Inquirer - Thursday, July 8, 1976
The Willie Nelson Fourth
of July Picnic had a little of everything for everyone and Willie
himself finally got around to playing a number or two before the
rain closed out the show.
The show ended Monday morning when the rain brought down the roof,
or at least the canvas cover over the stage, where Waylon Jennings
and Willie Nelson were
due to wind up a full 24 hours of the official picnic.
The fans came as early as Thursday and Friday and the crowd was
already estimated at 75,000 Saturday. Promoters said that 135,000
tickets were collected at the gates and some folks just crawled
over or under to hear the music.
The Gonzales County
Sheriffís Office reported that 147 arrests were made by their officers
and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Sheriff Donald Brzozowski
said that the arrest breakdown included: theft, three; disorderly
conduct, 20; driving while intoxicated, 35; possession of marijuana,
40; drunk, 31; prohibited weapons, two; possession of narcotics
paraphernalia, five; possession of controlled substance, 10; aggravated
assault, two; kidnapping, four; driving under the influence of drugs,
one and miscellaneous charges, 34.
Brzozowski said that he and four deputies plus the reserve officers
worked the concert from Friday night through Monday night. Reserve
officers included; John Paul Jones, Rueben Neitsch, Lawrence Kridler,
J.B. Lester, Wayne Spahn, Willard Burger and Bill Christian. The
sheriff added that other individuals also helped in the work, including
Constable Earl Zumwalt.
Department of Public Safety Sergeant Homer Spellman said that the
DPS had 40 men working 12 hours per day per man for the three days.
Patrolmen Ricky Smith, David Westbrook, D.R. Blair and Paul Flores
worked the event with other men from the San Antonio District.
Also working during the long weekend were Game Wardens Glen Sachtleben
and Tom Morgan.
Justice of the Peace E. Ray Bright, Jr., said he expected over 300
cases in his court, and County Judge Henry Vollentine said he was
not sure how many cases would be brought before him until all the
complaints were filed. Reports from the event indicated that the
concessionaires didnít all get rich.
After paying $1,000 for a spot at the picnic the ones selling beer
and ice seemed to do okay. Others didnít fare so well. One local
resident said the guy who planned to sell watermelons at $1 per
slice had a stack left, Midas on the Melons.
The big cleanup was to get underway today.
Star Diary April
15, 2013 column