(Courtesy of Arkansas State University's Office of University Communications.)
— As excitement and enthusiasm escalate for the upcoming grand opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Saturday, Aug. 16, fans are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible.
Timed tours of the Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess are offered on the hour, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Arkansas State University Box Office in the lower Red Entrance of the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive. Box Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Buyers may also go online to Tickets.AState.edu or call (870) 972-2781. There is also a toll free number, 888-278-3267. Those who purchase the timed tour tickets for grand opening day receive a special commemorative ticket.
“We certainly want to provide everyone with an opportunity to see how Johnny Cash grew up,” said Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State. “But it is a small five-room house that can only accommodate a limited number at a time. We are offering the timed tours so that visitors won’t have to wait in a long line to see the home restored to its original state.”
The official opening will feature a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Dyess Colony Administration Building. It will be followed by concessions, free entertainment, and complimentary access to Administration Building exhibits from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits are related to establishment of the Dyess colony, lifestyles of typical colonists, and the impact that growing up in Dyess had on Johnny Cash and his music.
A VIP Inspection Tour of “Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash” was held at Dyess Colony Circle in April. Members of the Cash family, along with invited guests and members of the media toured the area that is among Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites. Since the VIP Inspection Tour ticket sales soared for the concert.
Members of the Cash family were the first to view the restoration of the home they grew up in and were overwhelmed with the result. The family was filled with emotion and memories during the private tour.
“I know that my mother, my father and my brother Johnny would be thrilled at what’s being done here,” said Tommy Cash, Johnny’s brother. “We felt right at home when we walked through the door of the house. I felt like it was the 1940s and 1950s.”
“I lived the first 17 years of my life in that house,” noted Johnny’s sister Joanne Cash Yates. “Little by little, every piece found its place. It has been a wonderful process. They say you can’t go back, but Tommy and I went back and we thank everyone for that. Every item in the house is where it was then. What you see in the house is what we had. There were a whole lot of tears today, but it’s been such joy.
“This is a place that was close to his heart. He talked a lot about growing up here,” said Tara Cash Schwoebel, Johnny’s youngest daughter, about her father. “He would be so happy to see what’s been done and he would be so moved and touched. He was a historian and he would be proud of the way everything has been presented. I’m so touched. The beauty and simplicity of the house in the chaos of today’s world is refreshing.”