Denver Bar Association
January 2003
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A Hug from Louise

by David Erickson

A travle memoir

While in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, last October, we made arrangements to see a country-western show starring the vivacious Louise Mandrell. The two-hour-and-20-minute show also featured blues, cajun, rock ’n’ roll, big band and gospel music. There was a touch of patriotism, too, and those who had served in the military were asked to stand for appreciation and applause from the audience.

Near the front were six church groups—bused in from various locations, as far away as Louisiana. Louise, clearly appreciative of their attendance, went down into the audience and, from small cards, read the name and location of each church. After this, she walked over to each group and asked, "Who’s in charge here?" When the minister stood up she would give him a big hug and thank him for bringing the group to her show.

A short time later, there was an intermission, and I went into the restroom. While there, one of the ministers walked in and I heard him exclaim, "Well, she came down and called our church and then when she came over and asked, ‘Whose in charge here?’ the bus driver stood up and said, ‘I am!’ I couldn’t believe it!"

On the way out I heard him mutter, "He’s really goin’ to get it!"

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