Happy Marty Stuart Day: Grand Ole Opry Star's Hometown Honors Native Son July 9, 2009

This appeared on Examiner.com - July 8, 2009

For Marty Stuart, life has a way of coming full circle—especially come Thursday, July 9.

July 9 is the day set aside by Stuart’s hometown, Philadelphia, Mississippi, to celebrate Marty Stuart Day, an occasion that’s expected to bring not only a multitude of family and friends to town, but also a day that has even more significance personally.

As it turns out July 9 will be not only the multi-instrumentalist and singer’s designated day of honor in his hometown, but also the day that most will get a gander at a newly erected, still tarp-covered sign that dedicates Mary Stuart Drive, as well as the day that an exhibit in honor of the Mississippi son opens at the Philadelphia-Neshoba County Historical Museum.

The aforementioned is more than most could ever imagine when it comes to honoring one’s own, but once more, for Stuart the day becomes more special still by the fact that he and his missus, country star Connie Smith, also will mark their 12th wedding anniversary by venturing to play later that evening at the Choctaw Indian Fair.

Said fair, as fate would have it, has its own back story, too, when it comes to Grand Ole Opry members Stuart and Smith. Fans of the artists know the story well, but for those unfamiliar with the better-than-fantasy tale, it was at the very same fair that an 11-year-old Stuart first saw Smith perform.

Moreover, as this scribe recalls, Stuart had begged his mother to help him locate a bright-yellow shirt to wear to her show so s he’d be sure and notice him. Then, following Smith’s performance, Stuart turned to his mom and informed her then and there that one day he would marry the songstress. And the rest, as they say, is the stuff romantic movies are made of.

"If I step outside of the story and look at it, it looks pretty blessed to me," Suart told the South Bend Tribune, reflecting on his life and career. "A lot of the things I had my sights on when I was just a kid, it happened. It has never been easy, and it has never been free. There has always been a lot of work involved, but that is fine with me. It has been a pretty astounding ride, so far."

Thus, Happy Marty Stuart Day to country fans both in, and beyond, the city limits of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Let’s all do the "Hillbilly Rock" for Marty, a grand keeper of the traditional-country flame, on what may just be his grandest of days.

By Lisa L. Rollins

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