Rescue Hose volunteers preparing for 'A Hometown Minstrel'

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Harry Gsell sings 'Green, Green Grass of Home,' accompanied by Trevor Timmons on piano, during Sunday's rehearsal for the Rescue Hose Co.'s 'A Hometown Minstrel,' which will be presented in March. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT.

Rescue Hose Co. volunteers will present their 83rd HOBO Minstrels entitled “A Hometown Minstrel,” with classic songs and jokes still enjoyed today, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 8, 9 and 10, in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium on South Ridge Avenue.

Believed to be the longest running minstrel variety entertainment group in the United States, the first Rescue Hose Co. volunteer minstrel was held in 1929 and today the show features over 70 volunteers.

Tickets are $6 per person. Children 10 and under will be admitted for $3. Tickets will be available at the door each evening.

Proceeds benefit the Rescue Hose Co. Inc., which has provided fire, rescue and emergency medical services in the Greencastle-Antrim community since 1896.

About the show 

Todd Roland returns with Benny Thomas as the end-men in the HOBO minstrels tradition.

A chorus and band blend the tones of many popular songs with a hometown flavor. Some of the favorites include:

“Deep In The Heart of Texas" by Larry Keener

“Green, Green Grass of Home” by Harry Gsell

“Down Home” by Todd Roland

“Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” by Ray Mowen Jr.

“Detroit City, I Wanna Go Home” by Phil Oberholzer

“Back Home Again” by Daryl Freshman

“Sentimental Journey” by Benny Thomas

Chorus favorites include “That Old Gang Of Mine,” “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home," “Rocky Top,” “There’ll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight,” “Rock Of Ages" and "God Bless America."

"The Bones” will be performed by the Wolfes.

Solos will be presented by Bill Brown, Carl Fahnestock, Dave Reeder and the HOCO Quartet, with musical accompaniment including piano by Trevor Timmons, banjo and guitar by Carl Fahnestock, drums by Craig Wolfe, bass guitar by Durand Walter and harmonica by Lilly Fahnestock.

The show is under the direction of Ben Thomas Jr. with Dr. C. Gregory Hoover as interlocutor.

Members will take the minstrels on the road and entertain the residents of Quincy Home on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m. and Falling Spring Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m.

Spaghetti dinner 

On Saturday, March 10, Shady Grove Troop 95 Scouting units (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venture Crew) will host an “all-you-can-eat” spaghetti dinner in the high school cafeteria from 5 to 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Scouting activities.