Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Hot dawg I mean hot dogs picnics outdoors in the park, a national day off, and somewhere somebody will fill the night skies with fire works, which I imagine is symbolic for the "rocket's red glare." If it isn't, probably should be. We're supposed to be celebrating this great country, land of the FREE freedom of choices, that is, from the start and banner star spangled banner American, AMERICA's star spangled banner. She's a grand old flag, always has been, always will be. Treat her right, she's given you a lot to be proud of -- you, me, us, all of us.

Parking the Bus

One of the most entertaining groups on the road for years will soon be leaving the bluegrass trail and parking the bus. Maybe some of you haven't heard yet that the Lewis Family has reached a very difficult decision to retire. Unfortunately, I had expected something like this was coming but wasn't really in any hurry to hear it. It's not that they want to, but a decision of necessity. Some things just can't be avoide, and when reality of a situation sets in the best choice is usually to accept it. Polly's health is declining; Miggie just celebrated another birthday and also has health issues.

We will miss you, but to your credit, you will be leaving behind to all of us many, many fond memories. I personally have enjoyed many moments and hours with you. It was always fun to introduce you to an appreciative audience and share a bit of fun and exchange with Little Roy. I said one time that somebody asked me if Little Roy was in his second childhood and I told them heck no he never got out of his first one yet. These and many more fond memories, 60 years worth, that will endure our life times.

The following is their final travel schedule: July 10 and 11, Shipshewana, Ind., Bluegrass Restaurant and Theater. July 31, Parsons, WV, Five River Campgrounds: 2 and 8 p.m. August 7, Lebanon, Mo., Cowan Civic Center (Brumley Sing). August 11, Washingtonville, Pa., Montour-Delong Fair Grounds. And the final appearance, September 5, Dover, Pa., Union Fire and Hose CO #1. If need be, it is suggested you may call 615-851-4500 to confirm dates.

Keep them in your prayers for their present and future endeavors.

Milestones

I passed two milestones this past month: Another notch in the old birthday belt and a 20-year anniversary program for Sunday Bluegrass at WFPK.

I again wish to express many sincere thanks to all of you for the well wishes and some special gifts. My thanks to Stacy Owen for the engraved glass "trophy" commemorating my 20 years there. It is a really fine piece. Other friends brought me items of special memories, pictures, notes, cards, all put together with much patience and effort. I sincerely appreciate all of the great thoughts and YOU especially. This all took place at the Optimist Park, Vine Grove, Ky., June 7 with a fish fry put together by the wonderful friends I have been blessed with attending the Monday night jams. Those fish were great. Really.

I don't mean any slight here by not mentioning names because I confess I can't remember all. I will say "hats off" to Bobby Smith, Margaret Hamilton and Wayne Maybe (the fish fryer). I know they were the instigators, as they often are, of the whole affair. Thank you all so much. You'll never know how much you mean to me.

Quick and Brief

Well, I'd better get some important stuff in here quick and brief. Our big Kahuna has informed us we will have to tighten the info a bit due to changes in the printing and space from the printer.

JAMS: Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights. Hillview City Hall. Thurs. nights, 6 p.m. Shepherdsville City Park by Salt River, Tuesday, 6 p.m. Iroquois American Legion Post, 800 West Woodlawn Ave. Tuesday nights, 5:30 p.m. Bluegrass Anon, Zeppelin Café, 1036 Burnett Ave. At 6:30 p.m. Vine Grove Optimist Park, Monday nights. 6/7 p.m.

Come to the Belle Belle of Louisville for the Sunday bluegrass cruises. July 5, Hog Operation. July 12, BlueZenGrass. July 19, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. July 26, Kentucky Blue. Boarding starts at 1:30 p.m., cruise at 2 and return at 4.

C.R. Wilson Festival, Derby Ind., July 10 and 11: Fri., Wildwood Valley Boys. Sat., Cumberland Highlanders. Fri. and Sat, Tommy Brown. Fri., Bluegrass 101. Sat., Men Of The Week. Fri. and Sat., Kings Highway. Fri Cowen Creek Boys. Sat., Highway 41.

"That's All Folks." See you on the radio, WFPK 91.9 FM, every Sunday night 8-11.