J.R.'s Executive Inn, Paducah, KY on June 28, 2003

Oh man, what a great show that was. My first ever in my life and the first time I ever met Marty in my life! It was the night of a lifetime and here is my big adventure:

First, we left around 2:30 in the afternoon coz I wanted to get there early since I didn't know the area, all the while Lisa thinking this is just going to be the biggest sacrifice of her cocky 21-year-old life (typical child her age), to take MOM to a show she wasn't even interested in. So all the way there, in between her wailing with Mariah Carey, her rapping with Eminem at full throttle on that stereo system of hers, and blabbering on her cell phone to seemingly everyone she ever knew since birth about her great ordeal to come, that's how we got there. Ah, 2 hours of "bonding" time... LOL!

Anyway, we got there and when we lined up, we met Evelyn Totty! She is the nicest, sweetest lady I ever met! An instant friend and she made the whole night so enjoyable for me, not knowing anybody. She embraced me like family, she chatted with me about herself, her fan life (10 years) and all this stuff. And she said she would make sure I would know what to do after the show to meet Marty. Well more people came around to line up and they were ALL nice, everyone of them, even at our table after the doors opened.

So the show began and here's the kicker--Lisa LOVED it. For one who abhorred even going, she was on her feet clapping and screaming and yelling with the best of them and wondering why nobody else was on the table yelling. She really, really enjoyed it. And so did I--God, never mind Marty is the looker of the PLANET, even in real life, but it was quite a show, and I was really impressed with the ability of a guy with just a simple 3-piece band up there with him to keep the crowd completely entertained without all the extra lights and pyros and other junk the rockers do. That is quite a skill for an entertainer, IMO.

One little girl, like 3 years old or something, her mother lifted her up to the stage and he stopped what he was saying to the crowd and looked down at her and said, "Well hey baby. You got something for me?" He bent down to her and she held out this little rabbit's foot and he took it and it was so precious coz he made a big deal out of it and put it on his guitar and I thought it was such a nice touch. Another little girl was with her and gave him a beany baby of a bulldog and he gushed about that too, and quipped, "Hey, this looks like my ex-wife!" and that gave us a good laugh. He put it on his amplifier so these kids were really thrilled and I thought that was so nice for Marty to do and I think he thanked them three times during the set. Most artists can't be bothered with what the fans hand up there. I was so impressed.

Anyway, the show was great. At the end, the fan club was to stay and Marty would come out and sign autographs and take pictures. So Lisa was getting ready to leave but I noticed they weren't checking cards, so I told her to stay put until she's kicked out, and she did. She just hung around outside the line. He came into the auditorium through another door and people just lined up. No pictures, but nobody checked cards either, so I believe there were more people there than fan club members.

So I'm with Evelyn and her turn came and she went up there and, you know, he hugged her and signed her picture and talked to her for a minute and took her present, and I'm holding on to the back of her shirt so she can intro me to him, right? By mistake, he hugged her and she walked away! He looked at me next and I had this totally shocked look on my face, not knowing what to do because she walked away. That must have looked funny! She started to run back but I recovered and walked right up there and Lisa mentioned, "She's a newbie." He said to me, "What is your name?" I told him and he said, "Where are you from?" And I just said "Springfield." Now there are dozens of Springfields in the south, but he KNEW which Springfield, which really amazed me! "Oh, Tennessee" he said and I said "yes," and I talked to him for a few minutes about his song, "Farmers Blues," which was exactly what I wanted to talk about, how great the farmers are to us even though we came from a big metropolis city. And I stumbled at one point and Lisa piped in again, "We're from Fort Lauderdale." And I said, "Yeah, it was hard at first to come into a rural community from a place like that," and Marty said, "Oh yeah, but it would have been a whole lot harder if you came from New York City."

Oh he was so gorgeous and personable, too, I mean really sincere, not like these other artists who give you a fake smile thinking, god get this over with, you know? I think he was enjoying talking to people. And tall, too, taller than I thought, a whole head taller than me. Anyway, I don't remember the rest but it ended and Lisa quipped (and I loved it and so did he, out of the mouths of babes...) "Well, for a guy who is older than me, I think you are cool." And he looked at her and laughed coz you know, what comments kids can make to make folks our age feel ancient! And I said, "Yeah, quite a complement coming from my child who thinks anyone over 40 is old and ugly." He laughed so hard at that one and said something, I don't know, but then he grabbed both of us and gave us BOTH this huge joint hug! He thanked us for coming and I thanked him back and said I would see him at the Ryman and he said "okay," and we left and there was Evelyn waiting. She didn't want to interrupt me but man, I was on Cloud 9, oh man!!! I don't even think I looked him in the eye ONCE! Lisa said I did but I just don't remember.

So we said goodbye to Evelyn. We exchanged email addys and it was great to make a new friend! It was a wonderful night!!!! And the biggest kicker of all for me was--now Lisa wants to join the fan club. She loved the other fans and she loved seeing Marty and hanging out after the show to talk to him and she wants to go with me again, "but only if we get up front seats." Picky little thing isn't she? Oh, how much they have to learn, LOL

But I'm HOME! And I'm HAPPY! And I'm FREAKING coz it was so fabulous! I'll be better next time, I know it. And everything worked out, I really felt like I belonged and Whew!!! I'm BEAT but in BLISS!!!

Review by Diane Gilmore, Springfield, TN

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