Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Save Byron's of Pomeroy

Save Byron's of Pomeroy

...featuring the purveyor of reheated frozen pizza and live music

No transcript...

If ever there was an example of why local storytelling matters, it’s this one.

Byron Stuart lives in the town of Pomeroy, population 500. He discovered that owning a bar was a way to manifest his dream of experiencing live music regularly.

Musicians and patrons describe the venue that seats 80 as ‘magical.’ The building appears outside as a dilapidated structure, but when one crosses the threshold, it is an Alice-in-Wonderland Fun House of tie-dye color.

Byron’s in Pomeroy

In January, Byron received a letter saying he had to produce an inspection report that the building was sound or vacate the premises.

The distraught patron saint of songwriters told his friends and supporters, including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer - and a regular Byron’s patron - Art Cullen, who broke the news in his column. Soon after, the barkeep's plight was featured on Charity Nebbe’s Iowa Public Radio show, and local television stations picked up the story. The news spread like a ‘last call’ before closing time.

In our Zoom conversation, Dave Hearn of Fort Dodge was the spokesman for the fundraiser (coming up March 3), and Art Cullen helped explain why this is so important to northwest Iowa. Other musicians who have performed at Byron’s were on the call, including Jason Walsmith and Todd Partridge.

The Wizard of Bryon’s, Byron Stuart, was on the call; it was his first experience with Zoom.

Please listen to the banter and celebration of Byron. It’s a fun podcast, even though his circumstances are seemingly insurmountable. Still, you’ll get a sense of a community in action and a lot of folks hoping to help write a happy ending to this story.

Tune in. And please share it far and wide.

I hope to see you at the concert in Fort Dodge.

To learn more about the event or saving Byron’s, contact Dave Hearn: friendsofbyron2024@gmail.com

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Order Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/iowa-roots-for-byrons-concert-general-admission-tickets-tickets-834709928867


Musicians today face many challenges. The recording industry is consolidated; listeners can download and stream music for pennies or for free.

The Okoboji Writers’ and Songwriters’ Retreat will feature 14 performers from around the country. Participants will learn how to write songs and collaborate with others. There will be panels on the business of being a musician and generating revenue in creative ways. To learn more, click OWR IV.

We help participants tap into their stories, whether told through essays, memoirs, poetry, books, or songs.

To support Byron, who has been promoting local musicians for decades, one enrollment in the Okoboji Writers’ and Songwriters’ retreat will be auctioned off at the benefit concert on Sunday. Those proceeds will go toward the restoration or replacement of Byron’s bar.

I hope to see you in Fort Dodge on Sunday!


Paid subscribers of this column provide scholarships for the retreat. If you need assistance, find the form to submit in the FAQ section of the website. There are full and partial scholarships available.

I’m proud to be a founding Iowa Writers’ Collaborative member. Please consider subscribing to the Sunday Roundup of columns posted the previous week. Select members you want to support individually by becoming a paid subscriber. It helps.

Iowa Writers’ Collaborative Roster

Nicole Baart: This Stays Here, Sioux Center
Ray Young Bear: From Red Earth Drive, Meskwaki Settlement
Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Tory Brecht: Brecht’s Beat, Quad Cities
Dartanyan Brown, My Integrated Life, Des Moines
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Jane Burns: The Crossover, Des Moines
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Iowa Writers’ Collaborative, Roundup
Steph Copley: It Was Never a Dress, Johnston
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca: Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Daniel Finney, Paragraph Stacker, Des Moines
Arnold Garson: Second Thoughts, Okoboji and Sioux Falls
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Rob Gray: Rob Gray’s Area, Ankeny
Nik Heftman: The Seven Times, Los Angeles and Iowa
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilia
Dana James: Black Iowa News, Iowa
Chris Jones, Chris’s Substack, Iowa City
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Letters from Iowans, Iowa
Darcy Maulsby: Keepin’ It Rural, Calhoun County
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Alison McGaughey, The Inquisitive Quad Citizen, Quad Cities
Kurt Meyer: Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Vicki Minor, Relatively Minor, Winterset
Wini Moranville: Wini’s Food Stories, Des Moines
Jeff Morrison: Between Two Rivers, Cedar Rapids
Kyle Munson: Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen: The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politics Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Dave Price: Dave Price’s Perspective, Des Moines
Steve Semken, The Pulse of a Heartland Publisher, North Liberty
Macey Shofroth: The Midwest Creative, Norwalk
Larry Stone: Listening to the Land, Elkader
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Jason Walsmith, The Racontourist, Earlham
Kali White VanBaale, 988: Mental Healthcare in Iowa, Bondurant
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines

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Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
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