Mason County News
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"Rainmaker" Returns to Mason
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 • Posted June 8, 2011

Nashville recording artists, Mack Abernathy and his Pocket Rocket Ranger Band return to Mason on June 11 for a concert and dance at the Fort Mason City Park Dance Slab in conjunction with the Vernon West Memorial Roping Classic. The show and dance will be held from 8:00 p.m. until midnight.In reference to the "rainmaker," Mack says, jokingly, that all of the ranchers in Mason County just can't wait for him to come back and bring the rain with him. In 2008 and 2009, the Mason County Chamber of Commerce and many local businesses helped Mack start and promote the Mason County Music Festival. However, both years, about two hours before the show, a large rainstorm cancelled the event. Bud West, an old roping and rodeo buddy of Mack's, is the organizer of the Vernon West Memorial Roping Classic. Mack said, "I think I have Bud between a rock and a hard place. I don't know which he wants the most, rain or a roping!"Jody Nix was scheduled to perform with Mack at the first festival, so, therefor, Mack says it's not all his fault about the rain. "If it does not rain at the roping this year, I'm gonna say that Jody is the 'rainmaker' and you need to hire him for music and rain."Mack Abernathy's music fits western events like a hand in a glove. "When cowboy hats show up with real cowboys wearing them, you better have twin fiddles, a steel guitar, and be ready to play two-stepping music." He adds, "I tell everybody I play both kinds of music.... country and western." Bo Hutto and Robert Blandford will also be making an appearance at the show.Mack played a listener appreciation day in DeLeon a couple of weeks ago with Tony Booth, Darrell and Mona McCall, and Landon Dodd for radio station KEQX out of Dublin. Tracy Pitcox from KNEL in Brady was there and gave his radio support to the Vernon West Memorial Classic."Tracy and Lynn Farris helped a whole lot to promote the Mason County Music Fest and I really appreciate their help to promote this new event. I am honored that Bud West asked me to be a part of this roping. Giving scholarships is the mainstay of this roping. Jim Bob Altizer was my hero and the hero of every kid with a lariat rope and a horse. Many a roper credits Vernon West with getting them started on the dos and don'ts of roping. People are always asking me about my favorite stories on the bus or on the road. I can remember one year, the bus pulled in for us to play the Super Bull in Del Rio. Jim Bob and Vernon West walked right up to the bus, called me off and asked if I had fiddle players and if they knew how to play country music. The two fiddle players got off the bus and gave Jim Bob and Vernon an impromptu concert of Faded Love. After that, we were in like Flynn. I think the Vernon West Memorial Roping Classic will be a very good annual family event for Mason and we are glad to be a part of it."

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