• November 25, 2014

Barbershop quartet offers 'old-school' valentine gifts

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Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:15 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Wendy Gragg

Killeen Daily Herald

The smooth, sentimental strains of Let Me Call You Sweetheart may have been a little much for a class of third-graders at Reeces Creek Elementary School Monday.

The word love elicited paroxysms of giggles from the students, who were enjoying an afternoon Valentines Day party when the quartet of tuxedo-clad singers stormed their class.

Third-grade teacher Debbie Keefe seemed pleased by the old-fashioned singing telegram, though. After all, the valentine was meant for Keefe, courtesy of one of the singers, Fowler Terry her dad.

Terry, and his barbershop companions, Joseph Heidenreich, Ryan Malsbary and Mike Reid, made stops, delivering singing Valen-tines all over Killeen, Copperas Cove and Temple on Monday.

The four are all members of the Texas Country Gentlemen. While not the regular Killeen barbershop quartet, the four came together for a day to provide a little old-fashioned declaration of love to peoples sweethearts.

Keefe acknowledged that her students go all gooey at expression of sentiment, but said seeing the quartet is a good experience for them nonetheless.

You dont see that kind of singing anymore, she said. Its good for the kids to hear that.

From the weepy to the squirmy, the quartets audience varied greatly Monday. In Copperas Cove, the quartet sang sweet nothings to the manager of the Racetrack Convenience Store.

We told him to pretend we were his fiance, crooner and retired Killeen teacher Mike Reid said. He was embarrassed.

I was embarrassed, said quartet newbie Ryan Malsbary of Temple.

Heidenreich, of Temple, said some of the female recipients shed a sentimental tear or two.

When the group stopped at Lott, Vernon & Co., LLC., they rounded up about 15 women to serenade.

Paid customers werent the only ones to get the musical treatment Monday. The gentleman threw an impromptu performance together at Logans Roadhouse when Heidenreich spotted some friends having lunch. And Heidenreichs wife, who is expecting to give birth to their child any day now, was on the schedule for a private concert later in the day.

Reid and Terry said its nice for people to have another way for people to express sentiment, other than the old standbys.

Its a unique gift, Ryan said. Youve got your flowers and chocolate, which is fine, but this is different; not everyone gets a singing telegram.

Contact Wendy Gragg at wgragg@kdhnews.com

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