was based on the number of seats
sold.  We did a 7pm show on Friday and a 2pm matinee on Sunday.  Both of
them did well for us.”
     “On Saturday we were on the Burton Bend Music Festival
in Holbrook,” Sheila added.  “It was fun for us too.  Mary Schutz is
the director, but the festival is put on by the Whipple Family.  Maybe
some of you remember Alexa Whipple. Bob had her open for Bill Anderson
at the LeMars festival a couple of years ago.  When the Fire Marshall
said no more people could come into the Main Stage building, we asked
Mr. Anderson if he would do another show in the Dance Hall which was
right next door.  After one look at the 2,000 in the Main Stage, he said
“Sure, why not?”  So, while Anderson was performing on the Main Stage,
Bob got Alexa Whipple to keep the stage humming right next door, and
keep performing until Bill Anderson came in.” 
     “She did an excellent job,” Bob added, “Alexa is a
‘natural’ talent.  Her parents are doing the right thing by establishing
a festival that features her talent.  It was a wonderful trip for us to
Holbrook, where the festival took place in a restored and refurbished
school building.  The staging area was super.  I was asked to do some MC
work, and at one point I told the audience that I thought perhaps we
were experiencing the innocence of America in this small prairie town. 
The talent and the audience was remarkable acceptable of the  old-time
style of country music.”
     “We sure had a good time on the road,” Bobbie Lhea,
the Everhart’s daughter added. “I got kind of ‘funkey’ if you know what I
mean.  Well, we went through a small town on the way to Holbrook.  The
name of the town was “Funk.”  So I guess that’s why I was ‘funkey.’  I
sure got Dad to get us a neat budget lunch.  When we were in Arapahoe,
where we stayed both Friday and Saturday night at the Hunter’s Lodge
“Nebraska Hunt” whew, what a neat place to stay.  They have all kinds of
stuffed animals in the main lobby room, including a huge cougar. 
Anyway, not too far away was a small restaurant with a great big sign
out front.  It said, “Free Napkin With The Purchase of A Sandwich.” Sure
enough, that’s where Dad took us, and yes, we did get a free napkin
with a super good sandwich.”
     “We’re getting ready for the big show at the Oak Tree
Opry,” Sheila added.  “It’s going to be fun as our whole gang celebrates
the 100th birthdays of Bill Monroe, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Minnie
Pearl, Woody Guthrie, and Jay Silverheels.  We also have some special
guests coming to help make it more fun, Mark & Sue Jenkins (super
country music performers), Michael Murphy (he’s part Native American and
will do some Indian flute music to honor Jay Silverheels who played the
part of Tonto on the Lone Ranger), and Lee Muller will do some obscure
Woody Guthrie songs.  It’s going to be fun to watch Rick & Harriette
do Minnie Pearl and Tonto.  Wow, can’t wait.”

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