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     Hampton, Iowa…..”We just finished our trip to
participate in the “Hampton’s Old Time Music Festival.”  Bob &
Sheila were booked on this event some time ago, and though they’ve been
on it many times, this year was special according to Sheila. “Gladys
Strein, who makes her home in California, is the mover and shaker behind
this very nice rural music gathering.  She manages to keep the program
old-timey and fun, and drew an extraordinary crowd this year, especially
during the Saturday matinee.  It was on this particular show that we
got to hear an extraordinary twin-fiddle presentation with Jay Kelly
from Atkinson, Nebr., and Becky Gors from Waverly, Iowa.  They had never
played together before, but they presented a twin-fiddle version of
“Faded Love” which was a real treat for those of us who like our country
music, ‘country.’   Another special guest was Jack Ferguson from Boone,
Iowa.  Jack was on Bob’s PBS television show “Old Time Country Music”
as well as his nephew Randy Kohrs, who produced and recorded Jack’s new
CD “Shackles and Chains.”  Wow, Jack is a tremendous Dobro player, and
he taught Randy Kohrs, who now plays for Dolly Parton.  Both Jack and
Jay were there to work with Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe (as was John
Dutwiler from Burlington, Iowa).  So you know this was an incredibly
good country music performance.”
     “I was totally impressed with the Hampton show this
year,” Bob added.  “Gladys had Terry Smith as a headliner, and he
attracted a large audience.  Bobby Awe and Dale Eichor with their
special guests, plus Cedar Valley Bluegrass (the band that Becky Gors
plays in), Highway 52, Curt King & Band, and Bob & Sheila.  We
always have a good time telling a few jokes and playing the old-time
songs.   One guy came up to me later and said he really appreciated what
he called ‘casual comedy.’  I suspect he’s right, I’m not a comedian,
and when I tell stories, it’s usually about someone I know.  I also
really enjoyed Cedar Valley when they were on, as they sang “Just Look
At Old Glory” a song written by our mutual friend Jackie Shewey.  Cedar
Valley learned it from Howard Ness’s sister, and they did it just fine.”
     “Well, we got to go see my favorite movie,” Bobbie
Lhea, the Everhart’s daughter chimed in, “The Avengers was playing
during free popcorn night at the Atlantic theater last Tuesday, so dad
took us.  He also took us to Greenfield to the Olive Branch restaurant
that serves really really good lamb gyros, which is a great Greek food. 
Thursday nights are their Greek nights. And of course Sunday is
Mother’s Day so we stopped in Des Moines at Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch. 
We would have waited about an hour to get into the Cheesecake Factory,
so we just dropped in and got some to take home with us.”
     “We sure didn’t have a ‘budget lunch’ this week,” Bob
added, “but we did have some delightful food.  We’re all geared up for
the great concert by the best steel guitar player in the Midwest, coming
up Friday, May 18 at the Oak Tree Opry. Curt Shoemaker is not only a
great steel player, he’s bringing his whole band with him, so it’s going
to be one swell night for us. I’d sure recommend reserved seats.  712-762-4363.

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