J-Bar Ranch

Stepping back in time: Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty visit J-Bar ranch

The unthinkable recently happened to us… Over the years, my Grandpa has shared so many stories and incredible memories about J-Bar ranch (the land that is now home to our winery). One special memory is about the time, back in the 1970’s, when Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty visited J-Bar.

It all started on an airplane back in 1973. My Grandpa, John Giesbrecht, was sitting next to a young man named John Rowlands. They began talking and my Grandpa shared his passion for horses, particularly quarter horses, and described the story about J-Bar ranch. John Rowlands, who also loved horses, shared that he was actually a professional music photographer and explained how he had been hired to photograph the tour of Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty (country music royalty!), and their next stop was Vancouver. As he was going to be in Vancouver for a few days, my Grandma and Grandpa invited him to come out one day for lunch and he would give him a tour of the ranch. So, John Rowlands accepted their invitation… and brought with him Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty! John captured this memorable day on camera, but unfortunately, contact was lost and my Grandpa never saw the photos.

Then over 40 years later, I received an email from John Rowlands, who I learned was a famous rock music photographer capturing the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie! He explained how he had been going through old folders and found some long lost photographs of Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty visiting J-Bar ranch. He searched J-Bar online with the hope to finally connect and share these photos with my Grandma and Grandpa. Amazingly, he came across our winery blog and was able to share the photos with us.

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From left to right: Grandpa (John Giesbrecht), Loretta Lynn, my Auntie Wendy (Wendy Murphy), Conway Twitty, and Grandma (Bea Giesbrecht)

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With my Grandpa’s memory and health beginning to decline, these photos and the memory of this special day brought a sparkle to his eyes. For this, we are so grateful. Thank you John!