RACHEL — Musical families like the Jackson 5 are known for their musical talents, but the Morrows are good for more than just that.
When the Facebook post about Storm Area 51 first popped up, Jeremy Morrow of Fallon said he called Connie West, owner of the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, and said his band, Wily Savage, wanted to come play.
“She said, ‘You know it’s a joke, right,” Jeremy Morrow recalled Friday. “We said yeah, but there will be stargazers and such, let’s capitalize on that.”
West asked if Morrow would help lock in bands for the festival, which came to be known as Alienstock. Then Morrow and his family were pegged to build the stage.
“As things were progressing and more bands were calling me and sending me videos and links to their Facebook, under everything I was going through, I couldn’t handle it,” West said. “Honestly this event wouldn’t be happening without them, it’s all because of them.”
Jeremy Morrow approached his dad, George Morrow, about stepping in and lending a helping hand.
“I wasn’t going to do anything because I didn’t care about it. But then my son called me and I don’t like bullies and I didn’t want Connie done the way she was,” George Morrow said. He was referring to a decision by Matty Roberts, the man who sent the Facebook post that launched the movement, to cancel his participation.
“She a good person, and she didn’t deserve that,” George Morrow said.
The family patriarch ponied up his own money to not only build the stage, as he’s a licensed contractor, but also feed anyone associated with the musical acts and building of the stage.
A Vietnam War vet who was a chef early on in his career, George Morrow soon jumped into handyman work after discovering the pay was better. Since he retired, his son Jesse Morrow took over the contracting business and is also in his own band playing at Alienstock.
When George Morrow heard Alienstock being compared to Fyre Festival — a 2017 music festival in the Bahamas that failed to provide the luxury services or performances advertised — that didn’t sit well with him.
“I went out and bought some food, and we were cooking and building since Tuesday afternoon,” George Morrow said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be unorganized. Because we are not unorganized people. We knew exactly what we were going to do when we got here, and we know how we’re going to get home.
“Whatever happens in the middle, we either improvise or we or everything will fall into place.”
George Morrow uses his chef skills to cook for his crew and friends each morning of the festival and has a sign with strict times he serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. He also supplies beer, wine and drinks to those in the area.
West was beaming after the first day of the festival, looking forward to a bigger day two, and she had a family of builders and musicians to thank for that.
“I’m so grateful for all the hard work they put into this,” a teary-eyed West said. “I will be forever grateful to the Morrows.”