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Steve Rogers
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2011.12.18

CARNEGIE HALL OF THE OZARKS

During Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas Festival Uncle Gene (front and center in his red flannels) will visit the McHaffie cabin to read his 'Christmas Skunk' story, the antics of which have been accounted for in a prior picture of the week (click here to read the December 9, 2007 'The Snow Globe' story). I can still remember the first time I heard Uncle Gene tell this story and how special it was.

Before Uncle Gene makes his visit to the cabin the Pickers will play a few songs. Every once in awhile someone will wander into the cabin and be recognized and asked to come up and sing or play. You can usually tell the good ones -- they humbly decline and have to be encouraged to 'come on up'. On this evening two brothers of the Hunt family stopped by the cabin and after a couple of requests to play one they obliged. A spare fiddle and banjo was placed in their hands and someone suggested they play a reel. With a nod, the Hunt brothers led off and the Pickers were on note along side. They had no sooner started when I remember thinking 'whoa, where did this come from'. If I can borrow the thoughts and words of Mozart it was as if you could hear the precision of each instrument individually (the standup bass, four string banjo, mandolin, dobro, fiddle and Deering banjo) and hear them "gleich alles zusammen" (all at once), It literally took my breath away. For a moment this little cabin became the Carnegie Hall of the Ozarks.

From left to right in the picture above is Greg Becker, Danny Eakin, Uncle Gene (this is his 31st season with SDC), Eli Johnson one of the newest members of the Pickers (behind Uncle Gene) and Greg Bailey. Steve Bush was out 'on tour' this evening.

Silver Dollar City will see thousands of guests on a given day -- only 40 of which can fit in the cabin. While there is so much to see and do, for me the joy is in this little cabin.





"How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice."

- Arthur Rubinstein


"How do I get to the Carnegie Hall of the Ozarks? Turn left after you pass through the Hospitality House"

- Steve Rogers




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