Family of fans

Diane Crocker
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Mom and kids get Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case to sign pillow

Sherman Downey, of Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case, poses for a picture with five-year-old Gabe French and his sister Lauren, 3, during a reception at city hall on Friday.

CORNER BROOK  Val Jefford can certainly say she knew the band before it was famous.

Armed with a pillow bearing the face of the frontman of Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case,  Jefford and her two children, Lauren and Gabe French, went to Corner Brook City Hall on Friday to get that pillow autographed.

“A friend of mine found it in St. John’s and she sent it in because we are huge fans,” said Jefford of the pillow.

The city hosted a reception in honour of the band’s recent CBC Searchlight contest win. Jefford and her kids were among the roughly three dozen who showed up to congratulate Downey and bandmates Andrew Ross, Paul Lockyer, Bill Allen and Neil Targett.

Jefford and her husband, Gavin French, have been following the band for years.

“We’ve actually had house parties and had the band play when they were in the really early stages,” she said.

Gabe, 5, and Lauren, 3, love all the band’s songs, and Jefford said they’ve enjoyed interacting with the members during some of those events.

As Jefford and the children made their way around the foyer of city hall with the pillow, and pink and brown Sharpies, the band members were only too happy to sign it.

Downey said it felt good to be honoured by the city and added the members of the community really got behind them when it came to voting.

“It’s good to come down here today and know they’re not sick of us,” he joked.

Banjo player Andrew Ross didn’t quite know what to say about the band’s new celebrity status.

“I doesn’t feel any different,” he said. “It’s still just friendly Corner Brook.”

But with their rising stardom Jefford is doubtful there will be many more house parties with the band.

“The days of them coming to our house for house parties are over, because I think they’re too big now. But I’m happy for them.”

Before success really takes over, the band will play in a free concert hosted by the city at Margaret Bowater Park on April 27. The show starts at 3 p.m.

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Margaret Bowater Park

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