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Tribute to Patsy Cline at Harman Museum Saturday

This Saturday’s Tribute to Patsy Cline has been very close to my heart for some years, and I am so glad it is coming to fruition.

It is also to honor my mother, who passed in 2000. She loved music and I remember listening to Patsy Cline as a little girl. When I showed interest in an electronic keyboard and begged to have one for Christmas, my mom came through. I am sure it was a sacrifice for, at the time, I had five sisters. My parents paid for lessons with Jane Seibel for a few years and every time I learned a new song, my mom was so proud — she had me perform it for the patrons of our 3.2 bar in Arboles. When I was 11 years old, I helped purchase my piano with the tips I had received. My mom taught me everything about courage. At the time I did not know it, but she was telling me if I had a gift, I had to share it. I never went on to be a great pianist, but did win a few piano recitals during my 4-H Go-getter years.

I put the piano and singing aside, when I became a young mother and raised three beautiful children. It has been a wonderful and blessed journey. As my youngest graduates from high school this coming year, I am once again embracing my passion. I returned to college at Fort Lewis last fall and was privileged to study voice under Rebecca Copley, a world-renowned opera singer. My dreams were big and as we watched video of opera, Rebecca reminded us that even singing at the Metropolitan in New York City, where she had a 25-year professional career, was not an impossible dream. I was reminded of her words as I stepped into her studio. She told me she was here to teach me how to save my voice so I could sing until I was 70.

My response was, “Great, because I’m getting a late start.”

I would soon be amazed by the voice of this almost 60-year-old woman, so beautiful and seasoned. The recordings I heard of her at 35 years old did not compare to what I was experiencing every week in lesson. It takes a lot of work to become a professional in the music industry, but I have been so encouraged by this wonderful community. I thank John Graves, for being such a great mentor. John will be one of my special guests on stage, as we perform the Patsy Cline songs we have done for years.

A year ago, I was asked to help raise funds for the Fred Harman Art Museum. I immediately saw the purpose for the Patsy Cline Show and a nudge from John Graves — “When are you going to do that tribute? Let me know, I better start learning some more songs.” My friend and drummer, Joe Poynter of Ignacio, came along and saw my vision. He recruited Chip McCormick, from Bayfield, as lead and rhythm guitar player. Dan Fitzpatrick, of Pagosa, will be on stand-up bass and last, but definitely not least, on steel-guitar, from Bayfield, Ted Hockenbury. We have put together a great show, with 20 songs recorded by Patsy Cline.

The bigger picture and hope for the show is that it can produce a viable income for the museum. It will be like the Bar-D of Pagosa. When those city slickers come to town and want to see something country, they will come see us perform under the big tent at the museum.

For those of you not familiar with Fred Harman, he was the cowboy artist who created the Red Ryder and Little Beaver comic strip, featured in our Pagosa SUN. On the beautiful museum property stand old buildings from around the area that have been preserved, like the Gomez Store, from Trujillo. The museum is filled with awesome oil paintings and artifacts of cowboys and Indians and the Spanish heritage that runs through Archuleta County.

Come share in a day of food and entertainment under the big tent at the Fred Harman Museum, next to Wells Fargo Bank. Dinner will be served Saturday from 1-3 p.m., so come at your convenience. Smoked lamb, corn, coleslaw, green chile and homemade tortillas will be prepared by the Espinosa and Marquez families. You will be served by some of the fine students from Pagosa High School Americana Project. A silent auction and cash bar will also be part of this event. It is very important we come together as a community to preserve this great heritage. Remember, the dance floor will be open. Patsy would love to see the fine folk of Pagosa dressed up in Saturday’s best.

Tickets can be purchased at the Fred Harman Art Museum, Moonlight Books, Goodman’s and LouJean’s Salon. Dinner and show are $25, Show only at 4 p.m. is $15. Admission to the show is free for children 12 years and under. Child’s plate is $6 at door. Please inform the ticket salesperson if you will be purchasing a child’s plate.

If you are from out of town and want to purchase a ticket, call June at (970 )769-7254 to reserve your ticket at the door. If you are unable to make this event Oct. 8, please visit the museum and make a donation.

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