Fan Club Party - June 16, 1998

Marty's fan club party was again held at Smiley Hollow (or Smacky-Wacky Hollow as Marty calls it), which is located about 30 miles north of Nashville. It's a very rustic, country setting with plenty of room for folks to mill around. It's a great place to take the kids as there are swings, basketball hoops, horseshoes, and a sandbox for them to enjoy (adults can enjoy them too).

The weather turned out to be sunny and just a little warm. The heat coming off the tin roof helped warm up the barn-like structure where we enjoyed a delicious country-style lunch consisting of chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, corn cakes and I HAVE to enjoy that chocolate cake for dessert. They have other desserts--but I require a chocolate fix at least once a day.

Marty made a quick appearance (jumping down from the stage) and went over to say hello to his mom and Connie. Marty and the Rock & Roll Cowboys were supposed to serve up the food. The band and crew were eating outside when Mary and I went to get in the food line. Brad said they were waiting for orders from their "fearless leader." Those orders never came. This year people just got up and went through the food line--last year they called us by table number.

The party started with Marty and the Rock & Roll Cowboys performing "Mirrors Don't Lie." The title had been thrown out when Marty asked what we wanted to hear. He wasn't sure he could remember the words, but he did!

Marty then mentioned the fan club had been around for 10 years. Recently he had gotten to spend time with Judy Allston, her husband Jim and their two children. Judy and Pat Katz started the fan club back in 1988 and have been co-presidents. Given all of Judy's current responsibilities, she has decided to resign as co-president and Marty has ordained her as the Grand Moo Moo of the fan club. Judy has always done a wonderful job and it's been my pleasure to get to know her. I will miss her as co-president.

Marty then introduced the new fan club president--Jodee Stocki. Jodee is married to Gregg, Marty's drummer. I met Jodee last year at the fan club booth and she was a real hit with the fans. I've gotten to know her well over the past year and she is a terrifically sweet person who cares deeply for people, especially Marty and his fans. She will do a superb job as president. The transition will take time so please be patient with her. She's very enthusiastic about the fan club and the fans at the party felt very comfortable talking with her about their concerns.

Marty asked Jodee to introduce someone else who would be helping out--ME! Unfortunately, I still don't know exactly what my role will be. Jodee was great to mention that I have a website on Marty and several people came up and asked for the URL. I've been doing a monthly newsletter called the Marty Stuart News for over a year. It's been a way to keep my non-Internet access friends and fellow Marty fans apprised of the latest Marty news. Whether I'm able to continue that remains to be seen. This website takes a tremendous amount of my time and I know that whatever I role I may have with the fan club will too. I was asked to say a few words and I know I said more than a few--but I'm not a speaker and I was scared to death. Remembering I was among friends helped a lot.

Marty also honored fan club co-president Pat Katz. Pat met Marty when he was a member of Johnny Cash's band. Marty presented her with his band jacket from his Johnny Cash days. He also gave her a necklace and earrings and thanked her for all she's done for the fan club over the years.

Charter members of the fan club celebrated their 10th year as members and Marty wanted to recognize those members attending the fan club party as well as those devoted fans who have traveled the highways and who have gone above and beyond the normal duty of being a fan. Gary, Barbara and daughter Melanie are dear friends of Marty's. He presented Gary with a belt buckle set that belonged to Hank Williams, Sr. He gave one of his jackets to Barbara. Melanie got a pair of very-used bluejeans.

Gail from South Carolina received one of Marty's shirts. Shelby Jean Gootee was given a necklace in honor of her loyalty. Shelby Jean, in addition to all the love and support she's given Marty over the years, has shuttled fan club members back and forth to the fan club party for the last two years. Marilyn Prince was given a Native American friendship blanket. Margie Brodmerkle and her cousin Judy (aka the Massachusetts girls) were given one of Marty's black shirt and a cowboy belt buckle. Jodi Villanueva came all the way from California to attend the fan club party. Marty gave her a pair of moccasins. A name from the raffle box was drawn and the lucky fan club member received one of Marty's knives. Marty also introduced his mom, Hilda (shown above). He presented her with a heart that goes over a button.

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