Nashville Notes

This appeared in the Lakeland Ledger - June 29, 1999

If you're wondering what Johnny Cash is doing in Jamaica, since he's gone into retirement, well, Marty Stuart, who visited him not too long ago, supplies a report.

"When I went down there, the biggest order of the day was getting on the golf cart and going down to the bottom of the hill and stealing golf balls," Stuart says with a laugh. "He steals golf balls off the rich guys' golf course."

Stuart admits he had worried about Cash, who does a closing monologue on Sturart's big new CD The Pilgrim (and Stuart played a role in the recording of June Carter Cash's career retrospective, Press On).

"I thought, 'I bet he's going crazy down there because he can't be Johnny Cash,' " Stuart says of his ex-father-in-law. "I told him that, and he said, 'Don't you worry about that, I do not miss being Johnny Cash. And the minute I want to be him, I put on a black coat and I'm Johnny Cash.'

"It was great to go down there and see him and June holding hands and him out picking flowers for June and stealing golf balls and sitting by the sea and just singing a song if he wants to, reading books, taking naps. I mean for me to impose 'Hey, you should get back out there and run around the world again,' that's like sticking a gun to Mickey Mantle's or Hank Aaron's head and saying, 'Hit a grand slam every time you step up to the plate.' "We should honor him for the grand slams he's hit."

By Jack Hurst

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