CHICKASHA, OKLAHOMA — If you want to find Curtis Hart at his Muscle Car Ranch it’s going to be one some piece of machinery doing work as he continues to prove up his 60 acre plot nearly 40 years after he took it over.
“I should have been a musician,” he says. “but I was too busy. I had to work.”
This dirt mound will be a stage for his upcoming rock and roll festival.
The dirt for it came out of this pond.
The signs he brought in one by one over the decades.
“There’s a lot of character to this place,” he states.
Curtis is part hustler, part farmer, rig driver, mechanic, and collector who likes to invite people over for a good time.
“That’s what I like to see. I like to see everybody come in here with no problems and just forget everything for a weekend.”
This year it’s Twisterfest; 90 bands on 5 outdoor stages including this one in his front yard.
He points beneath a row of Cottonwoods and says, “The biggest thing for the crowds is going to be all this shade.”
A good friend, Ben Ellis, has been over to help get things organized.
“Everyone who looks at it ends up thinking this is the place to have a music festival, no better place in Oklahoma.”
We first met Curtis in 1996 when he hosted a combination swap meet and rock show.
Through ups and downs, rain outs and cold weather, he kept the place going as best he could.
“I rained out Bad Company. I rained out The Turtles,” he says. “We’ve done 37 years of events in a row.”
Muscle Car Ranch has become a special place where old and new mix.
Curtis is still at the center of it all, putting 10,000 miles on his Volkswagon Beetle in the month leading up to this year’s show to put posters on any bare wall or window he could find.
With a phone than never seems to stay un-cracked he stays on social media, sending out new pictures, selling his place like the hustler he’s always been.
He says, “Since 1990 I’ve printed about 900,000 posters, brochures, and flyers.”
There is a lot to see at this ranch, things you might recognize from the past and more you might recognize as the future.
Curtis Hart and his friends are still calling to invite people over any way they can.
Twisterfest 2016 is scheduled for June 16, 17, and 18.
For ticket and schedule information go to www.twisterfest.com