An Autobiography: Chapter 10, Verona Varieties

| 6/25/2012 8:35:46 AM

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Jim Reeves, the perfect gentleman, was one of our biggest stars at Verona Lake Ranch. We became friends, and I was honored in 1972 to receive “The Jim Reeves International Award” from the Academy of Country Music, presented to me by Ms. Frances Preston, BMI Executive, at the John Wayne Theatre in Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California.


Frances Preston and Thurston Moore. 

We had ice-skating parties in the winter at the park, and for a while we had Bingo at noon on Sundays. We sponsored teenage dances on the stage on Friday nights. This outgrew the stage, so we made a deal with the Walton Skating Rink, five miles away. The dancing started there at 7 p.m. and was a big success. They played records, as they did for skating, and artists like Elvis, Chubby Checker, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis were favorites with the kids.

There were three fishing lakes, and fishing during the week cost $1 a day. On Sundays, it was $1.50. We started publishing a newspaper, Verona Lake Ranch News, in 1957, and it was mailed to thousands of folks in the tri-state area. It covered country news of the area, goings-on at the park, and a schedule of shows. In one issue there was this article: “3½ Pound Bass Caught April 22. That’s a big bass to any fisherman and it was caught by the retired mail carrier in Verona. And of all things, he caught it with a cane pole and a fishing worm!”

Verona Newspaper 

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