Bits & Pieces
'Hee Haw' turns 50
The characters of Kornfield Kounty — including original Lulu Roman — stop at The Dalles' Granada Theater on Saturday, March 16, as part of a stage show celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the long-running television show "Hee Haw."
Why The Dalles and not Portland? Roman says it wasn't her idea. She'll joke anywhere.
"I believe they're working on that for the next couple years" for a Portland show, says Roman, 72.
While fellow stars Misty Rowe, Jana Jae and Buck Trent fly on airplanes, Roman has been trekking it from show to show in a car with her personal assistant. She was in Denver and driving through Wyoming and other states this week. "We love to drive," she says. "We love to see the country."
It's been 50 years since the start of "Hee Haw," which aired from 1969 to 1997. "And I'm the only one left, only original left," Roman says. "I was on the first show and the last show. I feel pretty good, I'm alive."
It's the first such tour since the deaths of Buck Owens in 2006 and Roy Clark in 2018. She remembers the funny musicians fondly.
Of Owens, she says: "Oh, I loved Buck. He was the one who got me on the show. I met him in Dallas and knew him three or four years before 'Hee Haw.'"
Of Clark, she adds: "He was one of a kind. First thing he did to me was wink and blow me a kiss every time I saw him."
Roman reflected on the "Hee Haw" country setting and the humor that wasn't biting or political or anything like what we hear nowadays. It was just good fun.
Audiences for the stage show "range from very young to very old," she adds.
Some tickets remain for The Dalles show; see www.granadatheatrethedalles.com.
A record number of Taylor's checkerspot butterfly larvae have been roused from winter dormancy by the Oregon Zoo.
A total of 5,398 hungry caterpillars have been transferred into rearing cups at the zoo's Imperiled Butterfly Conservation Lab, where they'll munch on narrowleaf plantain following an eight-month snooze. It's the highest number in the 15 years that the zoo has been part of the effort to save the endangered Northwest pollinator.
Later in March a majority of the growing caterpillars will be released on prairies in western Washington to help reestablish the population.
It's sold out, but you should know that Michelle Obama, former first lady, finally visits Portland on her tour to promote her book "Becoming."
She'll appear at Moda Center, 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in "Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama," presented by Live Nation and Crown Publishing. The show was postponed Feb. 9 because of predicted winter snow conditions.
Think & Drink
Oregon Humanities presents a cool series that deals in reality (with the help of a libation), as Think & Drink brings in guests who talk about serious issues.
On Wednesday, March 20, it's author Omar El Akkad, author of "American War," and reporter/producer Emily Harris, as they talk about the challenges of reporting from the Middle East for western audiences. El Akkad has spent time in Afghanistan and Egypt, and Harris has worked in Israel.
General admission is $10 for the 7 p.m. show at Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. For more: www.albertarosetheatre.com.