Here’s an interesting bit of folklore about Merle Haggard, who passed away on his birthday yesterday at the age of 79. It comes from Ephraim, Utah.
Nearly 40 years ago, Kelly Nielson walked into a little bar on Main Street in Ephraim. She spotted a man sitting at the bar sipping a beer and knew immediately it was the legend himself- Merle Haggard. Kelly approached him and began talking, even though he denied over and over that he was Merle. After a while and another beer, he broke down and admitted he was the country legend. The two sat and talked until the bar closed, and since there wasn’t really anything else to do in Ephraim, she took him home and her stunned sister Becky made him a fried egg sandwich. Afterwards, they took him back to his hotel room, where he played his guitar and sang songs for them for the rest of the night.
At first, no one believed them, even when they showed people his autograph he’d given them that night. Then press reports surfaced that Merle Haggard had “disappeared” before a scheduled concert in Salt Lake City that very night.