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Growing Up With the Opry
Written by Travis Tellman
I can remember the music from the Ozark Opry like it was yesterday. I can even remember being 3 years old and sitting in the front at rehearsal while my father, Steve, and the other band members who all became influential parts of my life as i grew up, playing. The music would make your chest vibrate and my dads amazing voice always made people smile, or cry, depending on the song. Steve Tellman played for Lee Mace as far back as the late 70s and was on the TV show. When the Opry closed in 2010 it was a very hard time for my dad and me. I had grown up with so many friends there, Dylan and Duncan (Joyce Mace's Grandkids) and my friend Samantha who's father played on the show as well. When my dad passed away a few years ago I visited Joyce and she gave me DVD copies of all the shows and years my dad was on the show. I appreciated the act very much so and am forever appreciative of that.
Lee Mace has had a great impact on all those around him and he touched many a life
I have been a fan of the Opry since I was just a little child are family had a place in Sunrise Beach and once or twice a year we would make a day of it at the dam and see the show.
If it weren't for the Opry I would not have the love I have for much of the gospel music I heard. Yes Lee Mace has had a great impact on all those around him and he touched many a life. Thank you for putting this site up. As with anything it takes time and it was well worth the wait .
A Journey I have Enjoyed
When I was asked to build this site I did not fully understand the Ozark Opry. I spent the 80's as a teenager and listening to pop and rock and visiting the Ozark's a few times for various tourist fun and some fishing with my grandparents.
I never had the opportunity to visit Lee Mace's Ozark Opry, but I can tell you through building this site that I wished that I could have been part of the magic! I have so enjoyed reading all the articles and viewing all the pictures. My youngest son and I sing on a daily basis "Hello Friends and Neighbors" with a smile on our face. It actually has come to be a song that brings great happiness to us, with my son Ethan telling my husband last night that it's his favorite song ever.
Though I was proud to be an American prior to Lee Mace's rendition of the Ragged Old Flag - his view has made that feeling stronger, not to mention a since of peace in what I consider trying times. I am struck by the Ozark Opry families warmth, love and kindness that I see within the 50 year anniversary video and the love they had for Lee and Joyce.
It is such a pleasure for me to have built this site. To be a part of the Missouri Opry history , to feel the love that the Lee Mace Ozark Opry family had for one another, expressed in music. Take some time -- look through it all - watch the videos. It's a trip you can take from your recliner at home and I guarantee, it's one that you will not forget!
Lee Mace was one of the first persons that we met when we moved to the Lake from Kansas City. My husband bought a jeep from Lee. They became friends and Lee was the greatest thing that happened to the LAKE. I am glad I had the opportunity to know all that helped him form Ozark Opry. It has never been the same since his accident. Prayers go out to Joyce.
My heart will always be at the Opry!
I spent 20 years of my life attending Lee Mace's Ozark Opry. It was my favorite place to be as I was growing up, and I couldn't WAIT for summer because I got to come to Osage Beach for weeks at a time and go to the show every night! My grandpa, Bill "Goofer" Atterberry, was the comedian of the show, and on top of that, my hero! Unfortunately, I was never able to meet Lee Mace because he passed away the year I was born, but listening to "The Ragged Ol' Flag" before each show, watching video clips of him, and hearing stories was enough to show me that he was an exceptional man. Joyce was always nice to me, and every time I saw her before the shows, I really thought she was something else! I'm glad she kept the show going as long as she did (although, I would have LOVED more time!) :)
Still, to this day, the Opry is always on my mind. I loved all of the performers, and they were always so kind and friendly to me. I felt like I was surrounded by celebrities at all times! The people I remember the MOST would have to be Helen, Steve, Stanley, Mike, and Chuck. I remember others as well, though. I loved hanging out back stage, and getting autographs from the band members never got old to me! Music is now a big part of my life, and I owe it all to Ozark Opry and of course, my grandpa. I remember when I was between 2 and 3 years old.... my aunt made me an outfit that looked IDENTICAL to Goofer's outfit. I was taken back stage one evening and handed an instrument. Before I knew it, my mom was telling me to go on stage and see Grandpa! I tried to resist at first (probably because there was a packed house that night!), but finally gave in. Those pictures are definitely fun to look back on! When I get ahold of a picture, I will have to share!
Other than the band members, I loved visiting with the people who ran the place as well! They always made me feel right at home, and kind of "kept an eye on me" when grandpa was away. Oh, and who can forget the popcorn at the show?! It was the best, of course! ;)
Thank you to everyone who had a part in starting this website, and thank you to Dan Peek (author of Live! at the Ozark Opry). It's so wonderful to know that the Opry is never forgotten! Now, I can share more information with my soon to be child, Drew, who is due in May!
-Brittany 'Atterberry' Morton
*For anyone who has Facebook, Goofer now has a fan page! http://www.facebook.com/billgooferatterberry