Stagecoach 2009: Ralph Stanley*
Backstage at Stagecoach
Mountain music patriarch Ralph Stanley just arrived at the traditional-music themed Mustang Stage sporting a nastily bruised right eye, bandaged above and below.
I asked if he's OK, and the 82-year-old quipped, "You should see the other guy!"
Ricky Skaggs, having just wrapped a scintillating set with his band, joined the conversation and extended a heartfelt, "I'm real sorry to see you like this, Ralph."
The claw-hammer banjo master said he'd been standing on a stool cleaning an air conditioner back home in Virginia when the stool slipped, sending him to the floor.
That was Saturday, yet he still boarded a plane for the transcontinental flight west to make his Stagecoach return appearance. Talk about a trouper.
-- Randy Lewis
*Update: An earlier version referred to Stanley's home in West Virginia. He lives in Virginia.