The Corner

Another Tribute to Roy Acuff

This guy–I am only just finding out about him–was a true American

gentleman. The following is from a reader in Tennessee:

“Mr. Derbyshire,—I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Roy Acuff in the

Summer of 1986. I was 15 years old, working at a Huddle House Truck Stop,

washing dishes in a small town in Tennessee. I remember Mr. Acuff coming in

for a bite with an attractive woman of about 50 years old and another

gentleman. I had no idea who Roy Acuff was. He came in and sat down at the

bar that overlooks the grill and began talking to me. I noticed that the

license plate on the fronto of his shiny new white Cadillac read ‘The Wabash

Cannonball.’ Well, being from Indiana originally, I was curious. I asked if

he was also from that part of the country–due to the fact that the Wabash

River runs through the flat Indiana countryside. He was very amused. He

could tell that I did

not know who he was. He sat and talked with me about various things, such as

art, rock music, geography and nationality (I am part Serbian, part Italian

and part Irish) for nearly two hours.

“As he got up to leave, he left me a ten dollar tip–me, the dish washer.

After he left the little, grimy truck stop, the waitresses were speachless.

They told me who he was. That night I say Mr. Acuff recieving some type of

award on Television and I commented to my grandmother that I met him that


“The next Saturday, Mr. Acuff returned to the restaurant heading back from

Nashville to East Tennesee and stopped in at the Huddle House for another

meal. When he walked in, he saw me and smiled and shook my hand. I told him,

’I know who you are now, sir.’ His reply: ‘I hope you don’t hold it against

me, son.’

“We talked again for another hour or so and then he was on his way–not

before leaving the 15 year old dish-washer another ten dollar tip. I will

never forget how he treated me–with respect, dignity and equality–without

any thought for my age or occupation.

“What a wonderful man.”


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