Monday, September 11, 2006

Southern Gospel Picnic

Use your imagination - and picture this: The Homestead Pickers, a music group at Silver Dollar City, are gathered on the front porch of the old homestead with all their variety of musical instruments readily at hand...and tucked back in the corner, there stands Jerry with his fiddle under his chin, backing up the group as they play through their show. Can you see it? Isn't that great! We spent the last three days attending the Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City - and first-time event for SDC and judging from the crowds and enthusiasm, it will be a continuing event! But best of all was when we learned that the Homestead Pickers would have a jam session at the close of each day and anyone could come and join them. The last thing Jerry's fiddle teacher in Wichita told him was to find some folks to jam with, just jump in and DO IT. And he did...and he had such a great time. We heard marvelous gospel groups and were even entertained by Dr. Dennis Swanburg with his enthusiastic gospel message (he was MUCH more entertaining than when he did his introductions to the Mayberry RFD video series!) Every evening we had two more hours of entertainment in the Echo hollow Theatre at SDC--if you like gospel music, I suggest you check it out next year. Now we are enjoying a couple of relaxing days at the campground before leaving for St. Louis. This evening we will go to Branson for dinner at the Hard Luck Diner--where all the wait staff are good singers and one of them is always entertaining at the mike. We ate there last spring with Carla and are eager to go back. It was unbelievable on Friday to think that all those folks were at SDC and we didn't see anyone we knew - but on Saturday we were blessed to run into our dear friend Gayle Edwards from Crane (you might remember I mentioned last February that her husband Bill had died from cancer--he and Jerry were friends from grade school on). And yesterday we met Mike and Phyllis Garrett from Monett AND Phyllis's sister Linda and husband Mitch Garrett from Louisville who were passing through the area on a camping vacation. Linda has been a special friend for many years as well - she and Carla share the same birthday and even celebrated their birthdays together once when Carla was about 4 and Linda was ????...oh well...Linda spent part of her career as a Christian Educator in the hills and hollers of Phelps,KY and invited Jerry down to do a preaching mission at their two little mission churches--certainly one of the highlights of Jerry's ministry. So it was a glorious day to all be together at Silver Dollar City. So until next time - say a good word for Jesus!
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