"Our daughter helps out and volunteers -- mostly our friends and retired people -- help us keep everything going on show nights," said Stephens. "If we were doing this as something to make money, we'd have been gone long ago. But both Mary and me enjoy it. We love the music and the people who come to hear it."
To help maintain a family atmosphere at the Opry House, the Stephens have retained the no-alcohol policy initiated by King when the venue opened. Soft drinks are sold, along with hot dogs, barbecue, fresh popcorn and candy.
"Mary does all the bookings for us," said Stephens. "She loves the music and knows more about it than I do," he said, even though "I play guitar and she plays the radio. If she wasn't in this with me, we wouldn't be doing it."
Since Stephens' days as a customer at the Mountaineer Opry House "it hasn't changed much over the years," he said. "I'll paint the front of it again when the weather gets better, and that will probably be it for a while."
Most shows at the Mountaineer Opry House are on Saturday nights, with a few Friday nights thrown into the mix. Admission for most shows is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $5 for kids.
For more information and a list of upcoming shows, visit the venue's website at www.mountaineeropry.com.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.