July 17th was quite a night as you’re about to see.
It started when backstage guard, Jim Schuermerhorn, greeted me and pointed me toward what seemed like hundreds of flowers sent to me from fans and friends all over the country. Thanks to fan club members Kris Larabee, Judy Hamilton, and Amy Hudson for making the backstage area look so pretty. I “stopped and smelled the roses” and headed to my dressing room. We had an onstage rehearsal for our musical part of the night’s show.
I had promised our club members in attendance that I’d spend some special time with them before the festivities got underway, and I did. Mark Wills hosted a Q&A session, and then they whisked me back to the Opry House for interviews and more interviews. Meantime, the Opry staff was setting up a montage of old photographs and delicious food for the guests who would be arriving backstage to dine and watch the show on a big screen TV. It was a memorable night on stage, capped off by several standing ovations and Vince Gill presenting me with a beautiful, engraved pocket watch.
It was fun seeing so many old friends and new ones at the reception when the show was over. In these pictures you can see me smiling and visiting with my singing partner of many years, Mary Lou Turner; my new friend, Dennis Quaid, as we compared our silver boots; newcomer Stephanie Quayle who sang “Once A Day” on the non-televised portion of the Opry; my son, Jamey, granddaughter Hallie and grandson Blake; David Anderson (no kin), who presented me with a very special and unique portrait that he had drawn; my former booking agent, Carrie Moore Reid, and her twin sister and my songwriting co-hort, Debbie Moore; my three children, Terri, Jenni, and Jamey; and my friends Wendie and Mike Grauer who flew in from Phoenix, Arizona. Mike is the pawn shop owner who found my old Grammer guitar in his shop a few years back. There were many others, but we simply don’t have the space to print all the pictures.
But what an incredible evening and what fantastic memories. Each of you was a part of it in some way…even if you only listened to me on the Opry once or twice over my sixty-years on the show. Thanks for all you have meant to me and all the Opry has meant to me for such a large portion of my life. There are no words to express my gratitude.
I’m already starting to plan for the next sixty!!
40 new photos · Album by Stephanie Orr