We saw most of the Governor's speech Thursday evening at the fair, but the parade had run a little late, and I could see we were in danger of not getting a seat in the grandstand, to see Charlie Daniels. And in fact, we did end up pretty high and far away; but with the big screens on each side of the stage, we got to see the show anyhow.
A little way behind us were some guys in a real party mood, buying those $5 beers from the vender like they were going out of style. They cheered and whistled for the canned music that was playing before the concert. One man had an ear-splitting whistle that Monica wasn't too fond of, and she kept giving him dirty looks. I wondered if they'd ruin the whole thing for us, but really, they didn't. The noisiest one must have been a real hard-core Charlie Daniels fan, because when the show started, he seemed to be familiar with every word of every song. And every once in a while, we'd get that loud whistle! I kid you not, he was buying beers (did I mention they were $5 apiece?) four at a time, setting them on the bench in front of him, and chugging them down.
Old redneck Charlie is OK, although he never was a favorite of mine; I do like "Long-haired Country Boy", from thirty years ago. He leaned a bit toward rock music on the instrumentals, and the girls got bored at times. But then he did a number where he dueled each instrument in the band with his fiddle, and that got us all perked up. It was great fun, and went on quite a while.
Charlie announced that he was going to sing "a song of praise to my Lord and my God" and led into "How Great Thou Art". This brought a new wave of whistles and shouting from my inebriated friend, and I looked back to see him standing, hat off, head bowed... and at one point, hands raised. And suddenly I stopped judging, and realized that God most likely accepted that man's heartfelt worship just as surely as He accepts mine in church.
After the concert there was quite a delay, so we headed back to the campground; but we hadn't gotten too far from the grandstand before the fireworks started, so we stopped and watched awhile before ending our amazing first day at the Missouri State Fair.