Tim Ryan’s 25th (and last) Annual Mission Valley Scholarship Benefit

Friday, July 13th, 2012, was the end of an era. On that day, Tim Ryan held the last of his 25 annual Mission Valley Scholarship Benefit events.   The events changed over the years, starting as concerts at the Mule Palace in Evaro, and later  moving to the Ronan Country Club, where a golf tournament was added and followed by a Writers Night, where Nashville’s best song writers played their hit songs and told the stories behind the songs.  It was a scholarship benefit, a golf tournament, an event with great live music, and, for Tim’s family and friends, it was also an annual reunion of sorts.  We all have wonderful memories from the events over the last 25 years, and this year was no exception.

I wasn’t able to arrive until about 7:30pm on Friday, by which time I had missed the beginning of the festivities.  However, I was in time for Carlene Bockman to lead the crowd of Montana Grizzlies fans in singing “Up With Montana,” the singing of which at these events is as obligatory as is the National Anthem before a nationally televised sporting event.

Tim reminisced about the events of years gone by, told his tales (some of them tall), and beautifully picked and sang some old favorites, including “Golden Harvest.”  “Golden Harvest” is one of my all-time favorite songs and is near and dear to my husband and me.  We were fortunate enough to have Tim sing that wonderful song as I walked down the aisle at our wedding.

Songwriter Kostas took the stage next, and sang a few of his many top-charting hits.  We’d still be there if he were to play all of his hits.

I never thought of “Blame It On Your Heart” (“your lying, cheating, cold dead beating, two-timing, double dealing, mean mistreating, loving heart”) as a romantic song, but my niece seems to find it otherwise, as she chose that time to kiss a boy.

Little trickster!

Bonnie Quist made the rounds catching everybody having fun.  Check out her photos of the event.

Rob Quist and the Great Northern Band took the stage last.  The second song they played was Ian Tyson’s “The Gift.”  As they played “The Gift,” the lyrics were played out in the western sky.

“When the Lord called Charlie to his home up yonder
He said, “Kid Russell, I got a job for you.
You’re in charge of sunsets up in old Montana
‘Cause I can’t paint them quite as good as you”

It had been too long since the last time I saw Rob perform “In Without Knocking,” “Kootenai,” “A Lady Called Montana,” and many more.  I loved hearing them again (live, that is — I hear them on my speakers regularly, but live is ALIVE).

My son seemed to find basking in the backstage glow to be a great place to sit and enjoy the music while many others basked in the glow of 25 years of memories…

more photos here>  http://www.bigskycountry.net/timryan_25th_missionvalleyscholarshipbenefit

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