Save the music

September 24, 2008

One of my favorite Hoosier excursions over the years has been to the June bluegrass festival in Bean Blossom — good music (when Uncle Pen played the fiddle!), good food (ham ‘n beans n’ cornbread!) and friendly people in a relaxed atmosphere. And you get to see and even meet the people whose records you’ve been buying for years. So hooray for Steve Johnson, the Indianapolis businessman who is trying to save the place.

Johnson established the foundation when he learned that the festival grounds were for sale.

“I hatched the idea of forming a foundation which would allow us to make sure the grounds would never go back to a private owner. This way, we can take the revenue and put it back into the infrastructure of the park,” he explained.

Owner Dwight Dillman decided to help the group by lowering the price for the property from $3.9 million to $3 million. He even removed the big “For Sale” sign at the park entrance in a show of support for the foundation’s efforts.

It’s a rustic site, so even $3 million might sound like a lot, but the compound is more than 50 acres now. I bet Bill Monroe paid only a few thousand for it when he bought the land in the early 1950s.  Here’s a brief look at the great man.

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