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
“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.”