Missouri State Fair - Sedalia, MO on August 18, 1999

Ellie and I left Monday morning for Sedalia, which was a two-day drive. Only for Marty would I do that. And looking forward to four shows in three days didn't hurt, either! We stayed Monday night with Sheila in OH, then on Tuesday went to a friend's who lives about a half hour from Sedalia. She had gotten our tickets, and we had second row center! We got to the fair around 11:00 a.m. or so, and spent most of the day looking around the fair and drinking water, since it was hot and humid.

They didn't open the grandstand gates until just a half hour before show time. The stage was behind a huge fence so there wasn't any chance at all of getting to talk to any of the guys, even if we had been allowed in earlier. We barely had time to get to our seats, but Kaye wanted to get a shirt so Ellie stayed with our bags and I went with her to see Jimmy. The show started while we were still there, so we hustled back to our seats. It was early enough so it was still light for part of the show, which was really nice for a change instead of the stage lights. Since it was light the guys could see out, too, and all of them spotted us eventually.

They played "High On A Mountain Top," "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," "Blue Train," "Tempted," "Dark As A Dungeon," "Burn Me Down," "Sometimes The Pleasure's Worth The Pain," "Red, Red Wine And Cheatin' Songs," "Hobo's Prayer," "Soldier's Joy," "Hillbilly Rock," and the encore was "The Pilgrim." Marty was opening for George Jones and, when he started "The Pilgrim," he got talking. I can't remember it all or exactly, but he said something like: Country music's all right now, but I got news for you. A hundred years from now there won't be a George Jones, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Connie Smith (he named others, too); he was in Memphis recording and he drew a line and said "I'm going to play country music"; Bill Monroe gave him his first mandolin pick and a year later he was playing with Lester Flatt; it broke his heart when he heard Bill Monroe died, he took a break from recording, went for a walk and asked himself "where's country music going?," and this ("The Pilgrim") is what came out. What a wonderful moment, to hear him talk from the heart like that!

It was a great show, but we could have done without the big, rowdy, loud guys sitting next to us. It was great to see how enthusiastic they were for Marty, but they didn't help the picture-taking or add to the music! The Meet & Greet was after the show, and there was a fair number of people. We were looking for Tami. We knew she was going to be there but we hadn't been able to find her...well, you know she was in the Meet & Greet line! We told her we had thought of shouting "Sherry Hill, paging Sherry Hill" to see if that would locate her, and we all cracked up! (Inside joke for those who were at the fan club party this year.) We talked a while, until the line got moving. And then we had to say goodbye, since Ellie and I left right after the Meet & Greet. We saw Marty and Mike, got our hugs, told them we'd see them tomorrow, and went to the car.

I hated to not stay for George Jones, and I *knew* Marty would come out and sing with him (we heard later that he did at the end, for "I Don't Need No Rocking Chair"), but it was such a long drive to Lac du Flambeau that we didn't want to wait. We did hear a little of George's show as we were getting ready to leave, at least, and I know Kaye (and Tami? hint, hint!) will get us copies of some of her pictures of Marty with George.

Review by Margie Brodmerkle, Oakham, MA

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