I really enjoyed your “opinion” column about the Oak Ridge Boys. I am also a big fan of theirs. I grew up in a small town – population 10,000-12,000 called Independence, Kansas. Every year Independence has a 3-4 day event called Neewallah (Halloween spelled backwards). It is a big deal with a parade, play, queen, streets blocked off for food and vendors. The real treat was when the celebrities came to town.
It happened hat “The Oaks” manager – Jim Halsey – lived in Independence, so they were yearly entertainers for several years. They were so accessible. They’d walk down the street, have a malt at the Rexall Drug Store lunch counter and shake hands with everyone who stuck a hand out to them. This was the late 1960s – early 1970s. Mr. Halsey also managed Roy Clark and he is also a very nice guy.
I’d like to see “The Oaks” live to mention Jim Halsey or Independence, Kansas, to them to see if their memories are as favorable as our memories of them.
They are not only talented, they are nice guys. Just wanted you to know.
— Judy Derry,