Reception for Marty at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center

I left my house here in Mayfield, Kentucky at 1 p.m., stopped to get gas in Draffenville, Kentucky. near Benton, Kentucky, then headed on. That is about 20 miles from me.

I didn't make any more stops till I got to the line where the Tennessee rest stop was and got the directions from a lady on how to get back to Kentucky from Clarksville. The lady thought for a bit, and then marked it on the map, and asked, "Why are you going to the museum in Clarksville?" I just said I was going. Then I went to the ladies room and, when I was coming out, she was on the phone and told some one that some woman wanted the directions on how to get back to Kentucky from the museum in Clarksville, and then she said, "I know her. She was in here a few weeks ago on her way to see Marty Stuart, down past Knoxville, Tennessee. Marty Stuart is at the museum from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight." As I walked out, I said, "Yes, gonna see Marty."

Then I headed out and took the right exit on to Tiny Town Road, and then got in to the town of Clarksville and found the metered parking lot and stopped and parked the car. I fed the meter since it was not but 3:15 p.m. I gave it enough change till 5 p.m., since after 5 p.m., the parking was supposed to be free.

Around 4 or after, I saw a young lady walk toward the museum, so I got out, to find out from her when the doors would open for people to go in, and some one pulled up in the lot and got out came to take a picture hanging in front of the building, who was it Shelby Jean Gootee. Then she went back to the car and came on over. We talked for a while and went in together after 5 p.m. The other girl took a picture of me standing in front of the museum. I also took a picture of the pic of Marty hanging from the museum.

When we went to the door after 5 p.m., another couple came along with us to see what time we could enter, and the people inside were so nice. They told us to come on in. We did.

I had e-mailed them a few days before and called about the event, and they asked me if I was the Kentucky fan club member of Marty's and I replied "yes." So, they had us and another guy in cowboy hat sign a register, (I guess every one did that came). I signed my full name and even added fan club member.

There was a table fixed with Marty merchandise -- a new shirt (I didn't get one), denim shirts, denim caps, the book, small stand ups, magnets, and key chains. I have some of the items they were selling, so I didn't puchase anything this time.

Shelby Jean and I looked at all the pictures on the wall, and then the glass cases with the exhibits. Love the coat that was there. And the little red shirt that was Marty's first shirt he used in performing. Also a beautiful picture of him on the wall when he was I believe 13 years old.

The Wilkinsons were coming in and setting up while we were waiting for the event to start. Then we found some chairs and sit down for a bit where they were getting the food ready.

Some guy who took off from his supper break asked me, "Doesn't this thing start at 6 p.m.?" I replied, "Yes." He then said, "I took off work for supper to come over to buy the book and have Marty sign it for my sister. She is an avid Marty fan, but couldn't come." I said, "Just be patient, he will be here soon!"

I kept looking up and talking to Shelby Jean and wondered if SherryM, and Mario were coming. I knew she was supposed to. Shelby Jean noticed SherryM, and Mario before I did, then told me. I waved at them, and they came over to talk to us. SherryM, did the talking while Mario took pictures of the exhibits in the glass cases.

SherryM, and Mario got in line for some food, so I decided to go for it also, got two things, and Shelby Jean came to me, saying "Hrh, the man is here." I said, In other words "hurry up." I just left the line and grabbed my camera, and choked down what I got, (yea, almost choked), and went with her to watch him with the crowd. I was so happy to see him dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and a pinkish color tie. I GOT MY WISH ON HIM BEING IN A SUIT AND TIE! Maria-Elena was with him. I got a shot of him coming towards us, and I let him go on by, Shelby Jean and I saw Connie and Hilda, and we talked to them a bit, and I was shocked -- Connie and Hilda, knew my name as Evelyn!

I had told Connie I have to have some out-patient surgery Saturday, the 8th, and she asked me what it was, and I told her. She told me her son has the same problem with his esophagus, and he has to have his stretched often as well. She said he nearly chokes to death at times, the way it does. Hilda and I talked about a friend that just moved to Mississippi over a year ago, I told her the friend is in California right now, but would be back to Mississippi soon.

Then we went on over, I found Marty walking, and he and some lady got their picture taken together. I waited for him to finish with her, (it was going toward where the food was), I rubbed his back, and he turned sharply to me, and said, "Hi Evelyn, I knew you would be here." I replied, "You knew I would be here?" He said, "Yes." And then grabbed me and hugged me so tight as he did at the fan club party. Oh, wow, what a hug!!!!! He then let go after a bit, and asked, "Where is Judy?" I said, "She is not feeling well, and couldn't come. She did say hi to you." And he said, "Tell her hi." Then he said, "You came by yourself." I said, "Yes, I did." Then he replied, "See you can do it."

Then I walked on and so did he. He met up with "Mama" where the Wilkinsons were playing music, I took a picture of him and her together, then Connie joined them and I took a picture of all three together. Shelby Jean was with me, and she got some shots of him with them too.

Then Shelby Jean and I mingled among the crowd, and ran in to Jennifer, and Jodee, They were feeding their face, LOL! I asked if I could get a pic with them together, and they said, "Now?" I replied, "I don't care if you are eating." So, I handed my camera to Shelby Jean, and she tried to take the picture, but my camera is a lot different from hers, and she wasn't sure how to use it, so I had to show her. Jennifer asked, "Do you travel with her often? If so, you take the pictures." And we all laughed.

Then it was getting time for Marty to do the autograph/photo session, he already did lots of photos in the crowd and even autographs too. During the regular session, I asked the guy over the museum where it would be, and he told me near the Pilgrim writing on the wall. They had a table for Marty to use.

Took a picture of Jennifer with a guy in a cowboy hat, carrying his guitar, wasn't sure about his camera, so took it twice to make sure it took!

I got in line, Shelby Jean nor SherryM, and Mario weren't in line yet, but I did get in the line as soon as I could. I wanted to leave, since I was unsure how to get out. (I had asked 2 other people earlier, and they gave me great directions.)

Maria-Elena was heading the line and helping out with taking pictures for people. I noticed in the line almost every one had the Pilgrim book, but I didn't. I already had gotten one 2 years ago at the Ryman, and he signed it then for me. I had two gorgeous pictures of Marty taken by Brenda Metz that, she had sent to me at Christmas 2000. I was gonna let Marty sign them.

When it was my turn, stunned me, there was a guy in front of me, and he walked off, and Maria and Marty both looked, and I said, "Oh, my turn." Maria-Elena and Marty replied, "Yea, your turn." I handed my camera to Maria-Elena and asked her if she could take a picture of me and Marty together, and showed her how to use it, but she already knew. Hey, shock #2, Maria-Elena, knew my name also.

So, I walked to Marty behind the little table where he was. He grabbed me and hugged me tightly, and we got our picture taken. Then I got the two pictures out of a cardboard envelope, one is a 5x7, and the other wallet size, and told him, "I already have the book and had it signed at the Ryman a couple of year ago when you were there. Can you sign these two pictures for me?" He said, "Sure." I told him Brenda gave them to me, you know Brenda, from Knoxville. He said, "Yes I do."

Then I asked him, "You knew I would be here?" He replied, "Yes, I did. I knew you would come. You are a true fan." Well, that did it, I almost burst out in tears, that made me feel so good!!!!! Then I told him three Martypals were gonna see him Friday night at Billy Bob's, and before I could tell him who, he told me to tell them he would see them Friday.

Then I got another hug, and gave him "Our Kiss." By our kiss, I mean, lately when I see him, he always bends over for me to hug him around the neck or just hug him, and give him a kiss on the cheek! This has been since he gave me the big kiss on my cheek at the fan club party in 2000. Then I walked off, and got my camera from Maria-Elena.

I went over to find Shelby Jean, "Mama", and Connie, and Jennifer. I didn't see Jodee to tell her bye, nor SherryM, or Mario, figured they were already in the line. I did find Shelby Jean, Connie and "Mama", and Jennifer. Jennifer offered me some crackers, but I didn't take any. "Mama" complimented me on my purse, it is a Mickey Mouse purse, and she told me she loved it. I told her I loved Mickey as much as I do Marty.......... well, Marty more. But I am into Mickey stuff. And that I have an old Mickey t-shirt. Wish I had one of Minnie Mouse too. She said she has a Mickey sweatshirt, and something else on Mickey. I asked her where Connie was, and she thought she was talking with some friends she has in Clarksville.

Then met with Connie, "Mama", Jennifer, and Shelby Jean. They were eating again, and I asked for a group picture of all of them together, and they insisted on sitting there food down, and Jennifer had to put on some lipstick, Connie wanted to be country and pick her teeth and so did "Mama". Connie said, "Take the picture like this and give that to Marty." I laughed when she said that. But I got a good picture of them together, then Shelby Jean took one of me and them together.

I did walk with Shelby Jean back to where Marty was doing the autograph and photo session, and I put my camera on zoom, and took another shot of Marty. I told them all "bye," that I was gonna leave, hugged Shelby Jean, and told to have a safe trip to Mississippi seeing Marty on Saturday, gave "Mama" a hug and a kiss on the cheek as well, (first time for that, a kiss), gave Connie and Jennifer hugs too, and told them I loved them all, and they told me they loved me too and appreciated me being such a big fan of Marty's. Jennifer told me, "I want to see you again soon." I said, "I hope so." That made me feel better.

I noticed as I was leaving, Marty was still doing the signing, and photos. I wanted to go over to say bye to Marty, but I didn't do that, I walked around there toward him, and he did look up, I waved bye to him, and he waved back! Then I was gone out the door, in to rain of course. Found my way out from the parking lot, back on the main road back to Kentucky, and I was home by 9:30 p.m..

Another Marty time has ended again for me. But, maybe not for very long!

By Evelyn Totty, Mayfield, Kentucky

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