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Fire and brimstone, thunder and lightning

July 26, 2012
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

What a night at last weekend's For All Who Have Served event! WOW! It began with a short awards program followed by the crowd holding their hearts and declaring their Pledge of Allegiance to our FlagThe crowd was a culmination of ages ranging from Veterans of the current era all the way back to WWII vets; although I believe the majority were that of the Vietnam era.

The music kicked off and now I know that cacti do scream! "Screaming Cactus" performed many of our favorites past and present bringing with them foot stomping rhythm to the crowd and having almost as much fun on-stage as those in the grandstand. They were certainly showing their spirit for the veterans, one is even the proud parent of a veteran!

In the wake of "Screaming Cactus" we saw another band on stage begin playing but couldn't see where the familiar vocal strains of the sound of Johnny Cash were originating. Suddenly, a showroom like new 1956 Chevy appeared from the outfield moving slowly stopping by the stage and out steps Drew Young, lead singer of "The Walking Phoenixes" (a Johnny Cash Tribute band from California) with microphone in hand dressed as the "Man in Black." What an entrance!

Following that were many songs reminiscent of the great Johnny Cash executed with the precision and quality that would have made him proud, the crowd sang along and savored the memories of times past. Above the band a massive American flag flowed gently in the breeze above the stage. It's not "an Old Ragged Flag" that we flew with grace!

The rolling rumble of thunder was the first sign and the strobe-like flashes of lightning ushered in the beginning of the end, or so we thoughtBy most standards the show would have ended as the rain began to fall, but not this night. The band fled from the stage only to emerge in the grandstand armed with acoustic guitars, a saxophone and a fresh set of drum sticks continuing the concert standing on the seats! The saxophonist was a local from Granite Falls and had never played with them before but rocked with the best of them. The crowd was exuberant and gathered around the band never sitting the remainder of the concert. They sang along and their bodies gyrated to the rhythm with the sound of thunder crackling above and lightning streaking down, glimmering through the falling rain. It's as if Johnny himself was there looking down with pride at everyone. There was enough lighting to make you actually think you were "in a Ring of Fire" and could actually see the "Ghost Riders in the Sky."

This was truly a night to remember. Their impromptu decision to move the show to the fans created a more intimate enjoyment for everyone. Both bands were exceptional and it was truly an honor to be witness to such professionalism and dedication exceeding all of our expectations! They definitely did "Walk the Line" for our veterans!

Jeffrey Gay

Legion Post 113 Commander



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