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On Saturday night Ray and I met some friends at the second Saturday music show performed every month (except December) in our little town. When we first moved here, it was the Little Opry; now it is called Therold’s Little Opry, in memory of Therold Richardson.

Therold Richardson was an elderly man when our family moved to the country in 2004. Mr. Therold loved music and his musical legacy continues. He started a “singing” more than fifty years ago. It still moves from church to church on third Sunday afternoons.

When we moved here, Mr. Therold hosted a “pickin'” night once a week at his real estate office and he served as the host of the Little Opry. Mr. Therold took to us when we first moved to town and made us feel welcome. Sometimes he asked our son John to perform at the Little Opry. I liked when he announced that John had a John Denver sort of sound.

When Mr. Therold knew his time on earth was short, he asked brothers, Edward and Roger Anderson, to keep the Little Opry going. They have kept their word.

The talented Anderson brothers love music, too. Grandpa Roger and Great Uncle Edward used to pick with three of Roger’s homeschooled grandchildren one night a week.Grandpa, Great Uncle, and the siblings began to perform as Anderson Brothers and Browngrass. In their late teens and early twenties, the siblings traveled widely as Browngrass, and they still perform together sometimes. The Anderson brothers also perform as a duo, as they did Saturday night.

Therold’s Little Opry hosts several bands in their monthly shows. Most are bluegrass. One of my favorite groups, the Fox Family, played this past Saturday night. The band includes parents Johnny and Sue Fox and their three children. They play everything from gospel to country to Elvis to Creedence Clearwater Revival. As I told my friend Saturday night, you haven’t lived ’til you’ve heard Johnny Fox sing “Blue Christmas.”

Fox Family
The Fox Family

(Please pardon my cell phone photos.)

You don’t pay at the door when you go to Therold’s Little Opry. Local businesses serve as sponsors, Roger’s wife and Edward’s wife volunteer to sell hotdogs and homemade fried pies in the back, and sometime during the evening a lady with beautiful white hair  gets up to pass the donation basket. Last night she was singing along to a pop song with the Fox Family.

When Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal Son, He told us about the celebration the father gave when his lost son came home.

 Now his older son was in the field,
and when he came and approached the house,
he heard music and dancing.
And he summoned one of the servants
and began inquiring what these things could be.
And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come,
and your father has killed the fattened calf
because he has received him back safe and sound.”
Luke 15:25-27

Food, music, and dancing–sounds like a fun party! When the Fox Family had almost finished their set Saturday night, Mr. Edward announced that evidently there had been a communication glitch because the bluegrass band that was to follow them hadn’t shown up. The Fox Family graciously sang some requests . . .

Sue and Johnny Fox
Sue and Johnny Fox sing a crowd pleaser.

. . . and the Anderson Brothers sang a few favorites.

Anderson Brothers
The Anderson Brothers, Roger and Edward

The Foxes and the Andersons have real talent. They’re treasures. I didn’t hearing anybody complain about the bluegrass band not showing up. We just enjoyed the party–though our dancing was just swaying and tapping our toes in our seats.


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