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