Eclipse thoughts

Eclipse thoughts

By Terry Joe Wiles

What did you think of Monday’s total eclipse?

Well, the total eclipse came and went. I wrote this week’s column on Thursday, so all I have to offer is an uneducated speculation of the event.

Support local, live music

I forecasted partly sunny skies, and I hope it was. I said there would be lots of tourists, which would be good for the economy for some of the rural communities with minor inconvenience for us locals — and a chance to observe and enjoy this event with family and friends. The next one is in 2044. Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine.

In the live-music department, there’s a couple events coming up I plan to attend. Just so you can’t say that you didn’t know, there will be a concert at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. May 25. There will be an awesome line-up with “Oreo Blue with Gary Hutchison,” “The Jeff Horton Band” and “J.J. Taylor and Bourbon Highway.” There will be a full afternoon of awesome blues, rock and red dirt music, so make plans to be there.

There will be a fajita fundraiser for this event at Carajillo Mexican Grill in Poteau from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. It is a great chance to meet and greet with host Annie Kobus and find out how you can be a sponsor for this event. It is building up to the biggest event of the summer. For additional information, call or text message to (918) 766-8269.

There will be a party at the Fort — Fort Towson that is, located near Hugo! On Saturday, this family event will open the gate at 10 a.m. Stoney LaRue with Kaitlin Butts and special guest Casey West will provide the entertainment. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, go to or the Fort Towson Chamber of Commerce website.

Here’s a great chance to enjoy gospel music at the First Baptist Church in Van Buren, Ark. The Southern Gospel Celebration 2024 will be Friday and Saturday. Check out the event’s Facebook page as well as at, or call (479) 883-8131.

A real treat with an album release party from “The Black Diamonds” will take place at the place of origin, The Coffee Cup in Poteau. Here is a short note from bandleader Ben Whiteaker:

“Our self-titled album will be available anywhere you can stream music on April 19. We are playing a show at The Coffee Cup with Landon Kole Bradley that same night, starting at 6 p.m. Kole has been pivotal in the revival of the music scene in Poteau and put together some great shows with Bard’s Guild. Come out and sing some sad, sad songs with us.” Mark it on your calendar — 6 p.m. April 19 with Landon Kole Bradley and “The Black Diamonds” at The Coffee Cup. I’ll have more information in next week’s column.

As for other live-music events this week, “Sierra Bravo” will be at La Huerta’s Mexican Restaurant in Poteau beginning at 6 tonight. Scot Francis and Billy Hoffman will be sharing the vocals with their good friend Rick Boyette on bass. It will be a great evening of music on the patio. See you there.

“The Libby Starks Band” will liven up the Fort Smith (Ark.) Senior Activity Center on Friday. Libby is a favorite at this dance hall. The good thing is there is a big dance floor and lots of seats at tables. The venue is a NS/ND place, so when the first note is played at 7 p.m., be ready to dance the night away. It’ll be a great time.

Dawn’s Diner will be restocked with catfish and chicken fried steaks after the eclipse hoopla and will have two nights of great music. On Friday, it will be “Bourbon Rain” playing country tunes to keep the dance floor full. Then on Saturday, Chance Noah will bring his tunes that will entertain and make you wanna dance. Both nights of music will start at 7 p.m.

The Spiro Eagles Lodge’s dance will be from 7-11 p.m. Saturday. “Country Junction” will be playing, and this band has a great show. There’s a great, big dance floor and one of the best country dance bands around. Hope to see you at the Spiro Eagles Lodge that night.

That ain’t all that I got to say, but it’s a good place to stop. Support local bands and singers. Attend an event or dance. Keep live music available to us all.

For information about any live-music events or to let me know of any such venues taking place, call or text message me at (918) 649-5736 or e-mail me at [email protected].

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Craig Hall
Publisher, writer, photographer and teacher.