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Linly Stum: Evidentiary - Part 12

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Linly Rogene Stum

Part 11 was published December 31, 2023, and can be found here.

Some activities in the last sixty years:

Will Dino come to Lamar?

The year before, a famous country western artist had performed at the Prowers County Fair. Quite a large amount of money was lost as they did not sell enough tickets to cover the cost. Still, I was curious enough to contact the venue where the concert was held to get the name and phone number of the booking agency. It happened to be in California. I gave them a call. When I was asked where this event was to be held, I said Lamar, Colorado. I was asked how large a city it was. I said approximately 8,000. I think they about fell off their chairs laughing. They reminded me that a lot of his concerts were in front of audiences much larger than that. l asked, "ls there a fee or not? How much? What do we have to do to make it happen?" They took my contact information and said they would get it back to me in a few days. In a few days, we actually got a call. We were told what it would cost and what we had to do. We need to provide transportation from Denver and pay the motel bill. The big requirement was to rent or buy a 9-foot grand piano! His preference was Steinway or Baldwin.

After doing a little research, I realized there was no way in the world we could even rent a Steinway. Sherell and l crunched numbers and decided that if we came up short there was no way we could afford to take the hit. So, we called John and Jane Stulp from Lamar to ask if they would consider going in on it with us to try and pull it off. We explained who, what, and where. I was thinking the community building would be best, but John and Jane said it would seem to be empty if we sold only a few hundred tickets. They suggested the high school auditorium which seats 400.

Then we set about putting together a group of people to help. We found people in Springfield, Walsh, Wiley, Granada, and Las Animas willing to help. The piano became quite a problem. I called music companies and piano companies in Denver, Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Kansas City. The last place I called was a music company in Pueblo. When I explained to the owner what we wanted to do, he said, "I love the idea and we have the piano!" The symphony orchestra in Pueblo could not afford a 9-foot Steinway so they were leasing one from the local music company. He had one available for lease. The owner of the store was so enthusiastic about this project that he said he would only charge the bare minimum. He said he would personally bring the truck down, unload the piano, put it together and tune it. He did that the day before and the morning of the concert.

The concert was to be held about Easter time, but all of this was put together the fall before. Our small group of people met a couple times in Lamar, and we calculated how much each ticket would have to sell for to break even. We decided to start selling the tickets January 1, which was four months ahead of the event, to make sure that we had enough time to get all of them sold. l think this is where one would say "miracles happen." On January 1, there was an ad placed on KLMR radio station and one in The Lamar Daily News (now called the Lamar Ledger).

Within one day, the first call was from a rancher northeast of Eads, Colorado, who said, "l hear you maybe have some tickets for Dino." I answered, "yes." He said, "I want 20!" In two weeks, the event was sold out. There were so many people unhappy they couldn't get tickets that Dino scheduled another concert the following spring. Except this time, it was planned for the Community Building which seats 1,700. I believe I was told that it was the largest audience ever in the Community Building for a music event. This probably is the most rewarding thing I have ever been involved with. Dino asked the audience who had come the longest distance and a group from Wichita, Kansas, stood up.

I'm not sure that I understand how two different people can play the same notes from the same piece of music and one of them talks to you and the other one I call a piano pounder. I'm not sure I understand, but there is a difference.

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