From the Albums of Bill Shaffer – Garth Brooks

Last night I was watching a special on TV, “Garth Brooks in Las Vegas”.  It made me think about something that happened years ago.

Garth Brooks

I can’t remember a time when people didn’t know who Garth Brooks was.  It seems like he has always been a part of the American landscape.  But trust me, there was a time when he was absolutely unknown.  Years ago, Troop 26 was involved in a service project called “The Brush Creek Bazaar”.  It was a wonderful craft show that benefited the Brush Creek Boy’s Ranch in Jay Oklahoma.  Troop 26 ran a concession booth at the weekend event, usually held on the same weekend I think as the opening of the Tulsa State Fair.  We sold hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, deserts, cold drinks, lots of stuff.  Some of our scouts were always there taking refreshments to the vendors who couldn’t get away from their booths.  There were shows going on, cloggers, music, demonstrations, chain saw art, hayrides, cowboys doing roping tricks,  all kinds of things.  Well, I had just recently designed a T-shirt, all black with a Native American on it.  I took the design from a character in a 1990 Kevin Costner movie called “Dances With Wolves”.  The character was called “Wind In His Hair”.  I thought the shirts were pretty cool and they sold pretty well.    I had some of them with me at the Brush Creek Bazaar that year in case anybody wanted to buy one.

One of our Eagle Scouts, Larry Ward Jr., came running up to the concession stand looking for me.  He said that he had just heard a great new country western singer who was performing down at the barn.  He wanted to give him one of my T-shirts.  I asked his name and Larry said “Garth Brooks.”  “Never heard of him”, I said, “but if its important to you, go give him a shirt.”  He did.  As he left, I asked somebody, probably Ray Yarroll as we used to work the concession together,  who Garth Brooks was.  I was told that he was singing at the Tulsa State Fair along with Ricky Von Shelton and Clint Black.  Clint Black was the headliner.  I think I had heard of Clint Black

Several weeks later Larry Ward brought me this photo that he had of himself and Garth Brooks after he gave him the shirt.  That photo is one of my prize possessions now.

I don’t think I have one of those T-shirts anymore.  The only one I ever see is worn by good friend Ted Dubie, out Committee Chairman.  Take a look at it the next time he wears it.  And remember, Garth Brooks has one too.