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'Man in Black' brightens day

I grew up in Billings. When I was in high school, I loved rock and roll and especially Elvis.

I met and married a man from Rapelje, and he introduced me to country music.

In 1977, we loaded up our pickup and camper and two of our daughters (the eldest couldn't get off of work) and went on a vacation to the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the way we saw a billboard advertising that a country star we both loved was giving a concert in Rapid City.

When we got there, my husband, Mac, stood in line for over an hour to get us tickets, even though he hates lines.

We loved the concert.

The next day we were at the Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills, and Mac nudged me and said, "Look over there. That's Johnny Cash!"

I could hardly contain myself. When I got up the nerve, I decided to ask him for an autograph. I introduced myself and my family, told him we were from Billings and how much we enjoyed his concert.

I then asked if I could have a picture and an autograph. He was most gracious and came closer to me so our daughter could take the picture. He had a big smile, and so did I!

I still have the picture and the autograph.

I couldn't believe a star like Johnny Cash would take the time to visit with us and be so happy to meet his fans. My husband teased me about walking a foot off the ground for the rest of the day.

- Wanita McQuiston


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