Fond Memories of Cheyenne Frontier Days
It’s hard to believe that THIS Friday is the start of the “Daddy of em’ all,” Cheyenne Frontier Days! Although this year is expected to be one of the “daddiest,” I think back to some fond memories of past Frontier Days.
One of my favorite memories was getting a chance to bring on one of my all time favorites on stage, Charlie Daniels. Just before the concert, we had a horrible hail storm. Larry Kiehl who was running the “Buckin’ A Saloon” as a part of contract acts, was grabbing as many families and getting them under the tent for safety.
I remember he rescued a husband and wife who had both a 2 year old and a 6 month old child. All the volunteers scrambled around for both towels and dry T-shirts for this family to change into, I’m sure that’ll be a Cheyenne Frontier Days they’ll never forget.
Once it stopped hailing, I walked through the mud over to the stage entrance to get ready to bring Charlie on stage. Some of his band members including Charlie’s longtime keyboardist and good friend Joel “Taz” DiGregorio were on stage warming up and killing time. I got a chance to visit with “Taz,” and he was truly passionate about both their music, and being a former military man who served in Vietnam, he was very passionate about our men and women serving our country.
Soon they all took the stage and Frontier Park was hopping, as Charlie Daniels and his band tore it up, it was truly a wonderful night. Little did I know that this would be the last time I would talk to “Taz,” as the following year, he was tragically killed in a car accident. Charlie still mourns the loss of his good friend to this day.
Another Cheyenne Frontier Days I’ll never forget was one that started out tragic on a personal note. It was July 20th 2009, that we got word that my nephew Jesse lost both of his legs in an I.E.D. explosion in Afghanistan. Devastated by the news, and only six weeks away from me walking down the isle to get married, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
I remember working out at Frontier Park, trying to call my sister to see if they got Jesse out of Afghanistan and into Germany. I told my husband Steve that we’d have to postpone our wedding until we knew what was going to happen with Jess, and his mother Peggy, who was to be in our wedding.
Even though that was one of the longest weeks out at Frontier Park, the thing I remember most is all of the amazingly kind people who heard me share the news about Jesse on the radio. I was completely overwhelmed with people stopping by our booth and giving me hugs, telling me that our families were in their prayers, it truly gave me comfort.
Last year’s “Daddy of em’ all” was a big one for many people. I had a man who said that seeing Luke Bryan power through his concert, even though he didn’t have any power. “He grabbed his acoustic guitar and started singing and entertaining the crowd until the power came back on, he’s a real trooper!”
Other’s were completely blown away by Jason Aldean’s concert, which broke the attendance record at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
So many other memories of Cheyenne Frontier Days keep flooding through, meeting the wonderful CFD volunteers, meeting our listeners, talking with artists, there’s too many to mention.
What fond memories of Cheyenne Frontier Days do you have, and which year was your “CFD favorite?”
Joel “Taz” DiGregorio, longtime keyboard player and vocalist for The Charlie Daniels Band, was killed in a car accident