A Celebration for Rose and Fred Maddox; 50 years in country music

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I was starting to fix me some French toast fer brekfus this mornin’, when the phone rang. It was Rick Cornish, reminding me that today was my day to write the welcome message. SOOO, I turned off the fire under the griddle, fixed me a second cup of good fresh ground Cowboy Coffee, and here we are. What to write about? I usually have a file of stories on tap, that I jot down whenever I happen to remember one from the past, and one that has been on my mind a lot lately, happened 21 years ago in Nevada City, Ca. It was one of the strangest incidents in my life, albeit in a small way, but one that I still remember very vividly.

At the Fathers Day festival in 1987, I was approached by a woman, whose name I cant recall, and she told me that the radio station KVMR was sponsoring a celebration for Rose and Fred Maddox’s 50 years in country music, later on in August of that year. She asked me if I would be the Emcee for the show, and the only “perk” was the fact that they would provide a room at a local Bed and Breakfast for me. I accepted the offer, got all of the logistics’ needed, date, address, place of the show, etc. Come August 15th, I headed to Nevada City early in the morning, and got there about noon. I found the Bed and Breakfast place, met the lady that ran it, and explained that I would be back around 10 or 11 in the evening, seein’ as I didn’t know how late the show would run.

The show was held at the American Victorian Museum in Nevada City, a really nice venue with plenty of good seating, as well as a good-sized stage. The show started at 11:00 AM and ran until a little after 3:00 PM. Appearing with Rose and Fred was none other than Bonnie Owens, along with ,Cliffie Stone, Michael Burrows, Dakota Sid, Homemade Jam, and Sheree Shafer, and the Showdown Band. [A really GOOD band] We were really having a great time, and Smiling Bud Duncan was on stage with Fred and Rose, kickin’ up their heels when Bonnie Owens came in the back stage door, and who should she have with her, than none other than Hoyt Axton! Well, when Rose and Bud and Fred got through with their song, I got onstage, and told everybody that we have a surprise guest for you all, and would you please make welcome Bonnie Owens and Hoyt Axton! The place went bananas! Rose did a few songs with each of them, and the band they had that day was one of the bet country bands that I’ve ever heard, and they absolutely picked the paint right off of the walls! At last though the good times came to an end, and after Rose and Fred and all of the entertainers got through autographing records, etc., we finally went to a nice Restaurant and had supper. There was Rose, Fred, his wife Kitty, Rose’s granddaughter Rosie, [guess who she was named after?] and myself. After supper, we were standing in front of the restaurant, when this horse drawn carriage came trotting down the street. I asked Rose and Rosie if they wanted to take a carriage ride? They said sure, so I hailed the carriage to a stop, and off we went to take in Nevada City from a vintage carriage point of view. In later years, Rose would often refer to that night as one of her ‘special memories’. I was proud that I was there to share it with her and her granddaughter. Finally it was time for all of us to head to our respective places of board, so I headed to the bed and breakfast. The lady that owned it was still up, as it was only about 9:30 when I arrived. She showed mw to my room, and asked if I would like a hot cup of Tea to help me go to sleep, which I graciously declined. I assured her that after the long day that I had experienced, I would have no trouble at all going to sleep. MAN, was I ever wrong! Here’s where the singular experience starts to unfold. It turns out that the lady that owned the bed and breakfast was a health freak who didn’t believe soft mattresses were healthy. The one that I was trying to sleep on was as hard as a slab of cement! It was about two inches thick, made out of SOMETHING akin to cement, and was on a piece of 3/4 inch plywood! [I found out later that it was stuffed with horse hair. Available at BETTER health stores!] Better my A – -! Well, I think that I slept for an hour or so that night. I got up at first light, got dressed and was heading for the door when the owner asked I wanted breakfast? She motioned to some boxes of cereal of some kind that I’d never seen before. Then she asked if I would like to join her in her daily Yoga rituals. Before I could reply, she sez; Here’s one that you really should start the day with, as it’s good for the entire circulation system, and with that she proceeded to stand on her head in the corner of the kitchen! Folks, it was NOT a pretty sight! She had on a nondescript dress, and thankfully she had on underwear! I muttered a ‘no thanks’, and got in my Cadillac and burned rubber fer about 50 yards gettn’ out of there! Whew! I swear, you could look in that woman’s eye’s and see Mars!

Well, I met Rose and Fred, Rosie and Kitty at the cafe we had agreed to meet at the night before for breakfast. After we got all seated and got a cup of coffee in front of us, Rose looked at me and said; what’s happened to you? [I don’t know how she did it, but Rose could always read me like a book!] I feigned ignorance, and said nuthin’, why do you ask? Rose said, J.D you cant fool me, something’s happened that you don’t want to tell me. Well, I got a foolish grin on my face and proceeded to tell ’em what the ‘health nut lady’ did, and I thought that Rose and Fred would break a rib laughing! For the rest of her life, Rose would bring that up from time to time. She told me that as soon as she seen me that morning, she knew that something had happened to me, from the look on my face. We had many a great laugh over that incident for years to come.

SO, that’s the story of how I got put up at a bed and breakfast that was run by a lady from Mars, and lived to tell about it. I can still hear Fred and Rose laughing!

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