Patsy Cline Sing-A-Song Contest
(The advantages of being a Card Carrying Member of the APCFO)
By Angelina Diana
I woke up on Friday April 15th 2016 with a Patsy Song in my head ,“A Poor Man’s Roses” ( The Live Cimarron version not the studio versions ) and…a checklist,
Patsy Cline Playlist…Check
Patsy Cline Karaoke Tracks…Check
Patsy Cline Autograph for good luck…Check
Patsy Cline Coin for good luck ( I won Silent Auction APCFO)….Check
Patsy Cline WINDOW I won…Nah too big to bring….uncheck
Red lipstick ( normally wear pink)
Patsy looking floral Shoes
and packed luggage…Check…check!
I had a 6-7 hour trip to Winchester, Virginia from Connecticut. I figured it best to leave the day before the contest so I could be rested. The Patsy Cline Sing-A -Song Contest is run by the Patsy Cline Historic house in Virginia! The prize for the first place holder is a chance to perform, pm Labor Day weekend in Winchester,VA! This would be my second try at it. Last year I made the top 5. So, I was excited or a second crack at it.
I listened to Patsy all the way there, which ended up being a 8 hour trip! Can never get enough of Patsy though, so I was fine!
It was late when I checked into the Holiday Inn in Winchester. I decided to use the same one that the Fan Club uses. As I pulled my bags out of the car, I faced the open windows of the hotel where you can see the Banquet room. Oh the Banquet room. You know , where APCFO has it’s dinner every year! All my memories came flooding back to last Labor Day. The nice people I met at the APCFO, thumbing through pictures of Patsy with other fans and people who knew her, Julie sharing her precious baby book that her mom made, OH… and I will never forget winning the window! Yes, I won the window from the Nella house… awww and precious Charlie joking with me about. I never met a person who can make a joke about almost anything! He laughed so hard at me as I carried out this big white window to the very same parking lot I was standing in now! Gosh, I can still see it. We both had tears in our eyes from laughing! I remember laughing though my tears saying, “What will I tell my husband about winning this window”? Charlie just took a beat and said “Just tell him you went to VA and did some window shopping”! To quote Patsy HA! God bless him. It was the first and only time I met Charlie. But meeting him once is enough to leaving an everlasting impression. I will never forgot our conversations … and the many laughs.
The next morning, I paid a visited with flowers to Patsy and Charlie. I sat quietly and thanked them both. I prayed thinking, what can you say or do for two people that really didn’t know me. I felt so close to them because of the energy of music Patsy left behind and Charlie kept alive for me to enjoy. . Just then, I felt the wind gently blowing on my face, So strong it was drying my tears. I truly felt God saying in my heart that they know about the many scores of folks like me that appreciate them. I also had a fleeting and a hopeful thought that maybe, just maybe, I might see some fan club members at the contest.
There is something about going to a contest alone, in a not so familiar place. The nerves can get to ya. As I entered the very busy Apple Blossom Mall, I heard a soothing and familiar voice…. Patsy Cline!!! Her music was booming throughout the Mall, Ahhhhh, I felt at home. Then I saw the crowds of people getting their seat to watch the contest. Then the nerves jumped in again!! HA!
When you sign in for the contest, they give you a ticket with the number on it that tells you when you are performing, Last year I was number 22. As I got in line, I said in my head , “Please don't be number one , please!” Well, the Lord must have a sense of humor and a test for me because I got number number 1! HA! But God always, and I mean always takes care of his own! Just as I was dreading to be the first performer, I heard this familiar voice say “Hey you , are you performing too?” It was TYRA BAILEY from APCFO! Then I looked ahead of her and TRACIE DILLION was there on sound! What a blessing! I felt so welcomed by them and at home!
I was then struck with something Julie had said last year. When we were paying our respects at Patsy’s grave, Julie mentioned how that even though her Mom is with the Lord, Patsy has brought us a the gift of knowing each together and being together. I had a brief and comforting thought that as I was welcomed from the APCFO members, it was what it would have felt like to be greeted by Patsy herself! .Fun, loving, warm ,welcoming and supportive I truly and finally felt a part of this contest. I looked down at at that number one ticket in my hand as a goal now, not something to fear. In my heart, I said thank you Patsy! I decided to listen to Patsy in my earbuds and go for a walk, then I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was Pam Brannon….another member! Goodness gracious, I full expected the whole fan club to show up at this point LOL! I was so overjoyed to see her. She wanted to introduce me to her mom, Patsy’s 1st cousin. Pat. So excited to meet her and talk Patsy!
Then it was time to sing! It looked like there was about 200 plus folks there to hear us. Its something to see all the folks gathering to hear Patsy ’s songs. And boy, there were so many great singers. How were they going to narrow it down from 13 girls to 5?
Well I couldn't believe it but I was so thrilled to be in the top 5 again, What made it so special with was with Tyra! Boy did Tyra sing her heart out. We sat next to each other with the other 3 finalist. Guess who had to go and sing first for the semi finals?? Me….again! I decided to sing Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray. Tyra went up after me and she nailed her song! As the remaining 3 contestants strutted their best Patsy (the last gal being a Professional Patsy Cline impersonator wig and all), I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't possibly win. I sat their thanking God for the experience and for bringing together the comfort of the other APCFO Friends. Then, It came time to announce the winner. …. And you know, I still can not believe it but they gave the honor to me. Now I get to go to Winchester again , and sing on Labor Day weekend. I am so thrilled for that honor but I must say the biggest prize I walked away with that weekend is seeing the support and togetherness that Fellow APCFO members gave me that day. It is truly a testament to the hard work of Patsy’s Family and the wonderful energy, voice and work of an amazing women named Patsy Cline, that I have never met but can feel through this Fan Club, IMAGINE THAT!