April 2011 - Volunteer Spotlight - Ray Boone
MerleFest creates an atmosphere of excitement all across the campus of Wilkes Community College throughout March and April. Phones are ringing, keyboards are clicking, people are buzzing about the scheduled artists, golf carts are whizzing around campus, tents are popping up—it is a busy time for all of us.
During these months, we have a special group of tried and true volunteers who make the preparations for MerleFest come together … and help us keep our sanity. Ray Boone of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, is one member of that group. Ray stays busy before and during the festival doing anything needed and has done so since the year 2000. He has worked pre-festival answering phones, delivering posters, taking ticket requests, and doing anything else that is asked of him. During the festival he can be found working the School Day events and at the Watson Stage Hospitality area. Ray also has worked at many other volunteer positions in past years.
Now, how does he find time to do all this? Ray is a retiree from the United States Postal Service who sets aside his love of golf and the beach during the months of March and April to be on call for MerleFest.
Among the MerleFest friends he looks forward to visiting with each year are his favorite lady, RosaLee Watson (Doc’s wife), and George Hamilton IV. “I also enjoy working with the other volunteers who I have become friends with over the past years. My favorite person on the backstage crew is the heart of Watson Stage Hospitality, Brenda Osborne,” Ray comments.
Ray has a treasury of wonderful MerleFest memories—“I have had many humorous and interesting things happen backstage, but will keep them in my memories to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.” Can he really do that to us? Who does he circle first when he gets his MerleFest schedule? Doc Watson, Sam Bush and Rhonda Vincent—his favorites.
The Boone family is a MerleFest family. His wife, Chris, and son, Michael, work at the U.S. Postal Booth. (Yes, you can mail letters from the festival with a special MerleFest cancellation stamp.) Chris also assists at Watson Stage Hospitality.
Ray wears all of these MerleFest hats because he loves Wilkes County. “I moved here in 1977 and knew right away that this was a great place to live. I am honored and proud to be involved in this community and will always promote the area and its people.”
Thank you, Ray Boone, from the entire MerleFest family for your many contributions to the festival!