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Marengo's 'Hillbilly Hoedown'

  • 29 July, 2011
  • Michael Morain

The Chicken Claw Country Band welcomed riders into Marengo’s “Hillbilly Hoedown” with a bucket-string bass and washboards they scraped with the scaly dried talons of a chicken and turkey. And let me tell you, nothing says “Welcome to our town” quite like that.

They wore house dresses, curlers, aprons and fake teeth, which they had to remove to spell their names for the reporter. Pictured below, from left: Karen Schmitz, Diane Bird and Martha Kimm.

The group formed in 1971 and has been playing ever since at weddings, birthday parties and “all the parades they’ll let us in,” Kimm said.

Over in the central park another local, Leanne Slaymaker, tried her luck in the “Hillbilly Hot Tub.” She dangled a fake catfish from a fishing line and encouraged visitors to toss in coins to help fund a new town pool. And from the looks of this one, they could use it.

Michael Morain

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