IT HAS OFT been said that something that ends well “Ends with a bang” or goes out in a “burst of glory.” Technically I suppose both could be said about the 20th annual Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival held Friday and Saturday in downtown West Plains.
We experienced a full complement of bangs when a sudden pop-up thunderstorm dealt us a severe hammer blow late Saturday afternoon that could have shut down a smaller, more ill-equipped festival. But hey, when you have 20 years of experience under your belt, this ain’t your first rodeo, or thunderstorm.
There was the year Doc Watson came, and the festival was being held out at the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Park, and we got flooded out so bad it was difficult to even get the cars out of the muddy grounds. That year we moved artist, crowd and all to the Civic Center and the show just went right on, with some of us dripping wet, but still happy.
And that’s how it went Saturday, thanks to Keith Collins and his intrepid crew of audio support. They just hauled out the tarpaulins, threw the equipment into a cattle trailer as soon as the rain let up, set everything up in the same Civic Center theater, and the show went on. Congratulations and Kudos to all those stout-hearted souls, including a big part of the audience who held fast and got to see that burst of glory through to the end.