Posts Tagged ‘Bend Oregon’

Tower Theatre Concert Raises over $7,250 for Veterans Group

Posted on: February 18th, 2015 by Steve Wilkison No Comments

END, OREGON – With less than a month’s planning and organization, Western Music Hall of Famers R.W. Hampton and Michael Martin Murphey played for a SOLD OUT audience on February 3 at the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon and raised over $7,250 from ticket sales and a signed guitar auction after all the expenses were paid. The show benefited the Bend Chapter of the Oregon Band of Brothers.

The concert was inspired by a chance meeting R.W.’s wife, Lisa had at dinner one night with Medal of Honor recipient, Bob Maxwell, one of the key members of the Bend veterans group. The very charming & genuine Mr. Maxwell, who is currently the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, served in WWII and lives in Bend Oregon with his wife.
“We talked about the Bend group, and al the things they do to help veterans in their community,” Lisa said. “RW has been very outspoken in his support of our servicemen and women for years – he has several songs on his new album that are focused on that support – and it just seemed like we could do something that would help this important group.”
Produced by Lisa, and her company Parallel Productions with the help of the local group High Desert Western Arts Association. The two Western Music icons entertained the packed house with stories and songs, backed simply with their acoustic guitars. Emcee Ted Lyster sharing a few poems, then Murphey opened the show with his trademark “Lone Cowboy” concert, playing everything fromt he obscure to his standards “Wildfire”, “Carolina in the Pines”, “Geronimo’s Cadillac” & “Cowboy Logic”.

Hampton followed with a variety of songs from his original cowboy albums to a set dedicated to the veterans that started with a stunning acapella version of “Danny Boy”, and included new favorites “Hell in a Helmet” and “My Country’s Not for Sale” both from his latest CD, This Cowboy, that were written during his oldest son’s tour in Afghanistan with the US Marine Corp. He brought the house to their feet with a duet that featured his 14 year old son, Calvin Danner, on a Mary Fahl song, called “Going Home” (from the made for TV movie Gods and Generals). At the end of the night, Murphey joined Hampton and his son onstage for a rousing version of Hampton’s song “Born to be a Cowboy”.

“It’s a rare treat to hear RW and Murph together on the same show. They’ve been friends for years, but don’t get a chance to get together nearly enough,” Lisa Hampton said. “We were blessed by the overwhelming support of local television, newspaper, radio and, of course sponsorships from many local businesses. Noted artist Charlie Engel, who has done CD cover art for both Murph and RW, designed a beautiful poster and along with social media, we were able to sell out the theater in a mere three weeks. This exceeded all our expectations.”

The Bend Chapter of the Oregon Band of Brothers started in the fall of 2006 when WWII veteran Phil Bellefeuille coordinated a few of his veteran friends to meet for coffee at the Elks on Tuesday mornings. It quickly grew to lunch on Mondays and included enough veterans that they were switching restaurants weekly and created a book with a biography for each veteran member. Eventually they settled into Jake’s Diner for their weekly meetings and developed into a 501c-3 with the ability to raise funds for not only their own veteran members but also for other veterans groups in the community. Now including veterans who have served from WWII to the present conflicts, they offer not only comraderie but also a way to serve the physical, financial and emotional needs of all veterans in the community.

A Texas Springtime Ranch-Country Wedding

Posted on: April 19th, 2012 by R.W. Hampton No Comments


Can you believe spring is upon us? It’s been a unique year with unseasonably warm weather across the country, even here at 6,500′ elevation it’s starting to look like spring.  Of course the 8 to 10″ of snow we got last week sure didn’t hurt as it was a heavy wet snow, preceded by a nice rain shower and followed up by another a few days later.  Yes, even we have a little green grass growing, the trees have budded out and you can even find the occasional flower blooming.  All this springtime blooming has taken me down memory lane to this time last year. It was a Texas springtime, ranch-country wedding. There was magic in the air.

Springtime in Texas is like that anyway – what with the Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Prickly Pear blooms and all. Then add a ranch country wedding to that already potent mix and mister, you’ve got some strong medicine!

We had gathered in Palo Pinto County, TX for the wedding of a long tall cowboy (one Colter Hampton) to his Brazos River rose (Miss Cortni Clower). There, in a leafy glade surrounded by family and friends, in just a matter of a few moments, a miracle of love was witnessed and the world became a better place.

As I looked around me, a lump as big as Dallas grew in my throat. For not only had the boy found his True Love, but older brother Cooper was home safe from the war and in attendance, younger brother Denver was in from college, and littlest brothers Calvin and Ethan were behaving themselves. Big sister Gina, along with her husband Corby (my son-in-law), and their sons Barrett and Gus were able to make a rare getaway from their ranch to be here, too.

Long lost cousin Barbara, from way up in Maryland, made the long trip to reestablish her Texas Hampton roots.

My brother, Jeff, and his soon-to-be bride, LeAnn, were there holding hands like love-struck teens.

I knew that my long time best friend, Don, and his wife, Cindi (who’s like a sister to me), wanted to be there, but I wouldn’t have bet a plugged nickel that they would really make it, ’cause real life often gets in the way when your real life has to do with agriculture. But, by God, they made it, too!

So did Lisa’s brother, Ted, and his wife and both of their boys. All the way down from Central Oregon on their spring break.

And then there were all the Grand-folks! There were Hamptons, Moores, Lysters, Clowers and Rices, not to mention all the rest of Cortni’s side of the family – which was certainly abundant! The hall was full to over-flowing with cousins, aunts, uncles, neices, nephews, friends and even the occasional person that no one seemed to know.

All these smiling faces. All this history. All this love.

Even now, months later I find myself wondering if it may well be that not this side of heaven will we all be together again like this. No, surely not, but where else besides Texas in the springtime could it happen even once – like this?

After the “I dos” and all the pictures were taken, we all gathered in the reception hall to eat, drink and watch the newest Mr. and Mrs. Hampton cut their cake and drink Dr. Pepper toasts.


As the couple took to the dance floor, as the children played in the growing shadows, as the Texas sun made its way west, I stood alone trying to memorize every face and every scene of one of life’s few perfect days.


And amidst my memories of new love I find another. There I was, taking it all in, afraid to even blink, lest it all go away, my attention was finally stolen by a woman across the room. This lovely creature, although unaware I was watching, was working at the drink table filling cups with iced tea. I was taken not only by her obvious beauty, but by the look of total contentment she wore as she made an art out of this simple task.

Captivated and dumb-struck, I wondered how this could happen. What were the chances of a middle aged man falling in love at his son’s wedding? This kind of foolishness could get a man in big trouble. But no, not that day, because this angelic vision across the crowded room is the mother of my children, my sweetheart, my partner and my wife.

I smiled as I reached down and felt the gold band on my left hand.

Now why should old love born anew surprise me – or anyone, for that matter? After all, it was a Texas springtime ranch-country wedding, and there was magic in the air! 

Do you have a favorite springtime memory?  Is there really such a thing as “love in the air”?


Halloween on Highway 21

Posted on: November 2nd, 2011 by R.W. Hampton 1 Comment
Scary!! Isn't he?......

Scary!! Isn't he?......

Here in America there is a phenomenon that happens every October 31st .

In cities and towns across the country we encourage our little ones (and even sometimes ourselves) to dress up as anything our hearts desire and go from house to house asking for goodies.  I have been told that it is common in some neighborhoods for folks to go through a dozen bags of candy in a few hours after the sun goes down. 

Having never lived in town our boys had to travel to my wife’s hometown of Bend, Oregon a few years ago to experience anything remotely close to this kind of an occurrence. 

We loaded up with her brother’s family and their two boys and drove to a subdivision known for its wealth of “good goodies”.  Upon arrival I was astounded to see the roads filled with creatures large and small, a string of headlights of dads driving slowly along and decorations filling the yards that ranged from a full haunted house theme, blow up witches and werewolves to a collection of straw bales, spider webs and carved pumpkins. 

Every house seemed decked out in its finest with lights ablaze and someone at the door with a huge bowl of store-bought treats. 

We spent about 90 minutes and each child brought home a pillow case full of candy, pencils, plastic bats, Dracula teeth and more…. most of which didn’t make it on the flight home the next day to their dismay.  (Thank God for airline weight restrictions this one time!)

Here in rural America we tend to always do things just a little different. 

Over the past 15 years we have lived here in Miami, New Mexico the amount of children of trick-or-treating age has fluctuated from as many as 15 down to four or five. 


Our neighbor, Dillon, before his became an astronaut

This is our neighbor, Dillon, before he became an astronaut.

This year we had a pretty good bunch: I think the grand total ended up at eight or nine. 

Since two of the families were new to the area we decided to invite them along with us… to show them the way… you know… break em in slowly to this new style of gathering goodies.

We all met with wee ones in tow at our house to try & convince the little ones to eat something nutritious prior to the chocolate fest  on which we were about to embark. 

 We did have a small hitch in the evening at the last minute when our eleven year old was invited to take part as a spook in the Philmont Scout Ranch’s Haunted House – 20 miles in the opposite direction, requiring Dad to run him into town to meet up with his “crew” and, of course, go pick him back up again later. 

No sweat, just another 80 miles up and down Highway 21 …

Our little hillbilly...
Our own Hillbilly…. Brush your teeth son!


As soon as the sun started to sink down, the battle began. How fast can three mother’s clean hands and faces, stuff their five children into costumes, and load them into the back of the SUV and down the driveway?    

About five minutes flat!

Ready to hit the road...
Ready to hit the road….

With our pirate, a witch, an astronaut, baby skunk and hillbilly dressed and ready, it was off to Highway 21 for some rural trick or treating.

Yes, one SUV, three sets of parents, four little ones, two hours, 12 homes, 20 miles and no traffic later, we returned with bags loaded up with candy, faces and hands smudged with melted chocolate and memories that will last a lifetime.

the Little Stinker
The Little Stinker

You see, out here one never knows who – or if anyone – will show up at your door on Halloween.

Sometimes you might get one car with two or three kids; some years three cars with 10 to 12 kids total; some years there is no one. 

So folks around here usually make up a bowl of goodies, turn on the porch light, tie the dogs up, then go watch TV. Sometimes they forget about Halloween altogether. 

But the fun out here isn’t the candy, it’s in the visiting. 

You see, out here, more often than not we ended up, not on the front porch, but standing around their kitchens.

These neighbors of ours are just as busy as we are and often months go by without us seeing each other. So, as the kiddos loaded up on candy and home-baked sweets right out of the ovens, those of us over the age of 25 caught up on what was going on in each other’s lives, swapped stories of recent horse-wrecks and talked about the weather. 

Of the people we visited, three didn’t even know it was Halloween. 

Only two houses had decorations on their porches, one single cowboy answered the door in his boxer shorts, but went and found full-sized candy bars for the kids (they were probably for his lunches), at least three places offered the men a beer as we stood around visitin’ and everyone smiled, welcomed us and found something for the kiddos.

The neighborhood witch
One cute little witch!!

Now, those of you who live in the city may think you have it made when it comes to life, especially on days like Halloween where you can pick out your nice, flat, full of candy subdivision.

But now that I’ve tried it both ways, I think I’ll stick to my Highway 21 Halloween. 

There are just some things that make being in the country such a great place to live and, of course, a great place to raise our kids.