Publication February 2001 !!!!!
Saying Good-Bye to the
Johnny And June Carter Cash
International Fan Club
& Alma Todd
doesn’t seem possible that it has been almost thirty years since I found
an address in country music magazine for the Johnny Cash Fan Club. I wrote
and became a member of the Johnny and June Carter Cash International Fan
Club. Soon after, I became the NC rep and we began attending Fan Fair. We
met other members and began helping plan, build and work in the booth for
Johnny and June. By attending Fan Fair, a core group was formed and
everyone had a hand in the club’s success at Fan Fair. We had a
wonderful times working together, attending fan club get-togethers and
some times fifteen or more of us would eat dinner at a local restaurant. I
think sometimes we overwhelmed or waitress, especially at the House Of
Choy, but we where asked to leave. Charles and Virginia Stohler resigned
as co presidents in 1983. Ray and Jeanne Witherell and I were asked to
take over as co presidents of the fan club in January, 1984. this has been
a wonderful experience for us-we have made many friends of members and
attending concerts was a chance not only to see John and June but meet
members from all over the world. It is a sadness and gratitude that I
write this letter for a final publication – gratitude to John and June
for allowing us to have a fan club for them, for their friendship and for
all the concerts and special events we have attended with them. Sadness
because it has come to an end and will no longer be in touch with the many
members of the fan club. We wish John and June a long, happy retirement we
will always remember and love you. Sincerely
Curtis & Alma.
& Jeanne Witherell
Dear Club Members
This is a difficult letter
for me to write but the time has come to make this change in our life. For
many years the club has been an almost daily part of our life so will
certainly miss it. Most of all we will miss contact with all of you. It
has been a joy to know you, if only by phone and mail and it was special
to meet many of you at shows or Fan Fair. We have received so many
beautiful letters since announcing the closing of the fan club thanking us
the work we have done but to you must realize that thanks for much of the
clubs success is due to you and your loyalty and support. We certainly
could not have done it without you ! To John and June Thanks you for
allowing us to have this small space in a corner of your lives. We have
always been so proud to represent you in any way and you must know that we
will always hold you in our hearts and prayers. Be happy ! We will now
have to say that we “used to be somebody” We hope to stay in touch
with many of our fan club friends. May God Bless You, Love and best wishes
Ray & Jeanne
And The Tale Of Two Families
From Left: Ray, June, Alma,
Johnny,Curtis And Jeanne
As members of Johnny
Cashs Fan Club, Curt and Alma Todd from North Carolina and Jeanne Witherell of
Illinois first met at 1973s Fan Fair. It was start of a long friendship and
their eventual partnership as the Cash Fan Club co-president. John had several fan clubs
over the years, and we eventually joined one by Virginia and Charles Stohler, says Jeanne.
They retired in 1983 after Charles got cancer and the club became to much to handle. John
asked his secretary Irene Gibbs, if there were fan members who wanted the job Irene called
Alma in Winston Salem and Jeanne in East Peoria. "Neither of us could do it all"
Recalls Alma. "Curt and I were raising a family, Jeanne was a bookkeeper, and running
a club ia a lot of work than belonging to one!" So they became a team two families
who run a single fan club that uses the Todds address and serves both Johnny Cash and June
Carter Cash. Jeanne handles the clubs quarterly publication; Ray gets it to the printers.
"I edit my high school newspaper, but thats all" Jeanne says. Alma handles
the mail, forwarding new members names and addresses on to Jeanne. In 15 years as a long
distance team, Alma and Jeanne have yet to disagree. Theres the day-to-day
stuff the journals, memberships, autographs request, questions. And there special moments.
"Johns fans love giving him presents on important occasions" say Jeanne.
"In all the years weve known him, I think the most excited he ever got about a
gift was during his 40th anniversary in country music. The fan members wanted
to give him something really special and they decided on trees. But how do you buy trees
for someone else ? "We put all the money together and gave him a tree check. Johnny
was just went wild about it, and he chose and planted a lot of trees out on their farm and
at his museum. "I did let June buy a few hanging baskets for the house" he told
us. "It wasnt the money he could have bought his own trees. It was that
whenever he looked at them, he knew fans had given them to him. He loved them. Budding
songwriters, beware: John flat-out refuses to listen to tapes, even if they join the fan
club. "We do not forward song, poems, records, tapes or anything like that" Alma
says firmly. John says he tosses all unsolicited tapes into the lake, although Ive
never asked him if thats true. The Witherells and Todds have retired from business
world but not from the fan club. "Weve gone places wed never have
otherwise", says Alma. "Weve seen John in outdoor tents, stadiums,
churches and casinos all over the United States and its part of our lives.
Were not quitting, so I guess Johns just going to fire us.
Revised: September 02, 2007.