Bare Day

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Country music icon shows love for home


ROME TOWNSHIP — Before Bobby Bare took the stage at the Lawrence County fair on Tuesday the 79 year old, Country Music Hall of Famer slowly stepped out of a black SUV and into a crowd of people.

Dozens of fans gathered around the vehicle hoping to get a chance to snap a picture or shake the Lawrence County legend’s hand. Person-by-person, Bare posed with each anxious well-wisher and a few relatives. Nashville is where Bare lives, but Lawrence County is and always will be home, Bare said.

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“It’s been great to get to come back home so much here recently,” Bare said. “Most of the people I knew, and went to school with have passed away or moved from the area but the younger generation of Lawrence Countians have embraced me on my return so it’s been wonderful.

“I still have some family and some cousins in the area and I’ve got to reconnect with some of them so that’s been nice, too.”

After taking about 15 minutes to take pictures with fans, the Grammy winner finally took the stage to the applause of a crowd of a few thousand. The seasoned performer immediately went into his barrel of greatest hits playing songs like “Drop Kick Me Jesus”, which was a favorite of President Bill Clinton. After a few songs Lawrence County Commissioners Freddie Hayes Jr. and Les Boggs interrupted Bare.

They presented the singer with some mementos of his hometown and announced that the commission has declared July 8, 2014, as “Bobby Bare Day.” The surprise gifts and the holiday honor were appreciated by Bare.

“This is great, thank you,” a shocked Bare said. “Everything I am and everything I do came from Lawrence County. This place is a big part of me. You don’t really appreciate it until you get away from it but I miss these hills.”