• 55°

Tour provides insight for Williams film producer

Irony struck Rodney Stone as he walked through Bennon Case’shome Monday.

Stone is serving as executive producer for “The Last Ride,” a filmchronicling the final days of legendary country singer HankWilliams. The movie, being filmed in Arkansas and starring HenryThomas, who played Elliott in “E.T.,” is due out next year.

Kenny Goza and Kay Burton from the chamber of commerce invitedStone and his wife Tammie to Brookhaven for a tour of Case’s hometo see his vast collection of Williams memorabilia and to visitwith former Lincoln County Coroner/Medical Examiner MorrisHenderson, who was an official at Williams’ funeral in Alabama.Rodney Stone has been a judge for some talent shows Burton has beeninvolved in, while Goza mentioned several church-related and otherconnections to Stone.

As Rodney Stone was stepping over a box at Case’s home, he lookedup and staring him in the face was a poster promoting a New Year’sconcert in Canton, Ohio, where Williams was headed on his “LastRide” in 1952. He said the experience was “amazing.”

“I was blown away,” Stone said about seeing the poster and the restof Case’s collection.

Stone also enjoyed hearing Henderson’s memories on Williams’funeral.

“I was in awe of Morris,” said Stone, who also toured theMississippi School of the Arts.

Stone discussed the possibility of bringing Thomas back toBrookhaven with him for a concert and visit with MSA students. TheStones stopped by The Haven, which could serve as a site for theevents.

“We probably need to start moving on that pretty quickly,” saidStone, citing school schedule and other issues involved incoordinating the activities.

Stone said he would be talking about the possibility with Thomasand Benjy Gaither, the son of Bill and Gloria Gaither, who is alsoworking with the film. Well-known director Harry Thomason isserving in that role on the film, which is being released by 20thCentury Fox, Stone said.