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Editorial: So long, Uncle Jimmy

With his genuinely kind nature, corny jokes and outgoing personality, Jimmy Smith was everybody’s favorite uncle. For more than four decades, he turned the Li’l Ole Opry into one of the region’s top venues for country music.

It is with profound sorrow that we learned last week of his death.

Uncle Jimmy Wickham may have been a stage persona, but you couldn’t find much daylight between the man on the stage on a Saturday night and the fellow you’d run into in the store or see driving around town in his truck on a Tuesday afternoon.

The unofficial Mayor of Moon, Uncle Jimmy always had a kind word for everyone he met. Uncle Jimmy founded the Opry at Donk’s Theater along with his sister, Harriet Ann Farmer and niece Joanna Nix, and he has served as president and general manager of the country music business since its inception in 1975. They took a vacant movie theater and made it into a destination for people from the Peninsula to the Northern Neck and ...

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