Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mtn Grove Speaking engagement


Here is a brief description again of what happened Saturday, and this will be the last I say about it.  And I will put my hand on my bible and swear this is the truth. In more than 250 speaking engagements over the years, this was the first such bad experience.


I was notified by the head of the Mt. Grove Bicentennial event weeks ago. It was grossly misrepresented to me. I gave the event free advertising in both my magazines and wrote about it in my newspaper columns, which are used in 40 or so Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas newspapers.  I told people what I was told.  I was to speak at 11;00 a,m. and I would bring my magazines and give them away to anyone who wanted them after speaking for 30 minutes.  About 20 or 30 people notified me that they were coming to hear me speak and get some magazines. Some came quite a distance.

But at 10;20 that morning, a local band known as the Bakers took over the stage.  They held it ‘til noon, and for at least 30 minutes they just stood there in their cowboy outfits while their leader worked on wiring. No music, no nothing.  They just stood there. I ask their leader if I could speak for 2 minutes during that time, to those who came to listen to me and get magazines.  He told me very belligerently that the stage was theirs and I could not use his microphone.

You wonder why?  Well, if I got up there and told folks that I would meet with them at some other space to give them the magazines, as I intended to do… it would take 20 or 30 people out of their captive audience.  Those little local bands live to have an audience somewhere, meager or not. The leaders of the event should have never given that one man the power to close down their bandstand for an hour and forty minutes.  But that is exactly what happened.

As to the posts from a few of the people who were involved, most of them were relatives of the people in charge….   AND YES.. I GOT MAD…. VERY, VERY MAD.  A bad temper is something I am not proud of, but I have one when I have been lied to and used, as I was at Mt. Grove on Saturday.        

There were no police involved in my leaving!! And as to the cussing they said I did…. I USED NO WORDS NOT FOUND IN THE DICTIONARY.!  I did however, refer to someone who refused to let me share the stage, in a derogatory term (found in the dictionary) used to describe those who are born out of wedlock.  I wish I hadn’t done that, but it was the total amount of my cussing, if it is indeed a curse word.  I am now looking forward to speaking at Marshfield on the morning of Saturday the 27th.  It is an event I will talk more about when I get back from Canada.  The lady in charge of the Marshfield event laughingly told me they do not have any local bands that day and the schedule of speakers is firm.   It should be quiet and peaceful!  And if you are there, I will give you those free magazines I have left  over.


I want to make something clear about the mess I was involved in at Mt. Grove Saturday.  It is no reflection on the people of Mt. Grove. It involved only three or four people. I have been a speaker there several times at various events over the past years. It has always been a joy to be there.  At a church in Mt. Grove years ago, as I said previously, I helped raise 981dollars for underprivileged children in the local school.  Some of that money was my own.  The people of that town are like the people of any small Ozark town… good, decent country people you could count on in any situation.


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