Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Columns

October 29, 2013

Rathbun Country Music Theater is better than Branson

Mary and I had a wonderful experience last weekend, along with a sorrowful regret. We didn’t know Southern Iowa had it’s own “better than Branson” country music theater, but when we obtained front row seats, we jumped at the chance to attend. It turns out that Willis and Faye Dickerson have been running this establishment for 40 years, and this was to be their last performance. Wouldn’t you know it. Willis is 80 (they both look 65), and Faye is two years behind him. They met in high school, in Unionville, Mo. The teacher made Willis sit beside Faye for talking. They’ve been married and talking for 60 years now. It’s time for them to retire. They are putting their 300-seat theater, which they built on eight acres, one mile north of the Rathbun Lake Dam, up for sale, and staying put on their 800 acre farm at Unionville. Oh, they will help out anyone who comes along. The Rathbun Country Music Theater has been performing to sell-out crowds of loyal followers for 40 years, and the Dickerson’s would like to see that tradition continue.

You see, it’s all one big happy family, with the musicians and their families, and the huge Dickerson family. As the Lovin Spoonful puts it, “All their friends play music, and they ain’t uptight, if one of the kids will.”

Mary and I were absolutely blown away by the talent, enthusiasm and quality of musicians at the Rathbun Country Music Theater. I was stunned when Willis, on lead guitar, and his dozen-or-so-musicians, opened with my favorite country-western ballad of all time, “Highway 40 Blues.” Until the closing piece, “Happy Trails to You,” Willis’ troop kept us, and the packed theater mesmerized with one tear jerker or foot stomper after another. Not only were there theater goers openly weeping, but also the musicians. This was to be their last performance together. All of the musicians and all of their families were brought up on stage for one last farewell.

Text Only
Columns
  • Don't let Big Oil bully biofuels It’s vacation season across America. That means family road trips are underway and the traveling public is paying even closer attention when they pull up to the pump. Today’s drivers also value clean-burning fuel choices that help the environment and

    July 22, 2014

  • Lerner's illegal instant message trick It was so brazen. Right there, over email, Lois Lerner warned her colleagues “Congress has asked for emails ... so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.” Then she asked whether the IRS’s instant messaging application was being archived,

    July 17, 2014

  • Going to visit the AC Fair? The Daily Iowegian will publish an editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page.The Iowegian wants readers to think about the 2014 Appanoose County Fair. It starts Monday and wraps up on Saturday with a demolition derby at 8 p.m.So, the questio

    July 17, 2014

  • Compliance with open meetings law Editor’s Note: This is a monthly column prepared by the Iowa Public Information Board to update Iowans on the IPIB’s activities and provide information on some of the issues routinely addressed by the board.Iowa courts have not yet definitively answe

    July 14, 2014

  • Making time for others Dear Editor,We live in a time where we depend on modern conveniences to save us time. We enjoy the pleasures of having vehicles, computers, dishwashers, running water, electricity, fast food, washers and dryers while expecting these conveniences to f

    July 14, 2014

  • The right to a paid vacation Ah, summer is here. We all know what that means: The rights crowd will demand that our politicians pass new federal laws to make paid vacation mandatory.It is true that the United States is the only advanced economy that does not require employers to

    July 10, 2014

  • Vote for U.S. representative? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page.The Iowegian wants readers to think about the upcoming election in November. In the next few weeks and months we will ask our readers to pick a candidate in selecte

    July 10, 2014

  • A defensive response and the IRS Ring, ring.“Hello, this is Tom.”“Hello, Tom, this is the federal government. We are going to audit your taxes and want to see all of your records for 2011.”“Sorry, federal government, but my computer crashed in 2011. All of my emails, electronic rece

    June 25, 2014

  • Vote for A.C. Supervisor? The Daily Iowegian will publish an editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page.The Iowegian wants readers to think about the upcoming election in November. In the next few weeks and months we will ask our readers to pick a candidate in selecte

    June 25, 2014

  • The hard lessons of Iraq Nearly 5,000 of our fine men and women died in Iraq.Who’s going to explain Iraq to their loved ones now?Who’s going to explain why, if it was so important that we had to go to Iraq in 2003, we just walked away?Iraq is back in our living rooms every n

    June 25, 2014

  • 'Safe Routes to School - Balderdash!' ‘Safe Routes to School —Balderdash!’Dear Editor,Safe Routes to School — Balderdash! There is no such thing. There is no such thing as unsafe routes to school either.This was all a ploy for one reason — money, and had absolutely nothing to do with the

    June 24, 2014

  • Facts about unaccompanied minors Here are six facts you need to know about what President Obama fraudulently calls the unaccompanied minors “urgent humanitarian crisis.” First, many minors aren’t unaccompanied. Rather, they’re traveling with their mothers, some pregnant with future

    June 24, 2014

  • How to watch the World Cup The refrain has echoed across the globe our entire lives. “The World Cup is the most exciting sporting event on the face of the planet. Bigger than the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup and World Series combined and go ahead, throw in the next Star Wars movie

    June 24, 2014

  • Arlington National Cemetery: 150 years of service In the 40-plus years since my paternal grandparents passed away, I have often wondered about the status of Shiloh Cemetery, which was nestled on the hilltop above their humble farmhouse. Recently, my hometown newspaper, the Marshall County (TN) Tribu

    June 5, 2014

  • ACCC focus is on alcohol abuse Dear Editor, The Appanoose County Collaboration Council in cooperation with the Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant project would like to acknowledge the successes of the Appanoose County area residents, Board of Supervisors, the Cen

    June 5, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the 2014 Appanoose County Fair. It starts Monday and wraps up on Saturday with a demolition derby at 8 p.m. So, the question of the week is, "How many days do you plan to go to the Appanoose County Fair?

A. I plan to attend all six days.
B. I plan to attend five days.
C. I plan to attend four days.
D. I plan to attend three days.
E. I plan to attend two days.
F. I plan to attend one day.
G. I do not plan to go to the fair this year.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook