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The old west comes to life

Molly Shore

When Byron Crossley retired after 47 years as an aerospace engineer,

he said he was going to do the things he liked to do. So Crossley

began pursuing his lifelong passion of making music.

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Playing the guitar and singing in the style of the late Burl Ives,

Crossley opened the third annual Senior Superstar Showcase at the

Joslyn Adult Center Monday afternoon with his rendition of “The

Preacher and the Bear.”

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The country western show and cowboy roundup featured 16 singing,

dancing and musical acts by performers 55 and older.

Crossley had been scheduled to co-host the show with executive

producer Marie Burnett, but when Burnett broke her hip and had to bow

out, the job of writing, producing and hosting the show was placed on

Crossley’s shoulders.

“I’ve got a great deal of respect for all the work [Burnett has]

done, because I’m now doing it,” Crossley said.

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Before going on, Crossley said he would be glad when it was over.

“I’m so wound up,” he said. “I don’t drink or I’d go home and have

one.”

Virginia Dubickas, 65, who teaches line dancing at the center, led

a group of 16 dancers.

“They all volunteered,” Dubickas said. “I told them, ‘just do your

best, and you’ll all have fun.’ ”

Herb Coleman, performing professionally since he was 15, sang two

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numbers: “Drinkin’ Champagne” and “Lovesick Blues.”

“You can’t have a country song without love and drinking,”

Coleman, 69, told the audience.

Burnett, sidelined in a wheelchair, said the show was one of the

best that has been produced so far.

“We have a well-rounded variety of people -- singers, dancers,

musicians, even comedians,” Burnett said.

Although she had to sit this one out, Burnett said she will be

back performing in January when the next show is staged.


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