Parker County Today June 2016 - Page 74

It was 1990 and Vaughan’s amp tech had just died. “Stevie Ray’s guitar tech Rene Martinez and I have been friends for years and years and years,” Swancy said. “Rene called me up and said, ‘We’ve lost our amp tech. Would you be interested in taking us on?’ I said, ‘No problem. What do we need to do?’ Rene said, ‘I need to get some information from you and I need to give you some information. Then I need to tell you some things that Stevie Ray likes and so forth. After we have this concert up in Wisconsin, Alpine Valley, I’ll be flying home and we can sit and talk for a day.’” Swancy and his staff prepared to take on the amp work of the famed blues great on a long-term basis. But, sadly, the account never materialized. On Aug. 26, 1990, Vaughan performed two shows with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. The musicians boarded four Chicago-bound helicopters waiting on a nearby golf course. Visibility was poor due to haze and fog with patches of low clouds, according to news reports. Despite the conditions, the pilots were instructed to fly over a 1000-foot ski hill. Vaughan, along with three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe) boarded the third of the four helicopters—a Bell 206B Jet Ranger—flying to Meigs Field. At about 12:50 in the morning of Aug. 27, 1990, the helicopter departed from an elevation of about 850 feet, veered to the left and crashed into the hill, about fifty feet from the summit. In Clapton: The Autobiography, Clapton said that, contrary to rumors, his seat was not given to Vaughan, but as indicated above, three members of Clapton’s entourage were on board with Vaughan at the time of the crash.  The years of counting Vaughan as one of his famous clients didn’t happen for Swancy. Maybe you could call it a near miss. Zach Lundy, Photographer “When I lived in Maryland when I was 5, LeVar Burton came to my daycare class and read Reading Rainbow to us,” Lundy said. “He read a story to us, but I don’t remember much else because I was so little; but I remember thinking it was all very cool.” JUNE 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY A Girl, a Fiesta and a Camera Evon Markum, Executive Vice President Marketing and Community Development, First National Bank Fiesta is held in San Antonio in April. The celebration is enormous, with thousands of people from all over the globe. “In 1995-ish myself, husband and daughter wanted to make a quick trip to watch the parade and enjoy the great food and celebration,” Markum said. “While we were watching the parade a news reporter with the Hispanic news channel came over and asked, ‘where are you from?’ Of course, I replied in Spanish, ‘We traveled here from Weatherford, Texas, for the day, to come and enjoy Fiesta.’” Little did she know that the clip aired not only in San Antonio but also nationally. “Cell phones were just getting popular and my mother called on my ‘new’ cell phone, from Fort Worth, to tell us that ALL of our hundreds of relatives have started to call Fort Worth to ask if we really were in San Antonio. … Needless to say our ‘quick trip’ to San Antonio became a three-day-long stay to visit aunts and uncles and many other relatives. Note to self: Don’t give interviews while on vacation!” 72