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20240228 Split Rail RV Jam 3 webAnother park with great country/gospel music, stage band and musician jammers. I visited Split Rail on Friday, January 26 when the jam was on from 1 to 3 p.m. I especially want to compliment the kitchen personnel who prepared the fantastic homemade desserts that are available for free for everyone halfway through the jam.

I met one of the family owners, Stephen Polanski whose parents Joseph (deceased 2005) and Maria Polanski purchased the land and converted the orange grove to a park in 1978. Maria and Stephen are active today in parks management with day-to-day management responsibilities by Gwen Lamley and Lori Nelson. The park continues as family owned with the third generation now involved in the park’s future. I could feel that the residents and management have a sense of family and community.

Joseph named the park appropriately knowing that its up-north visitors were familiar with split rail races. Joseph is also known in the Valley for insisting to the local governmental and chamber officials that its winter visitors not be called snowbirds but referred to as Winter Texans.

20240228 Split Rail RV Jam 2 webThe Jam is organized and run by the master of ceremonies, Erven Bertrand who is also a member of the stage band as a cajon drum performer, guitarist, and vocalist. The remaining members of the band are Fred Davidson (bass guitar/ vocalist), Dave Evans (guitar/vocalist), Bill Knight (lead guitar/vocalist), Mary Lightfoot (piano), Terry Pendlay (pedal steel guitar), Larry Robertson (harmonica/vocalist), and Ray Trudeau (guitar/vocalist).

The 24 jammers who performed were Rick and Karen Anderson (guitars), Don Baker, Ron Brehm (guitar solo), Larry Broll, Steve Burrow (guitar solo), Frank Deramus (guitar), Fred Dorisse (banjo), Pat Fastiggo, Verna Funk, Diana Gibson, Ken (guitar) and Iren Griffith, Charles Josephes (guitar), Patrick La Bore, Judy Minden (mandolin), Charlie Nelson (guitar), Al Schulz (guitar), Louise Sevasin, John (guitar), Sara Weihmiller, Anna Wiens (harp), Harry (guitar), and Carol Zubriski.

20240228 Split Rail RV Jam 1 webMy featured musician is Fred Davidson from Iowa, who started his musical journey at age 11, and was motivated by his mom, dad, and brother Mike. Fred not only sings, but plays the four, five, and six string bass guitars. Fred has made CD’s and has performed on radio and TV.

Fred performs on stage at this jam and at Dream Valley Ranch in addition to performing at benefits to assist people in need. He has performed with Sipe and the Country Boys, Tom T Hall, Sonny James, Cal Smith, John Sneider, Hank Thompson, Kitty Wells and Tom Wopat. Fred plays and performs for the pleasure that music brings to others.