Father..it’s been awhile since my last confession…er, ah..posting. There are so many feelings I have about this pandemic…this political chaos..this racial upheaval in America I just don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said by others ad nauseam. So I thought I’d post something more pleasant and share a few fun memories..especially about the landmark birthday over the weekend of everybody’s pal..Jim Woster.
I know many of you remember Jim’s little half hour variety show on Keloland TV back in the late 80’s. It was just Jim being Jim sharing some farm news, markets..interviews lots of good humor and usually a little music. At the close of each program, he’d drag out his flat top guitar and sing a few old time favorite songs..usually accompanied by his friend Kip Scott. He once even featured his talented Mother Marie on his show playing piano. She banged out tune after tune..all by ear..with lots of authority..and loads of talent. Our studio spinet never had such a workout.
I’ll never forget one of the most popular things about that show was the “Saturday Noon with Woster” program coffee mug give away. It seems everyone in the viewing audience had to have one and the Kelo promotion department couldn’t keep up with demand. Well, I recognized a collectible when I saw one and sneaked into promotion’s closet and scarfed up a cup for myself. It still has a place of honor in my basement Lund museum.
A few day’s before Jim’s 60th birthday, his daughter called and asked if I’d write a little tribute to be read at his party.
I’ll be darned if I didn’t run across it the other day and decided to share it again here on the blog; not for self gratification..but out of respect for everybody’s friend and the fact that the words still hold true two decades later. Here it is:
“I have a confession to make. I have been a Jim Woster fan for nearly 50 years since I first saw him do the market reports on television. That must sound strange coming from a “town” kid (Volga, SD, population 830). It’s true, I didn’t and still do not know the difference between a canner, a cutter or a coming two year old but it was always fun to watch you inject a little humor in your daily entries cheering up livestock producers when the market was down and rejoicing with them when things were good, all the while entertaining those of us who didn’t have a clue.”
“Over the years, I was lucky enough to get into the television business and you and I got acquainted, then became friends and finally music legends, working the fair and special event circuit singing and playing with Mogen’s Heroes. I got a special kick out of your regular phone calls to me at the TV station..which always began with the greeting, “You dumb Ting” then you’d share the latest joke..laugh..say goodbye and hang up.
I also treasure the time our times on stage together with Mogen’s ..performing the same old songs to the same old appreciative people.”
“I envy your constant cheerfulness. I admire your faith, love of family, (especially your dear Penny,) loyalty to friends and dedication to your beloved South Dakota.”
“Jim, I don’t know anyone as a good natured as you or anyone I enjoy being around more. You have Linda and my very best birthday wishes and I look forward to many more good times ahead.”
True in 1990..True today.
Happy Birthday and many more you dumb ting.