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Cashing in on Music Festival Memories


By Diana Monroe

It’s not unusual for his neighbors in Jacksonport, Ark., to see the ambulance pull into 87-year-old Clint Foust’s driveway. He’s battled pneumonia eight times so far this year, and pneumonia can be even more precarious while one is fighting a terminal disease.

So when the stretch limousine pulled into the lifelong mechanic’s driveway on August 4, the neighbors were a bit taken aback.

“They asked my son if I was going to Tunica,” Foust said. “He told them I wasn’t going to win money; I was going to get some memories.”

And he did.

Foust had always had a wish to see and hear one of his country music favorites in concert. Thanks to his relationship with Lester Dierksen Memorial Hospice, and some ‘fairy godmothers’ in the form of Crown Limo, the Jonesboro Holiday Inn and Couch’s Bar-B-Q, Foust’s ‘Cinderella’ moment brought him not only to the Johnny Cash Music Festival, but gave him, he said, “one of the biggest honors of my days.”

Dierksen Community Liaison Donna Cullison coordinated the surprise. The limo carried Foust on his first-ever VIP ride with some family members, his hospice nurse, Jeannie Moore, and Cullison to Arkansas State University’s Convocation Center. There, artists Rosanne Cash, John Carter Cash, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Rodney Crowell and others were rehearsing for the evening’s concert.

It was then his ‘Cinderella’ dream came true. He was given a VIP pass to the sound check. He said he enjoyed hearing Johnny’s brother Tommy Cash singing ‘Five Feet High and Risin.’ George Jones’ ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ was a special favorite, he said.

Not only did Foust watch the entire rehearsal with his family, he got to meet artists like Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson, and hold a guitar all the artists signed to benefit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. He even consented to an interview with a Little Rock radio station that was covering the concert.

Cullison said Foust was beyond happy. “The memories made for Mr. Foust and his family through the generosity of these folks is something that will last for the rest of his life,” she said.

After the rehearsal, Crown Limo took Foust and his entourage to the Jonesboro Holiday Inn, where they were provided a room to rest between the sound check and the concert. It was there Couch’s Bar-B-Q provided a meal with all the fixins’ for the group.

“We were thrilled and proud of the way they treated Dad,” daughter Norine Barnhill said of her father’s first live concert experience.

The day’s excitement was tiring, though, and the group decided it was probably best if they headed back home for some rest. Foust made sure his tickets to the sold-out event didn’t go to waste; he gave them to the limo driver and his family to enjoy.

Back in Jacksonport, Foust’s VIP pass hangs on the wall of his living room for all his guests to see. He gladly retells his visitors what a thrill the day was and wants them to know everyone was so nice in making him feel like a ‘very important person.’

 “That was a day to remember for always.”

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