Preserving the past through music

Now in its sixth year, the opry is as strong as ever, according to Flyger, who initiated the event and organizes the monthly get together.

For one night a month — during Daylight Savings Time — between 45 and 50 people crowd the small town of Kaylor for the opry at the SoDak Stamm Heritage Hall. It’s in this building that musicians and music fans alike join together for gospel and old-time country music.

“We wanted to include young people and country old-time music is part of not just the heritage of the Germans from Russia but everybody in this part of the country,” Flyger said last Friday during the opry. “We’re kind of losing it, and I’m not really impressed with country music today so we’re trying to preserve our history in old-time country and gospel music.”

The opry began six years ago when Flyger decided to reach out to other amateur musicians in the Kaylor area to play music. It wasn’t a formal process, but simply a way to play music and have fun.

It spread quickly, and now people come from Mitchell, Armour, Tyndall, Sioux City, Iowa and Plainview, Nebraska to visit the small town between Tripp and Scotland.

“It brings a little life to Kaylor,” Flyger said. ” … We just have a good time. We get to know each other. We tease each other, we laugh, we joke, we cry. Hopefully the music isn’t so bad we cry too hard.”

‘A neat getaway’

John Spurling, of Tyndall, has been coming to the Kaylor Opry for two years, but last Friday’s performance was extra special.

Spurling brought his 9-year-old granddaughter, Katelyn Ingelman, to sing alongside him as he strummed on the guitar. His granddaughter, who is from California, was on vacation for the week and jumped at the chance to sing with her grandpa.

Spurling only recently learned to play the guitar, and two years ago finally had enough nerve to come down, he said. And it’s worked out great since, he said.

“It’s an opportunity to play and sing in front of people. And the more you do it, hopefully the better you get,”…

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