Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


October 3, 2012

59-year tradition

Joe Bonsall is added treat for Boyd Old-Timers Breakfast

ASHLAND — Just as they have on the first Saturday of each October for more than a half century, Boyd County natives who are at least 50 and non-natives who have lived in the county for at least four decades will gather at the Ashland Elks Lodge on Carter Avenue Saturday for the 59th annual Boyd County Old-Timers Breakfast. While they feast on a traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy and potato casseroles prepared by the Elks and reminisce with old friends, they will be treated to a talk by someone who has been a member of one of the nation’s best-known vocal groups nearly long enough to be classified as an “old-timer.”

Joe Bonsall, 64, a member of the Oak Ridge Boys since 1973, will be the guest speaker at the 9 a.m. breakfast, but it is his accomplishments outside of his singing career that bring him to Ashland. In 1997, Bonsall released a four-part children’s series titled “The Molly Books” and six years later, he published “GI Joe and Lillie,” a book about his parents’ lives during and after World War II. Both parents are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

“I’m very excited that he was available and that we’re able to bring him here,” said John Vincent, chairman of this year’s breakfast, of Bonsall. “I know he will give an interesting, uplifting and informational speech to the group.”

While the Old-Timers Breakfast has always had a guest speaker, those addressing the group usually have been local residents known as interesting speakers with good stories to tell. However, a year ago the level of speakers was raised a bit when Col. David Wilcox gave an inspiring and uplifting patriotic talk to the group, and since that time, Vincent has been working diligently to have Bonsall as a fitting encore to Wilcox’s talk.  Bonsall, who does most of the talking when the Oak Ridge Boys are performing, is a gifted speaker, and Vincent said people he knows who have heard Bonsall speak have given him rave reviews.

However, we suspect Bonsall won’t be the main attraction at Saturday’s breakfast.  The Old-Timer’s Breakfast is the one annual event that is both exclusive and inclusive. It’s exclusive because not everyone can come. To be classified as a Boyd County Old-Timer, one must either have been born in Boyd County 50 or more years ago or be a non-native who has lived in the county for at least 40 years.

It’s inclusive because the breakfast attracts people from all racial and economic brackets. In fact, about the only thing that unites the Old-Timers is their long-time connection to this community, and that’s more than enough to keep bringing them back year after year.

The main attraction at Saturday’s breakfast will be the fellowship that comes when people gather to share old stories and talk about the “good old days” in Ashland, Catlettsburg, Westwood, Rush and the rest of Boyd County. Joe Bonsall will be the dessert, and he will be a good one. We commend Vincent for getting such a renown and gifted speaker to come.

Text Only
  • By a thread

    It took some last-minute political maneuvering by State Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore and some skilled wheeling and dealing to prevent a bill important to AK Steel in Ashland from ending up on the scrapheap of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly.

    April 23, 2014

  • Along the river

    Here’s hoping the weather will be as close to perfect as possible on the evening of May 30, as members of the Paul G. Blazer High School class of 2014 gather on the banks of Ohio River for the school’s first graduation on the river that has helped fuel this community’s economy since the time when it was known as known as Poage’s Landing.

    April 22, 2014

  • Good opportunity

    Morehead State University is using a highly successful program for outstanding high school juniors and seniors at Western Kentucky University to launch a similar program beginning in the fall of 2015 on the MSU campus.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO region with its own electrical company.

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • In Your View

    Letters to the editor

    April 3, 2014