Celebrating country's stars

Fair: The duo Just Us performs in Westminster dressed as various music stars.

August 06, 2004|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,SUN STAFF

Dolly, Minnie, Hank Sr. and Conway wowed Carroll seniors yesterday during a lively country and bluegrass performance at the annual Carroll County 4-H/FFA Fair's Senior Citizen Day.

Ed Bulson and Nancy Taylor - aka Just Us - portrayed the country music legends as they entertained about 100 senior citizens, as well as Bureau of Aging personnel, who watched the hour-and-a-half concert while eating cake and ice cream.

As Conway Twitty, Bulson drew cheers and applause when he flirted with 85-year-old Olive Fisher and her sister, Sarah Zentgraf, 87, both of Westminster.

"That's what happens when you sit in the front row," Bulson told the crowd. "Now you know."

Zentgraf was so hoarse from singing along that she could hardly talk afterward.

"I love country music," Fisher said. "I used to go to all the dances around town."

Taylor, in a pink-flowered dress and hat with signature price tag dangling from the brim, told a typical Minnie Pearl joke about a new preacher in town who resembled Conway Twitty.

Men craned their necks to see Taylor when they realized she was going to perform as Dolly Parton. She drew enthusiastic cheers and applause when she strutted out in front of the crowd.

Wearing a blond wig, a long-sleeved white blouse with tassels and a short red skirt, Taylor sat on the lap of a man in the front row.

"Can we have an encore for Dolly?" Don Quigley hollered at the end of the concert. As the seniors left the Extension Office room, Quigley pushed through the line, telling people, "Excuse me, I got to go meet Dolly."

After opening together with "Y'all Come," Bulson and Taylor took turns changing costumes to impersonate the country singers. While one changed behind a colorful screen, the other presented a biography of the next singer.

Just Us performed hits that included Hank Williams Sr.'s "Hey, Good Lookin'," Conway Twitty's "Hello, Darlin'," Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," Alabama's "Mountain Music," the classic "Rocky Top" and Lorrie Morgan's "Except for Monday."

Mary Myers, 88, said she couldn't wait for Just Us to perform at the Westminster Senior Center later this month.

The concert was the culmination of a day that began at 9 a.m. with the judging of about 200 exhibits by the senior citizens. The seniors entered paintings, drawings, crafts, ceramics, needlework, quilts, woodworking and flowers.

"Everybody gets a ribbon," said Patty Whitson, the Bureau of Aging's community services supervisor.

In his first year of exhibiting at the fair, Charles Barnes, 64, of Manchester won four blue ribbons for his woodworking, which included metalwork and a miniature log cabin with furnishings.

"I put incense in the fireplace to make it smoke," he said.

The cabin included two hinged doors, windows with clear plastic coverings, framed pictures, a bed and a miniature rifle.

Virginia "Sis" Day of Gamber earned a red ribbon for a decorated spring hat and a blue ribbon for a wreath made from sandwich bags.

The 75-year-old, in her third year of exhibiting, said she enjoys making crafts from such household items as hangers, quart jars and milk bottles.

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