Fan Club Party - 2000

It's really difficult to know where to begin in talking about the once-a-year-event for Marty's fans--his fan club party. I think once you get past the extreme heat of the day (outside temps were in the mid 90's; inside temps were well over 100), I know that everyone present had a wonderful time.

Marty walked among the fans while we were eating. He gave out hugs, kisses, handshakes and minutes of his time. Being the down-to-earth person he is, he even walked over and helped himself to some iced tea and dessert! He stopped to talk with the fans along the way--that's just how Marty is.

After folks were done eating, some fans found a place on the floor in front of the stage, anticipating Marty making his appearance. I'm sure you can recognize some faces in these photos: Tami from Panama City, FL; Lisa Phillips from Tuskaloosa, AL; Penny Risk from Seattle, WA,; Barbara Smith from Maryland; Chad Decker brought little Anna back. Chad and Summer moved to Oklahoma this year and they promised Anna they'd bring her back for Marty's party. Grandma Margie is also in the picture as well as Margie Brodmerkle from Oakham, MA; Corinne Greaves from Connecticut; Cindy Allred from Dora, AL; Mary Runyan from Dayton, TN; Jill Meister from Greenville, KY; Evelyn Totty from Mayfield, KY; and I can see Pat McLaughlin just behind Evelyn's waving hand (Pat's wearing a hat). As you can see, people came from miles and miles around to enjoy the party.

In this picture, you can see Debby Phielix and me. Debby came all the way from The Netherlands for Fan Fair and Marty's party! We sat on the left side of the stage, trying to get as close to the open doors as we could. It was so HOT inside the barn, folks.At least the fans didn't mistake Mario for Marty as Mario got up on the stage to take the pictures of us fans.

Fan Club President, Jodee Stocki, kicked off the party with some announcements of birthdays, anniversaries and the passing of a couple of long-time fan club members. She also mentioned Gary's death.

Jodee said, "When we found Marty was going to be off the road, we put it on the Internet and some people came up with a list of what Marty was going to be doing when he isn't touring this year. So I picked out 15 of the better ones...15 of the nicer ones. And you can't imagine where some of them led to." Several different AOL fans contributed to this list, but I want you to know that Jodee contributed #12 and that's the one that started an interesting discussion.

15. Take a break from the Waffle House and eat some good home cooking.
14. Since he was such a great matchmaker for the Tritts, he will start 1-900-MartyMates.
13. Polish 500 pairs of fancy cowboy boots.
12. Dip himself in wax and become a life stand-in at the Wax Museum. (You cannot even imagine where that one went to.)
11. Take bus in for 5 million-mile tuneup.
10. Leak stupid rumors to the tabloids and sit back and laugh while everyone tries to figure out if they're true.
9. Volunteer to help Travis with diaper duty (or dootie diaper duty).
8. Become the Briley Bridge troll.
7. Dust a warehouse full of country music memorabilia and collectables.
6. Take 500 Manuel suits to the dry cleaners.
5. Claim his Native Heritage and open a casino in Mississippi.
4. Prove to the people that it's really hip to hang out at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night.
3. Watch the stock report daily because his stock in Aqua Net Hairspray just took a major nosedive.
2. Audition for the part of Eddie Munster in a remake of The Munsters
1. Write 1,000 times the sentence, "I will not say 'Fart' on the Grand Ole Opry."

If you're gonna come to the fan club party, you need to bring some extra money. A lot of wonderful Marty memorabilia was up for bid. Jodee played auctioneer. The first item up for bid was the script from Marty's Christmas Party taping for TNN. The script and schedule for the taping was included. Bidding started off slowly but ended at $150.

The next item was a notebook full of 39 publicity pictures of Marty, beginning with one taken when he was just a little kid holding a guitar. Jodee kept turning the pages, showing these fabulous photos. When the bidding got up to $425, Jodee said, "I need a new car." She also mentioned "You can get Marty to sign ALL of them today." The bidding ended at $600.

Next was the "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best" songbook (retail value $16.95 "if you can find one"). (Ironically, I went to Tower Records and did indeed find one for $16.95). "Marty can sign it. It's got good pictures in the middle....." Jodee was doing a great job and pulling in bids for these items. Someone paid $125 for the songbook.

Next up were two posters from the Double Trouble Tour. Travis Tritt's Fan Club Staff was at the party and Jodee tried to interest them in bidding. They yelled out, "we've already got one." Jodee also mentioned that "I know you can't get Travis to sign anything." The first poster went for $150 and the second one for $155.

Probably the most interesting items up for bid were two photographs taken by Connie of Marty when he "starred" in the movie "Hi-Lo Country" as Reno Slade. These were photographs that made Marty almost unrecognizable! Jodee kept saying that nobody else in the world had a copy of these photos. The first one went for $150 and the second one for $175.

Marty was willing to part with the souvenir he received from his participation at the Pageant of Peace" show at the White House in December 1999. It was a limited-edition framed print of people admiring a lighted Christmas tree in front of the White House and it is signed by the artist. The picture went for $380.

Last up for bid was a white Fender Telecaster guitar. Someone asked if the guitar was made in the USA or Mexico. Jodee had no idea, so she looked on the guitar and found out it said Mexico. The bidding opened at $500. Two fan club members went back and forth with the bidding, which ended at $2,400. And, no, Jodee's daughter Rachel did not come with the guitar! She does look cute in those Marty boxer shorts, however.

Everyone was getting anxious for Marty to appear. Jodee says, "we've got this guy back here that wants to get out and sing." Marty came out to screams and applause. Marty presented Jodee with an award that had been created by a fan to honor Jodee as fan club president. It is a beautiful award and one that Jodee will treasure, I'm sure.He said "I don't have a clue what I'm gonna do." Someone yelled out "Long Black Veil," and Marty says, "I don't wanna start out with a murder ballad." He also said, "who bought that guitar? It wasn't really mine." Everyone laughed.

Marty asked everyone to turn off their video cameras since he was going to do some unrecorded material he'd written for his next album. He wanted to try the songs out first on the fans. He even had the sheet music and laid that on a chair while he played the songs accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. The new songs were "A little Like Lovin' You" and "I've Been Lonely Too Long."

Then he talked about the movie "Jungle Book." He said he got Connie to rent the movie. Marty has also written a song for "Jungle Book 2" called "I'm So Ba Loo" and he performed it after explaining about the characters in "Jungle Book" and how the first movie ended. He also made the "horn" sounds to accompany the music.

Marty performed another two songs--one that actually sounded like Elvis' "One Night With You" and another song whose title may be "What's Not To Love About That." All of these songs were really wonderful--and SO Marty!!!

Marty said he reread the letter that he'd written for the fan club newsletter where he was talking about "watching flowers bloom and birds fly. That sure does sound silly, but that's what I've been doing this year, except for yesterday. I did something yesterday that followed me to bed last night. Connie is in South Dakota singin' tonight. She said to give you her love and thank you for coming to her shows and she misses you."

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