Stan Alford, a familiar face at bluegrass festivals across the Carolinas, passed away on Sunday, May 2. He was 67 years of age.
A dedicated bluegrass lover, Stan was affectionately known as “Stan the flyer man” by his festival friends. For years he passed out promotional flyers for other bluegrass events at festivals and concerts in North Carolina. Not known as a picker, his delight in the music was contagious to anyone he encountered, so much so that his daughter mentioned that the only thing he loved as much was his beloved Peter Pan peanut butter.
Alford had worked as an Extruder Operator for ITW Hi-Cone in the Raleigh-Durham area, making aluminum cans for the beverage industry.
Lorraine Jordan got to know him over the years, and shared this remembrance.
“We called him the Bluegrass Man around here, and I often wondered if the Grass Cats song was written about him since he and Russell Johnson both came from Johnston county. For years he put out flyers at bluegrass festivals. You would see him in his blue shirt and suspenders walking around the crowds passing out flyers of traditional bluegrass festivals. He asked for nothing in exchange but tickets to the promoter’s festival.
Stan Alford loved the music more then anyone I knew. I gave him a chance to introduce Bobby Osborne on stage at the Christmas in the Smokies festival once, and he was so honored and proud. He was a big fan/friend of Doyle Lawson, and loved to talk about Doyle.
Stan worked all of Norman and Judy Adams festivals for a long time. If you are from North Carolina, you know who Stan is. He lived in Johnston County just a few miles outside of my hometown in Garner.
I’m glad I got to know Stan. I really don’t know anyone who loved the bluegrass music more. Last week we talked on the phone while he was in the hospital, and all he wanted to talk about was bluegrass, and he thanked me for staying traditional in my music. He said he just had to talk to me once again to tell me that.
Today I learned that Stan passed away. I’m glad we had that phone call. There’s not many left like Stan that lived for the bluegrass, just to hear it the way it was done in the beginning. Stan was a real Bluegrass Man.”
What a lovely tribute to a true fan of the music.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 6, at Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory Chapel in Wendell, NC. The family will greet visitors at the chapel beforehand from 12:30-2:00 p.m. All are welcome but masks are required. Burial will follow at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens
For those unable to attend, the service will be available on video the following day at the funeral home Facebook page.
R.I.P., Stan Alford.