Roy Clark the famous country music entertainer from 1970s who's career was launched in Independence by his manager and long time friend Jim Halsey, had planned to celebrate his 85th birthday with a "A Conversation with Roy Clark" concert in Independence until he became ill a few weeks before his concert, causing it to be canceled.

It was Cheryl Gorman, St. Andrew School fifth grade teacher, who was talking with Mike Flood, A Conversation with Roy Clark producer, and mentioned to him, "Do you think Roy would like it if my class made get well cards and sent them to him? He thought that would be a wonderful idea and encouraged my class to do it," said Gorman. 

As the St. Andrew fifth grade class prepared Happy Birthday and Get Well cards to send to Clark, Flood thought it would be a good idea to share with all classes of St. Andrew School who Roy Clark is and his ties to Independence. A school program was planned early Thursday morning at the school with Flood sharing videos, a signed guitar and stories about Clark. 

"As you can imagine my students didn't know who Roy Clark is nor do some of their parents and other teachers. So, I began to share videos and articles about Clark with the students and all gained an appreciation for him with the more they got to know about him," Gorman said.

"I think he is a really good man and I have heard his music and I really like it. When I watch his hands on the guitar I can barely see them he is so fast," said Walker Erbe, St. Andrew fifth grade student. 

"I think Mr. Clark is a good man and he has inspired me. I have drawn two cards for him and how he used to be a pilot," said Keiton Jones, student.

"I really like the way he plays the guitar. He is really good. I love his "Ghost rider in the sky" song. I told my parents about him and they told me he was in the hospital. So, I am saying prayers for him," said Hendrix Russell, student. 

"I think Roy Clark is very good man. He has really inspired me to follow my dreams and do what you believe and never give up," said Jazmin Esquivel, student.

After the students watched a few videos on Clark their interest in the man and his music inspired the students to know more about him and appreciate all the good works he has done around the world and for Independence. "You don't always know if kids this age are going to appreciate people like him because of the age gap, but these kids were so excited. They were all excited about doing the cards for him. It was as if they knew him personally," said Gorman. She added the students loved watching the old Hee Haw television series.  

"He is amazing, awesome and so passionate about playing his guitar. He is so cool," said Perla Brisenl, student.

"He is a really good guitarist and he is a religious man," said Callie Schlorholtz.

"What I think about him is he is an amazing person and he has inspired me in so many ways. I have loved learning about him," said Keith Sanders, student.

"He is so fast when he plays the guitar, I really like watching the videos of him," said Gisel Metranl.