McEntire charms audience

Staff writer

Susie McEntire entertained a Marion County Fair crowd of nearly 450 Sunday at USD 408’s Sports and Aquatic Center in Marion.

“I was very impressed about the numbers who were there for the type of event that it was,” said, Marion Mayor, Mary Olson.

McEntire drew people from Marion, Harvey and Sedgwick counties, and from as far away as Oklahoma.

“The Marion Christian Church ran out of tickets,” fair manager Kelli Savage said. “I had to bring them more. We also sold tickets in Hutchinson, Hillsboro, Lincolnville, Florence, Peabody Cottonwood Falls, and Newton.”

McEntire sang along with prerecorded music tracks for accompaniment. Her husband, Mark Eaton, controlled the tracks via a computer hooked to a PA and lighting system.

At times lighthearted, other times sober and sincere, the musical atmosphere was calm, polite, and family friendly.

McEntire referenced family in many songs; other songs were about her relationship with Jesus.

In a 90-minute set, she spoke as much as she sang.

Between songs she told personal stories that related to her childhood, personal tribulations, and development of her Christian faith.

Her grandmother’s faith was an inspiration for one song.

“When I was 12, my grandma made Jesus real to me,” she said.

McEntire told how her grandmother warned her not to stand behind her when she was using a hoe. McEntire said she did exactly what she was not supposed to do, and her grandmother accidentally hit her.

“She rushed me inside and fixed me up,” McEntire said. “I was expecting some kind of mercy.”

However, her grandma was not happy with her for failing to listen.

“Grandma lived her faith in everyday life, in everything she did, in the house and out in the garden,” McEntire said.

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