Annabelle Russell, one-half of the Mediocre Music Makers in the Sandhills Curiosity Shop near Route 66 in Erick, Oklahoma, soon will be moved into a hospice in Oklahoma City after a 3 1/2-year battle with ovarian cancer, according to the couple’s Facebook account.
Harley Russell posted this message this morning:
Dear friends, I have called in Hospice and they will start caring for my Precious Annabelle next week. You can send cards and letters to 9913 South McKinley Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73139. Sorry but she is not able to have visitors.
Please share your videos and photos here on Facebook. You Get the Best of Our Love!!! YEE HAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Annabelle Russell began aggressive treatment for the cancer after a four-hour surgery for it in March 2011. Although the cancer was deemed incurable, she eventually recovered her strength enough to mark her 66th birthday later that year, played a few Mediocre Music Makers shows with Harley, and marked their 26th wedding anniversary a few days ago.
As for those who never experienced what was the Mediocre Music Makers experience that ran for more than a decade, it was mostly music with a heaping helping of wacky comedy inside a shop brimming with antiques. Annabelle served as rhythm guitarist, singer and “straight man” in the act, but close observers saw she often was the instigator to Harley’s madcap antics. Harley insisted their act was “mediocre” because he was a professional musician for many years and saw the good stuff, but the duo entertained thousands of Route 66 travelers from dozens, maybe even hundreds, of countries.
Then again, to experience it, you can also surf the dozens of videos on YouTube, including this one that features Annabelle prominently:
(Image of Harley and Annabelle Russell in 2008 by Morgan Schmorgan via Flickr)