My Friend Marty Stuart
As many of you may already know, I consider Marty Stuart to be one of Nashville’s very best entertainers, but more important than that, one of my dearest friends. We both grew up on the Opry and had many good times together.
One of those times was in the same old white van that I talked about in my Memories and Practical Jokes post. After a Friday night at the Opry, Marty Stuart and I ended up at his apartment. We spent the entire night visiting and picking. Before long, we realized Saturday Morning had rolled around. We decided to go downtown for an early lunch. We were both working the Opry again that night. Marty Stuart was working with Lester Flatt at that time and I was doing a Kellogg Cereal Commercial with the Willis Brothers.
We decided to go to Elliston Place in Nashville to have lunch, where many of the entertainers still hang out today. After leaving Elliston Place and heading down Church Street, we got caught up in a long line of traffic. To save time, I decided we needed to find a different route, so we turned off Church Street, into what ended up being an alley that was barely wide enough for the van. I saw a man up ahead, dressed in a nice black suit, motioning for us to follow him. Marty Stuart and I thought it was really nice of him to be directing traffic, and dressed so well at that! We followed his directions, and turned right. Very soon we noticed the car in front of us wasn’t just any car. About that same time, we noticed the markers and flags on the side of the alley.
By the time we realized we were heading up a funeral possession, following the Hearse, it was far too late to get out of the mess we were in. We could only hope they thought we were the flower delivery Van as we continued on through. It was a sobering moment.