The Beer Guy told this story the other night at the Westville:

Well, I’ve seen Johnny Cash in concert. Let me tell you my Johnny Cash story.

Johnny was playing a concert in Bristol, Tennessee. I think it was1978 or ’79 or something like that. They’d set this concert up as a fundraiser for a country music museum they wanted to build. They lined up some big acts, like Ricky Scaggs and the Carter family and, of course, Johnny.

Well, they built this little wooden stage in a big field outside of Bristol.
we miss you, Johnny
I was covering entertainment for the newspaper, and I went to the show. About 10,000 people showed up for the concert.

The only thing was, nobody thought about how to get these acts to the stage, because it was just a big, wide-open field. So Johnny rolled up in his limo and got out, and was surrounded by state troopers, who proceeded to part the mases like Moses and the Red Sea.

I was walking through the crowd with them, as close as you are to me right now, when this little old man – or little old lady, I don’t remember which – muscled his way through the crowd and thrust forward a gnarled paw.

“Johnny! Johnny!” he said. “Johnny, this here’s a picture of Jesus in the clouds, and I want you to have it.”
Sure enough, I saw it was a picture of Jesus, Jesus up in the clouds.

Johnny stopped. He took the picture and he said, “Uh, thank you” (in extra deep johnny voice). And he kept on walking.


That’s my Johnny Cash story.



  1. P.S. Don’t tell him I said that.

  2. The Beer Guy is the coolest guy ever, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t drink. I introduce him to people as, “The smartest man at the Asheville Citizen-Times.” I think at first he thought I was making fun of him or giving him a back-handed insult or something, but I ain’t. Music, baseball, movies … he’s a walking encyclopedia, and funny as hell, too. Great wife.


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