A bout with Smith Valley fame | RecordCourier.com

A bout with Smith Valley fame

by Ron Walker

John Fitzgibbon and his wife Kim, recently retired and are now our ever-true neighbors. Instead of stepping into retirement bliss, John's knee gives out and he is temporarily incapacitated. We get a call. "I have two tickets for "The Sierra Sweethearts Show" at the Dini Theatre, tomorrow night. Want to go?" he asks. Orllyene and I are still a little wobbly from an episode with a flu bug, but sound the trumpets, we're going.

In the event of a coughing jag, I load up with Ricola and Vitamin C-chewables. The moment we arrive at the Dini, I drift down to the spanking new lobby bar. Social festivities are in high gear. The gentleman behind the bar stares at me. Long scrutiny. Should I know this man? He says, "You're the author, right? It's you. I don't read books, but yours kept me wanting to find out what was going to happen next." He turns to his wife. "Honey see who it is. Do you recognize him?" She gives me a long quizzical look. "You're the author," she says. I feel 10 feet tall and the show hasn't even begun. I take my bottle of water and Orllyene and I find seats.

"Ladies and gentlemen, The Sierra Sweethearts." The group is attired in snappy red costumes and play an acoustic bass, guitar, banjo and wired-for-sound violin. The violinist fingers the neck of the instrument and slides the bow with such vigor, she all but dances while she plays. She can make the instrument purr or shriek and slips in and out of vocal arrangements with an easy finesse. I have forgotten how exciting live entertainment can be. I've performed, and I've also been in the audience and the adrenalin rush between an entertainer and audience can be palpable.

Forgive me, but talent is a pearl, a look into the world of inspiration. This group is well rehearsed, have marvelously packaged material and know how to involve an audience. Imagine, all this in downtown Yerington.

When the girls play "Lol-i-pop" I practically catapult out of my seat. "Lol-i-pop" is one of the numbers my STEEL MAGNOLIA dance group does. I immediately visualize the group on stage along with the SWEETHEARTS. What a hoot and holler that would be.

After doing "It took so long," a poignant number written by the bass player, they tell us they don't want to leave us in the dumps, so they do a novelty tune. Gradually the lyrics reveal how 43 pounds of Viagra gets into the town water supply. Of course, the audience goes right along with the fun of the situation, and The Sierra Sweethearts strike home.

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After approximately an hour, it's intermission. Time for Cowboy Poetry. Orllyene and I are tuckered out and slip quietly into the night. The drive back to Smith Valley is one of reflection. We may not be totally healed of the flu bug, but we're a whole lot happier. Thank you, Kim and John.

Ron Walker can be reached at walkover@gmx.com.