WHERE IT’S AT: Group gathers at Lester’s Flat to give thanks

Published 3:00 am Friday, December 14, 2018

Each year at Christmastime, a small group of folks gather at Lester’s Flat to celebrate the season and to give thanks for the generosity and volunteer spirit of the people of Pike County.

Those folks are members of the Pike County Salvation Army Advisory Board and much of the time is spent reflecting on the passing year and considering ways to better meet the needs of friends and neighbors in the New Year.

However, at some point –usually around the time the burgers are served hot off the grill – talk turns to Lester Sanders and the good ol’ days when Lester’s Flat out on Highway 29 just north of Troy was the place to be.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Kim May, Pike County Salvation Army director, inherited her dad’s grill skills and her burgers are every bit has good as those he flipped for more than a decade from the 1970s until the mid-1980s.

When Lester’s Flat closed, the grill, wood stove, signage and enough photos to paper a wall were transported across the highway to a hide-away gathering place, also none as “Lester’s Flat, for family and friends.

A “Lester’s Flat is where it’s at” sign lets visitors know almost immediately they are at a place where old times, good times and good friends meet.

“We have a lot of family and friends’ gatherings out here,” May said. “And, it’s a great place to say ‘thank you’ to those who work so hard throughout the year to make life a little better for those in need right here in Pike County. There’s no way to say much how they are appreciated.

“Lester’s Flat wasn’t a fancy place but it was a popular place,” May said. “Daddy loved people and he loved country music. He like having people around and there was usually a crowd around Lester’s Flat.”

Although he couldn’t play a note or sing tune, Lester Sanders loved bluegrass music and there were always pickers and singers hanging around.

“One of Daddy’s favorite groups was American Bluegrass Express with Marty Raybon, who went on to play with Shenandoah,” May said. “A lot of really good bluegrass musicians played at Lester’s Flat. A lot of people have fond memories of Daddy and this place. It’s special to me and it’s a special place to be with friends and to say thank you for all you do for Pike County people in need.”