Thursday, March 22, 2012

The First Blue Grass Boy Reunion

Our First Blue Grass Boy Reunion.
Memorial Day Weekend 2000
A success…..Damp! but a success. It rained hard all day long each day…
I was asked in October of 1999 to put together a Blue Grass Boy Reunion and I was able to contact 89 of the 110 living former band members .

Participants were Gordon Terry (1950) Johnny Vipperman (1951) Noah Crase (1954) Carlos Brock (1954). Eddie Adcock (1957) Tater Tate (1958 and 1984) Frank Buchanan (1960) Lonnie Hoppers (1962) David Deese (1962) Gary Thurman (1962) Doug Green (1967) RC Harris (1970) Dan Jones (1971) Guy Stevenson (1973) Jim Moratto (1973), Dwight Dillman (1974) Wayne Lewis (1977) Larry Beasley (1977) Art Stamper (1984) Wayne Jerrolds (1989) Jimmy Campbell (1988) Ernie Sykes (1996) and James Monroe (1963). Sonny Osborne (1952 and Dana Cupp (1991)were on the grounds but the rains were heavy and didn't make it up to the Barn. Some great stories were shared of the time they spent working with Bill Monroe.

Stories ranged from Gordon telling about the first time on stage and not knowing that when Bill nodded at him on stage it meant for him to take a break to Lonnie and Frank's dog stories.

The little Jamboree Barn in Rosine was a lifesaver as 3 of our 4 sessions accompanied the sound of the rain on the tin roof. Very fitting.
The little Barn was very reminiscent of the Old Brown County Barn that stood in Bean Blossom for years, not near as large but we felt right at home.

Blue Grass Boy 2000 "Late in the evening...." A limited edition print was unveiled which featured Bill in a familiar pose with his faithful F5 from a day prior to Gibson’s repair to the peg head, to his left and faded into time and distance Uncle Pen appears.

There were 1050 prints signed and numbered by the artist, Willard Gayheart available for sale to the public. Each Blue Grass Boy received a copy of the print signed and numbered with BGB followed by the number that corresponding to the belt buckle number from the birthday project from 1987. .
It was a great two days, and just to be able to spend time with these guys, they were there when musical history was being made.

Having being made aware of the gathering the following sent welcomes, greetings and messages. Governor Sundquist of Tennessee commended the Blue Grass Boys on their "Determination and dedication....." Governor Hunt of North Carolina send a greetings saying "Many of the Blue Grass Boys are among North Carolina's treasures". And Former President Jimmy Carter said in his message "I recall with fondness Bill's first performance at the White House...."

Rosine Kentucky is one of those special places, I can recall raising my head from the final prayer during the September 12 1996 services and looking to a sky that was just a little more blue and the trees just a little more green than I'd ever noticed before, those were things that meant so much to Bill, he spoke of it around the globe…. now he enjoys them daily as he rest in Ohio County Kentucky.

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