Fan Club Party - 2000

We arrived at Smiley Hollow a little before noon. We parked right beside another car from Iowa, so instantly began talking to them. He is a truck driver, his wife and 3 kids. After talking for a few minutes, I realized I had seen them at a concert at Meskwaki a while back and she and I talked for a while there. Small world, huh! The line had already formed to go into the barn, so we got in line. I looked ahead and saw several familiar faces, and immediately started finding Martypals.

As we got inside the barn, we were greeted by Jodee. She remembered us from last year (especially Nick). That made us feel good. We got our t-shirt and found a place to sit. We just got settled and in walks Marty, carrying his guitar case. No bodyguard, just him, comfortable as can be.

People started approaching him to talk, shake hands and so on. Nick just couldn't wait! He wanted to go say "hi" to Marty right now. Marty was at the end of our table talking to Brenda, so we walked over. He grabbed Nick and said "how ya doin, give me a big hug!" (melt a mom's heart). He gave Nick a huge, long hug. Nick showed him his new mood ring and had Marty try it on and see what mood he was. It was blue which Nick told him meant calm. Kevin was videotaping it. On the video, I'm telling Marty something about my shirt, but for the life of me, I can't remember what I was saying! Guess I was so excited, I just can't remember. Marty does that to me. We then got some food, but it was too hot to eat, so we ate very little, but it was good. I wished that night I had that plate of food instead of the Steak N Shake we stopped at.

Next I walked around, met more Martypals, checked out Bev's drawings, bought some stuff at the souvenir table (boxers, license plate and license plate holder). Marty's Mom had on a great t-shirt with a pix of baby Marty on the back and Sheila Walters, your t-shirt is beautiful! Jodee started the party and did an excellent job. She mentioned fan club members who are no longer with us and said a few words about Gary, gave an internet top 15 list of what Marty should do with his time off and held the auction.

The auction was a great idea. Everything went really high, to high for my blood, but someone out there spent some money. Nick wanted the guitar, but my $50.00 limit wasn't even in the ballpark - the bidding started at $500.00!

Jodee then got ready to announce Marty, and said no videotaping which was really fine with me. I enjoyed the party so much better, not having to worry about taping it and I respect Marty's wishes. I'm sure he didn't want his new material (which is great) to leak out. His song for the new Jungle Book is really a hoot! Something like "I'm soooo Bluuuuuuuuue" sung by Baloo. His new material was just written on notebook paper.The 2 special guest were great and the talent show was also fun. Jennifer did a good job and to have Marty Stuart actually tune your mandolin was really cool. And of course the R&R cowboys were there too. Said they hadn't played since New Years Eve, but I couldn't tell.

All to early, the show was over. Marty signed over by the train caboose this year which was probably good to get us out of that hot barn and into a little breeze. We got in line and waited about 1 hour. The night before, we ate at a Waffle House and Kevin asked the waitress for a menu, which she happily gave us. So he had Marty sign that. It was supposed to be for a friend Kevin works for, but after seeing what Marty wrote on it, we became indian givers and are keeping it!! I now know what Marty orders at the Waffle House!

Nick was next. Marty said "there's my buddy". He signed the Country Weekly magazine and then talked to Nick about his mood ring again. Next he signed some pictures for me and my book. We all said "thanks" and "we really needed this." Marty thanked us for coming and then pulled up his sleeve to show us his watch (actually watches, he had on two). One was a Waffle House watch! Too cool!! I'm glad we've got our meet n greet on video.

I spent the rest of the time talking with friends, taking pictures and videotaping. Kevin and Nick played basketball and a few holes of mini golf. Marty left just a little before 6 p.m., so we said our goodbyes and took off. It was just like one big happy family reunion. I remember the first Marty party we went to in 1995. We didn't know a soul and now we know so many other Marty fans and everyone is just so nice, it makes it so much more fun. What a great day.

Hope you enjoyed reading my memories of a great day with Marty and friends. I had a super time and plan on going again next year.

Review by Lori Shirley, Boone, IA

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