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I worked the Miles of Memories festival,my father's country music festival in Hastings Nebraska Sept 9-11, which featured some international talent as well as this gentleman,George Hamilton IV of My Abilene fame as well as a 50 year career on the Grande Olde Opry, or as George calls it The Grande ol Uproar.
I was at my sound board in the 2nd stage (smaller room) next to the kitchen minding my own business and I noticed George Hamilton IV walk in and head over to my table. He had been at the festival for several hours and I hadnt been able to meet him as he was being interviewed by the local newspaper etc. He reached my table bent over and placed his hand on my shoulder, introduced himself as George and asked if I could help him do a line check on his electric acoustic guitar on the main stage. A line check is similar to a sound check and is to make sure everything works and sounds good. I advised him that I would speak to the sound man for the 1st stage and not to worry, we would take care of him. I introduced myself as Steve and asked if there was anything else he needed etc and that we were very happy he was there..When i called him Mr. Hamilton he corrected me and asked for me to always refer to him simply as George.We made some small talk about the weather and what was being served in the kitchen for lunch.
A few hours later I observed him walk into the kitchen followed a short time by my father and his wife. I wanted a photo with George in a bad way so i put my camera in my pocket and went to have lunch.
by the time I got my fried chicken, George and my father and his wife were already seated at a table, George saw me come out and invited me to join them. We both had ordered chicken and baked beans and we hoovered them down while talking about country music. He NEVER bragged about his illustrious career spanning 60+ years, touring with Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper or Playing with Elvis.
He asked us questions about us and how we were doing and complimented us on the work we were doing. Mary my father's wife knew I desired a photograph with this elder statesman of the Grande Olde Opry and discretely asked me if I had my camera and to give it to her if i did, and I did. as we were getting up to continue our day, she asked George if he would mind posing for a photograph or two (He had posed for many many such photographs since his arrival earlier) His face lit up and he replied Why of Course!,..Lets DO this...
Ladies and Gentelmen and Fellow JPGr's...I am here to tell you that this man, a 50+ year vetran of the Grande ol Uproar, is as down to earth, kind, generous and un assuming and egoless as ANY individual I had EVER seen. We spoke quite a few times over the course of the festival and both had a swell time. For someone of his stature and legendary status, he was a great guy, PERIOD.
I will relate more on George in up coming posts.
Also by Steven Schutz
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