Sigsbys Share Love of Rockin' and Racing
With the mournful, brass sounds of “The Lonely Bull” filling the arena, Steven Sigsby, just a young college guy at the time, began a lifetime journey in rock ‘n roll concert attendance, collecting memorabilia along the way.
It was a 1967 appearance by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, in Memphis, which marked the beginning of his concert attendance passion. That first event led to Sigsby to attend a 1968 appearance of the English rhythm and blues band Moody Blues (Tuesday Afternoon, Nights in White Satin), which added more fuel to the live concert engine.
The love for the genre includes an ongoing appreciation for the music of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and the group known as the Rolling Stones, a group which Sigsby says he’s seen in concert 16 times. The Stones’ classics (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and You Can’t Always Get What You Want are but a few of the hits that appear in the programs that are filed away in his collection.
“I saw the Stones for the first time on July 4, 1975, in Memphis, when Rector native Bill Carter was the Stones’ director of security,” says Sigsby.
Retiring after 41 years in the family insurance business, Sigsby officially opened a real estate office at 116 West 4th Street in Rector recently. Having held a broker’s license for decades, he is exclusively offering services in real estate with Tabitha White as agent. They can be found located in the same suite of office buildings as Steven’s “home away from home,” the Rector Racin’ and Rock N’ Roll Museum.
That exciting area, which includes multiple displays, got a great deal of attention on Friday, Jan 5, when a ribbon cutting ceremony was held with family and many friends attending. Sigsby’s collections, which had been surrounding his desk at the insurance office, have expanded into every square foot of the new space, showcasing his interests, hobbies and collections.
Joining him in the day’s activities were wife Lark and son Marshall. Lark and Steven share a love for music, but Lark’s first love continues to be Broadway musicals. Cleo Sallee, Lark’s grandmother, first opened her senses to professional musical stage productions when she took Lark and her sister to see West Side Story performed at Muny Opera House in St. Louis. Nevertheless, when Steven began to “bring me along” to concerts such as their first in Memphis, the Kinks, “I enjoyed the Rock N’ Roll shows a lot.” Perhaps it was that British rock group’s hits Tired of Waiting for You, You Really Got Me, or All Day and All of the Night that cemented the romance. The couple married in December of 1982 and Lark says, “We both love Les Miserable and any day singing together in the Methodist church choir is a good day.” The couple says they feel fortunate to have shared so many adventures that began when their two families married. Lark and Steven have two children- Marshall and Natalie.
The Sigsbys and their insurance business friends have attended conferences together and their camaraderie led to an interesting trophy displayed at the museum. The groups of friends became involved in regional competitions focused on barbeque – eating it, cooking it judging it. The Sigsbys joined a group of friends who named themselves Trichinosis Terry and the Borderline Swines. This cooking team won Grand Champion at the Barbeque Fest during Memphis in May. The huge trophy is on display at the “hang-out club.” Steven and Lark are also certified and trained judges for the Memphis in May barbeque event. When these two are into anything, it’s all in.
Lark and Steven Sigsby did not begin their life journey immediately after college. Steven entered the United States Army as a commissioned officer and served from 1971 through 1976 on active duty at the DMZ in South Korea. A communications specialist, he and his platoon performed electronic surveillance on North Korea, serving as the U.S. Army’s early warning system. Sigsby mentioned he was stationed 90 miles north of Seoul, and for history buffs, he has patrolled along the controversial Pork Chop Hill.
Returning home, he naturally went into the insurance business which had been family owned since 1953, the business which Steven had grown up knowing. Bert Sigsby had purchased the business that had originally opened in 1927, but brought the main office to Rector, serving the city and the surrounding area. “When I sold to Steve Crancer, I knew I was not walking off, leaving the business and customers with strangers,” he explained. “All the people working in that office have raised families at the office and are vital contributors to Rector and this area and have been for decades.”
Anyone who has known Steven for any length of time, knows he is involved in many areas of service including over 20 years with the Rector Fire Department.
While it’s a desire to serve and not really about the big trucks, “I’ve always been a car guy,” he claims. Lark shared that Steven’s first great car was a 1968 Mustang GT in seafoam green. However, it was not until 1999 that Lark and Steven began to attend car races, starting at the track in Memphis. With a desire not only to drive, but to see the champions in action, the couple began attending the NASCAR races in St. Louis, Nashville, Bristol and Daytona. “The final races are held at Homestead (Miami), Florida, and we’ve been there a few times,” says Lark, “and that’s really cool, but it’s outrageously hot. We’ve been going to Daytona for so many years now, we have the same seats and see people who have become our friends. We’ve been able to gain advantages in these 19 years, now having a parking pass and super seats, at the checkered flag.” Lark continues with a smile, “It’s important for the men to have father-son time, so I agree for Steven and Marshall go to St. Louis and Bristol.”
Over the years, the couple has “gotten smarter,” says Steven. “We go north during the summer -New York, New Hampshire, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We sight-see, tour, and take in some of the races at well-known tracks,” he adds. Steven’s current favorite driver is recent champion Brad Keselowski.
Bringing home racing souvenirs, concert programs, posters, and other significant collectibles, Sigsby is happy to share his love for racin’ and rock n’ roll.
“The museum is my version of a man cave,” he offers, adding the welcome mat is out and his loose hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with just enough structure to conduct business and entertain friends. “It’s a hang-out. People are welcome to come by, let me help with their real estate needs, and enjoy a good visit. They can browse the collections, too.”