Get ready to doff your HATS July 28

by marlys good

Just 16 days until HATS IV comes to the community — and the Herb Asp Community Center. Tickets can be purchased at Greybull Building Center, Ron’s Food Farm and at the Basin Chamber of Commerce office.

Organizers have done a little “tweaking,” this year but the one thing that hasn’t been “tweaked” is the entertainment.

This year it is Riders in the Sky, a group that has many honors, including two Grammy awards, seven WMA Entertainers of the Year awards, and multiple wins for Album and Group of the Year.  They have been inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame, Country Music Foundation Walkway of Stars and The Walk of Western Stars, which includes Gene Autry, John Wayne and Roy Rogers.

Riders, whose first official performance was Nov. 11, 1977, has chalked up over 6,100 performances in 50 states and 10 countries. In 1982, they were the first exclusively western music artists to join the Grand Ol’ Opry.

The group includes Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul – and along the way added “Stomach Steinway Stylings of Joey, the Cow Polka King.” Billboard Bessman counts them as one “of the most significant acts in the history of American music.”

The silent auction has been trimmed down to about half of what it has been. It will start at 4 p.m. and bidders can “up the ante” on the item(s) wanted until 15 minutes after the conclusion of the live auction.

This year‘s fun includes a raffle for dozens of items. The items — valued from $10-$20 to $100 for gas and gift certificates to some worth $300-$400 — will be numbered, listed and posted in the hall. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in the community hall itself.

Drawings will be held intermittently throughout the evening. First winner gets the first prize listed and right on down the line.

Also new are the 12 custom-made, limited edition Hands Across the Saddle hats. In addition to the HATS logo, each will have a number embroidered on the back. One of the HATS hats will be included in the raffle, five in the silent auction and six in the live auction. Buy or win a hat and you are automatically entered in a second drawing and guaranteed to win something else at the end of the night.  These include two .45 caliber pistols, Smith&Wesson .380 Body Guard, .22 semi-automatic, knife; values extend to $600.

Already donated to the live auction is an original Ann Hanson oil painting, “High Water,” now on display at Bank of Greybull; a rustic oak wine cabinet crafted by Bill Van Grinsven of Wyoming Woodworks that can be seen at Ron’s Food Farm; two original sketches and one Printer’s Proof picture by Shoofly; Pittsburg Steeler tickets along with some travel bucks and a Henry Colt .4 Golden Boy rifle engraved with the HATS Logo and laser-autographed by Wilford Brimley.

A more complete list will be included in next week’s paper.

All of the costs incurred in putting on the HATS events are covered by donations from the generous people in and around the Big Horn Basin and beyond. The charity’s funds are exclusively used to help people in need of a “Hand Across the Saddle.”

If you would like to make a donation, either to offset part of the expenses, or to HATS itself to help neighbors and friends, it would be appreciated.