In 1998, on the way home from Merlefest I had the idea for my camping service business. It was a fun trip home.
The next weekend Doc and Jack were playing a gig in Madison, Wisconsin, and Jack and I had made plans to meet after the show. (He and I had become friends in 1985, at that same ol' Mole Lake Bluegrass Festival) But, I was so excited with my new business idea that I called Jack during the week, and arranged to go out for supper with him and Doc before the show. All week my sweet wife Lynn pondered over what song to request of Doc that night.
The meal was wonderful, with Doc sharing stories on the loss of his site, and he being the southern gentleman that he is, even straightened out my manners: when the waitress asked if we were ready to order and looked at me, I replied: "Doc...?" He replied: "well now, David, don't you think the lady should order first...?" Lynn smiled...
After the meal Lynn and I and Doc were standing outside the restaurant, talking about Merle. I told Doc that I had met Merle during that Charlie Daniels ordeal, and Doc of course remembered all the details of that fiasco. I had debated for years over whether if I would get the chance whether I would mention to Doc Merle's assessment of Charlie's fiddlin'...and I went ahead and told him. Doc chuckled and replied: "you know, Merle was always right..." >g<
It was then that I told Doc that when I had starting courting Lynn that I had sung to her: "She's My Curly-Headed Baby". He came back with: "And didn't Merle play a sweet slide on that?" I of course agreed and Doc added: "I haven't been able to play that song since Merle's death...I'd miss that slide too much".
Of course...out the window the request went!
But as we were walking back to the venue I overheard Doc whisper to Jack: "do you think we could play "She's My Curly-Headed Baby"?"
And sure enough, Doc opened the second set with the song, dedicating it to "Miss Lynn and David". After the show Lynn gave him a big hug of thanks, and as she tells it: "my hair must have brushed Doc's cheek, for he told me that I DO have beautiful hair"!
No wonder I get excited every year for my trip to Merlefest...