The Day Sonny and Cher Visited Fair Park

Sonnyandcheratfairpark.jpg
Photo by Skip Shoffner, courtesy Philip Shoffner
Sonny and Cher in front of the Fair Park Coliseum
It's quite likely that many Friends of Unfair Park recall O. V. "Skip" Shoffner, who, his son Philip reminds, was a longtime mail carrier in Lakewood -- for more than 30 years. Skip was also a regular at the Gold Rush, whose owner, George Sanchez, considered him "a wonderful person, a kind soul and great friend." Skip lived here all his life -- grew up on Casa Loma, went to Crozier Tech, an "all-around East Dallas rat," says his son. He died in August.

In recent days, Philip has begun cleaning out his father's home, which is why he wrote me. The son stumbled across his father's collection of photos, among them several taken at Fair Park, not all during the State Fair of Texas. Writes Philip:
"Fair Park was in his blood. Instead of going on family vacations every year, he would always work at the fair. He started off working at Youngblood's Chicken and then later for the Cuellar brothers running their Big Tex stand until El Chico became the Old Mill Inn. He was good friends with Jim Lowe, the longtime voice of Big Tex, and I will never forget Big Tex always saying, 'Howdy, Skip Shoffner' when I would go to the fair as a kid. I grew up thinking that Big Tex knew my dad. He always did like reading your blog, especially about the past."
Philip kindly directs our attention to some snapshots of his dad working the State Fair of Texas. He also sent the photo you see above. Philip wondered when it might have been taken. Best I can tell: the winter of 1966-'67. Says here that Sonny and Cher came to Dallas on December 27, 1966, for a KBOX-sponsored concert at Memorial Auditorium. A few days later, on January 1, 1967, they returned to ride in the Cotton Bowl Parade.
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Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

I'm just guessing, but I think she's had some work done since that picture was taken.

Buckeye
Buckeye

I believe that year's Honorary Grand Marshall was Dean Vernon Wermer.

Ray
Ray

Ahhhh Youngbloods.... fried chicken, honey and texas toast. Seeing Elsie the cow. Oh yeah, that big ass monorail that went nowhere, literally. KBOX- refresh my memory...who were the big DJ's there? I remember Ron Chapman at KLIF.

Guest
Guest

You just wish you could reach into that picture and say, "Hey, you two, if you ever have a daughter, you just might want to give her some xtra special attention 'cause..........."

NewsDog
NewsDog

Or tell Sonny not to take up skiing.

J Michael Daniel Jr
J Michael Daniel Jr

How many times have I stood in that exact spot buying food coupons for the fair.....sheesh and I thought I was old. Craziest Memory has to be carrying the Mrs' out that same door "fireman style" after a Cult/Lenny Kravitz concert(1992'ish?). Mrs. got mad cause Lenny was booed during the opening set and began to drink heavily. Ahhh to have my youth back, or at least a smartphone back then to record the moment for prosperity purposes. For now I have my memories so check back with me after the Rangers game, for they may be gone.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Like Lenny once said "It Aint Over Til Its Ooooverrrr"...

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wasnt that around the time "Good Times" was released? Not a bad film, but not something i'd watch by choice...

howl
howl

now THAT'S good coffee. miss you, skipper.

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