Letter to the Editor

Elvis artist has high praise for community

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person that was involved with my returning to Blytheville on May 8 with "The Stardust Show" and the release of my life story book and book signing.

I would especially like to thank the Blytheville Chamber of Commerce and Liz Smith for hosting such a fine show and inviting me to be on it. I could not of asked for better treatment from her and her staff. The city of Blytheville can be proud to have such a person as Mrs. Smith to lead the Chamber for them.

I cannot thank the Ritz theater people enough for their help also. Ken Jackson was very helpful and went out of his way to help us anyway he could. A special thanks goes to you, Ken, for all your help. The Ritz is lucky to have you.

Thank you to Chris Crawley at "That Bookstore" for hosting my book-signing and selling my book.

To Don Houseworth and his fine staff at the Holiday Inn.

To Andy Weld and Chris Pinkard with The Courier News for running the stories on me.

To my friends, fans and people that turned out for the show that night and the ones that stood in the long line to get a book signed. I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did doing it. I am very grateful to you for not only coming to see me but for supporting a great cause in the Jan/Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program. I'm sorry the show was cut short, but we were on a tight timetable. I hope to return to Blytheville at some later time to put on a real show.

To the people of Blytheville:

I have not been back to Blytheville in a long time, and then it was only for short visits. I want to tell you I have heard and seen a lot of negative things about Blytheville and how the city has gone down over the years. A lot of that is/was true because when you just drive through on a short visit and you see boarded-up houses and vacant lots in your old neighborhoods that you grew up in, it looks bad and people do judge a book by its cover.

This visit back was different and turned out to be real special for me and my brother, Buddy. We got to meet all these great people working for the city of Blytheville, like Liz Smith with the Chamber of Commerce; Mayor James Sanders, who not only gave me the key to the city award but he actually took the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk with us about the city; Police Chief Ross Thompson, who gave me a special police plaque at the show and since my dad was on the force here for 22 years, that means a lot to me; and a special friend, Blytheville City Inspector Jimmy Graham, who has one tough job to do. There were lots of other fine folks we got to meet and talk to about Blytheville.

They all told us about many great things going on around Blytheville, and there plans and hopes for the city. The one thing that did surprise us was that not one of them, "NOT ONE," had any negative things to say about the city of Blytheville. With fine folks like these working for your city (and I'm sure there are many more just like them), and because of them I can see good things happening for Blytheville. I now see Blytheville in a different light, a city that you, the people of Blytheville, can be proud of. I now see and believe Blytheville, Ark., is on its way back. It will take some time to do the things that need to be done, but I'm now sure the people of Blytheville are in very good hands.

They made me feel proud to say ... Blytheville is my hometown.

Thank all of you again for your support, and may God bless each and every person in Blytheville.

Bill Haney

P.S.: For any one that wants to get in touch with us you can contact me thru www.billhaney.net or buddyhaney@att.net