Book Signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on November 2, 1999
Marty signed copies of his new photo book, Pilgrims: Sinners, Saints and Prophets, at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in the Green Hills suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. The display of books was set up as you came through the front door. By the end of the evening, there weren't many books left. They also had copies of The Pilgrim CD there. They provided Marty with a table and chair so that, in usual book-signing form, the author can sit and sign at the table as the buyers slide along the front.
Not our Marty! He insisted on standing by the table, using it simply to lay the book on while autographing it. That way, he could give his usual hugs and easily pose for pictures.
Mario and I arrived early and found Brenda Metz (she's in the book) and her husband, Jim. We hadn't eaten so Mario and I found a restaurant and grabbed a bite to eat. The line for the book signing wasn't more than a couple of people at that point.
We returned to talk some more and Mike Copelin came in to check the place out. More and more people started arriving and, by the time Marty and Connie got there, there was quite a line. Connie stopped to talk to Brenda and me and we asked her to sign our copies of the book.
Marty took his time signing each and every book, writing so legibly! Every now and then, he would spot someone off to the side that he knew, so he'd stop and talk with them. This just shows how many friends Marty has. Celebrities even bought the book and took their place in line with the rest of the fans. It was a time when everyone felt equal.
I saw Tony Brown (President of MCA Records), Eddie Stubbs (WSM-AM and the Grand Ole Opry), Ramona (Mrs. Grandpa) Jones, Hazel Smith (CountryCool.com and Country Music Magazine), Earl and Louise Scruggs, Manuel, and even Pam (who appears in Marty's "Hillbilly Rock" and "Little Things" videos) was behind us in line.
Not only was Connie there, but Marty's mom, Hilda, and sister, Jennifer also showed up. It was an evening of support for Marty and the release of the book. Rutledge Hill Press folks were there as well. Brenda and I both had a chance to talk with Marty's family.
It was nice to see fellow fans Sandy Shelton, Leslie Anne Rawlings and Margie Sullivan. Margie brought along little Anna. She is really growing. When it came time for her to go up to Marty, she had the biggest smile on her face. Marty picked her up and put her on the table and just hugged on her. She was so thrilled to see him. Fan Club Prez, Jodee Stocki, was there as well.
Since there were several people there who are featured in the book, Brenda and I sought them out to have them sign their pages. In fact, Mario suggested that I have Brenda sign my book (she and her daughter Diane have an entire page devoted to their photo). Brenda was asked to sign several other copies as well. Marty also wrote a wonderful dedication to her when he signed her book!
It took Marty just over an hour to sign for those people in line. Then it was upstairs for a private reception. Since Brenda is featured in the book, we were allowed in. It was a small affair. Marty basically stood in one area and those who wanted to chat with him could. Brenda actually sat down with him and they had a short conversation. It was a wonderful evening for her and I am so glad that she and her husband Jim got to attend.
Mike had an easy night! There was no problem with crowd control. Bill Thorup took a lot of photos. He's almost the "official" Marty Stuart photographer (well, next to Mario, of course). A TV camera from Channel 5 was there filming and I hear that Mario was the "star."
As for the book -- it's another masterpiece! The photographs speak volumes about the subjects. Marty is a creative genius, not just with his music, but with his photo subjects. Many of the photos are posed and so many of them are candid. You would never know that Marty is not a photographer by trade. I do feel that the love in his heart shows through his eyes and through the viewfinder captures the true essence of the people he shares with us through his camera lens.
Marty's stories and anecdotes only magnify and intensify what the photographs are already saying. Rutledge Hill Press is to be commended for bringing these pictures to the masses and we thank Marty for having the foresight to carry his camera with him to capture these moments that will forever be embedded in time. These "Pilgrims" will live on forever.
Enjoy these additional photos from the evening and check out CountryCool.com's article and pictures.
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