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'Graybeard' says, 'Good-bye, Mitch.'

Thursday, July 6, 2006

By FRANK PHILLIPS

frankphi@hotmail.com

Hundreds of people packed the Forest Park Pavilion Tuesday night to hear Graybeard's last performance with its current personnel. One reason for the hundreds to attend may have been to say good-bye to the group's harmonica and bass guitar player and vocalist Mitch Chalos.

Mitch and Kim Chalos are moving to Nashville, Tenn., to be near their son who works in sales for a computer company.

The concert was entirely upbeat, without any sad parting comments that could have been made.

Gary Scroggins told one story about Mitch from several years ago.

It seems Graybeard was performing for an Emmaus Walk. As part of the program, the group played an instrumental over and over. It was an upbeat song and the guitarists and other musicians were playing as fast and hard as they could, Scroggins said. The song only required Mitch to play a single note on his harmonica at the prescribed time.

So, Mitch would get up, walk to the microphone, play his note and then go visit with people until the song was repeated.

"After the concert -- and this is the truth," Scroggins said, raising his hand. "People thanked the group and said, 'Wasn't the harmonica wonderful!'

"Since then, he has been known as One-note Chalos!"

The new members of the group were introduced for the first time. They are Jay Slater and Dave Boyd.

"It's taking two guys to replace Mitch and we'll never hear the end of it," Scroggins said.

At the end of the concert, the group asked the audience to be seated while they carried out some "other business."

That business was to sing a song written by Kevin McCrea to honor Mitch and Kim on their departure.

"We're paying tribute tonight to Mitch and Kim for their service," Scroggins said.

He asked the audience to raise their hands if their lives had been touched by Mitch and Kim's lives through their church and as Mitch served as a county commissioner and in business. Many did raise their hands.

A few lines from the song included,

"A friend will be with you in the end," and,

"Now you're moving on to see what's down the road ...

"It's sad to say good-bye ...

"Take this with you when you go ...

"Good-bye, old friend."

Following the song, Mitch and Kim were invited back to the stage where they hugged their old friends and were greeted by many well-wishers from the audience.

Members of Graybeard now include Rod Clarke, Lee Reberger, Scroggins, Slater, Boyd, and McCrea.

The concert was part of the entertainment during the 71st annual Brazil Rotary Club 4th of July Celebration.



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