Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Herman Smiths's Festival and Crossing the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois

After returning from Ponderosa Park on July 11th, Kenny Baker took me over to the airport so I could fly home for a few days. A festival up in New England that we were supposed to work on the 16th, 17th, and 18th had been cancelled.

Bill and the Blue Grass Boys worked the Opry Friday and Saturday nights. I remember, as we rode to the airport, seeing a construction site and Kenny saying that they were going to build some sort of amusement park there. (That was the construction of Opryland; it opened in 1972 and the Opry was moved there in March 16th, 1974.)

I flew back to Nashville on the 21st. Kenny met me at the airport. On July 22nd we were getting ready to go to Herman Smith's First Blue Grass Festival….in Knob Noster Missouri.

Before we left, there were some festivities being held near the Hall of Fame, off 16th Avenue, beginning about noon, and Bill had been asked to perform. We went down and parked the bus and it seemed no one was in charge or really knew what was happening. Finally it was clear that the program wasn’t going to start anywhere close to being on time and we left and headed for Missouri.
I remember Joe Stuart and Kenny Baker talking about the route we were going to take ….I remember something about a ferry. I didn’t think much about it as that was the usual conversation between the two of them as we left each week.
We left about 2 p.m. that day, then later that day we were on the ferry near Cairo, Illinois. We all thought they were kidding until the highway stopped at the waters edge.

You could tell Bill was a little nervous about putting the bus on the ferry, but...

We made it.

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