By Terry Joe Wiles
Gotta start off with a Happy Birthday to Red Earls . He is one of my Guitar heroes and a better example of a human being would be hard to find ! And I promised Shirley Ward that I would mention Smilin’ Bob Garrett , SO there !
This will be a great weekend to take a slow ride on the Talimena Scenic Drive . Music at the centerpoint - Heavener AND at the East end in Mena ! Weather looks tolerable , only a minimum chance of rain on your picnic . But it’s a beautiful ride ! And ya might get a chance to bring home a tale of seeing Big Foot . Or like Jim and Charlene Dunn , tell of seeing a Black Bear on the ride last Friday !
But going South outta Poteau , ya start seeing the the Ouachita Mountain range , blue and beautiful ! It is a part of the world that I love and call Home . I was just starting to drive when the Drive was under construction . The dirt work was finished and the ryegrass and clover planted on the shoulders so me and a couple of friends decided to do a lil’ sightseeing late one nite .
The trip was lit by the full moon and the top was down on my Mustang convertible . We enjoyed deer in small herds (deer love ryegrass) and lost count at a hundred . NO , we were not spotlighting but we were all interested in deer hunting-IN season .
So it shouldn’t have been that much a surprise to see a Mountain lion cross the road in the headlights . Now , you ain't never seen 4 full grown boys move so fast to get the ragtop back in place , skeered to death of this big cat ! But in our defense , all we had to protect ourselves was a few longneck bottles Empty of course ! We saw two more cats before we turned off at the Heavener end .
So , there ain’t no telling what ya might get to see besides the breathtaking view from the overlooks !
Please be cautious and courteous on the trip . You will share the highway with other tourist , a lot of them on Motorcycles . Help make it a safe ride for all ! Now ! Enough of my memories and back to the music !
On the South side of Heavener , at the City Park on the 4-5-6th , there will be a lot to see , hear , buy and EAT . First Friday Food Fair and Trade Days will have a picking and grinning starting at 7 pm Friday . Lots for the family to enjoy , too . Starting at 9 am on Sat . Food trucks for lunch and supper with an Open Mic Jam that nite starting at 7 pm ! It will continue all day Sunday , too ! So , after Church , stop out at the Park .
All proceeds are going to the Heavener Lamplight Theatre for remodeling and repair to bring it back to life ! Fun , Food and music all for a good cause !
Or you can start on the Mena end of the Skyline Drive where the Lum and Abner Festival will have Live Music on Fri the 4th and Sat the 5th . Both days will start at 10 am and continue thru the day until about 10 pm or whenever the last dawg is kicked ! I know , it’s across the line in Ark . but there will be at least two bands from LeFlore Co. performing ! A full schedule of talent both days including Rearvue Mirror on Friday at 2 and MJ and the Geezers on Sat. at Noon .
Rearvue Mirror - LaDonna Maul , Reggie Wells , Dennis Dooley , Larry Taylor - play Americana , Red Dirt and classic Rock and are always a crowd pleaser ! They are perfect for these outside events . Then on Sat. the stay cross the line in Altoona , Ark. they play for a Veteran M.C. club . fundraiser .
On Sat. the 5th , M.J. and the Geezers hit the stage at 2 pm . M.J. (Michelle Faulkenberry) , Chuck Wright and Rodney Reed play a wide variety of music for these family friendly events . All their hard work and practice is evident and from start to finish when they play . It is awesome music so bring a lawn chair and enjoy it all .
Again in Ark. on Friday the 4th, in Ft. Smith at the Cavanaugh Activity Center , my good friends , Backslider’s Wine , will play for the dance . Great Classic Country will start at 7 pm and ya git it all - from Two-stepping to Waltzes and Linedancing on a big dancefloor . The crowds are building with plenty of seats and tables and easy parking .
Randy Smith , Ricky Ward , Max Harris , Randy Fennell and Dusty Klutts Tell’em I said “Hey” !
I can’t tell ya how glad I am to have this many events and festivals to pass on . But it takes fans to make these wing-dings take place AND to keep taking place ! So get out and support the events that are in your own back yard . Great family friendly events . Things like pony rides and cake-walks . Farmers Markets and live music !
And tell someone just how much you appreciate the music and fun . Tip jars on stage are a way to show the musicians how much you enjoy their music ! These folks spend most of a day loading and setting up , traveling and waiting for their chance to perform for YOUR enjoyment ! A hearty round of applause will put a smile on their faces and make all the hard work and expense worth it ! Tell the event host or promoters that ya enjoyed the day and tell them what ya would like to see and hear next year .
This is our chance to help bring Music events back to life and to continue to be a large part of family entertainment ! You don’t have to travel far or spend much money ! And have a heart and invite a older friend or kinfolk that have lost the ability to drive but would love to hear some live music . Be Kind to those older folks . Remember , if ya live right and the good Lord willing , you might be Vintage yourself one day !
For info call 918-649-5736 or email@example.com ! THX !