By Wally Lynn, 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – The Aces and Angels party at Fair Park’s Centennial Hall had troops from Fort Hood licking it all up last night.

After taking a three-hour bus ride up from Killeen, the soldiers were treated to an evening with hosts Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed and live music from Little TexasFive for  Fighting and The Rascals.

“I love the Rascals.  No question they are on their way up,”  said long time country star Rudy Gatlin, who sported a golf cap and looked like he longed for a clear day and a 300-plus drive off the tee.   The Rascals are a “flatlander” group that tricks up mainstream songs and puts a bluegrass spin on them.  They unfortunately drew the straw to play when Gene and Shannon was on the red carpet.

Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon also was able to sneak his way around the VIP section to take in the Rascals.  McMahon looked like he was just off a construction crew with his beanie cap, jeans and “wolverine” style boots.  “Yea it’s cold as S*&t,”  he said.  “I’m just waiting for my son to get here.”   McMahon’s 23-year-old son had not arrived yet and it was no wonder.  He had to go from Chicago to Minneapolis to Boston to Phoenix and finally to Austin to get to Dallas.  “Then his luggage got lost and so he’s stopping at a store to get some clothes,”  said Jimbo.   Note to his son…you will never see that luggage again.

McMahon and Gatlin sprung out of their VIP chairs to welcome local actors Burton Gilliam and Kerry Graves.  Gilliam, who is best known for his role as Lyle in Blazing Saddles is a favorite among other celebrities and a regular on the charity golf circuit.  “This is what it’s all about.  I love attending this stuff to honor the troops.”   Graves, who lists Walker Texas Ranger and other television shows to his credit, was most excited about meeting Greggo and Fiona Gorostiza from Fox 4.   “She’s as good as it gets on local TV, and Greggo is…well just Greggo.  He’s my favorite at the station other than you, but I know you.”   Thanks Kerry?

Country star Randy Travis also showed up on the red carpet and admitted going to a rock and roll show in his youth.  “Yea I saw KISS once.  It was one of two rock-n-roll shows that I attended growing up.”

The list of celebrities was a little short, obviously because of weather concerns.  Sam Hurd and Tashard Choice of the Cowboys were at the charity poker tables.  Hurd was hooked to the “yo” on the craps table and hit it a couple of times in his first seven throws.  “Why not play it every time?”  said Hurd.   Let’s hope he keeps hitting the 11 if the player lockout looms into the fall.  Because he’s going to need it.