Johnny Cash frequently wrote letters to himself on the last day of the year and in his son’s book, House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash, John Carter Cash recounts one letter from 1968.
“For many years, Dad would write himself a letter on December 31, summarizing the year’s events and looking to the next,” John Carter Cash explains. “These letters functioned like a personal inventory of sorts. In the one Dad wrote to himself at the end of 1968, he recounts one of the most important years of his life. It was important in so many ways: 1968 was the year of the Folsom Prison concert and the year he married my mother, among many other significant occurrences.”
The letter is available to read in its entirety on Cash’s website. In it, he addresses the letter “To Myself” and dates it Dec. 31, 1968 at 8:35 p.m. Below is an excerpt.
“I feel that this year, 1968 has been, in many ways, the best year of my 36 years of life. It has been a sober, serious year. Also probably the busiest year of my life, as well as the most fulfilling,” he writes in the opening paragraph.
Cash goes on to detail the many high points he witnessed in 1968—including his performance at Folsom Prison and his wedding to June Carter.
“The first high point this year was: Feb. 1968 at Folsom Prison. June, my dad, Rev. Gressett, the Statlers, Carl Perkins,” he writes before penning a list of highlights from the day. “The new song by the prisoner. Rehearsal in the Sacramento Motel. The show. My dad watching the prisoners, tears in his eyes. Leaving the prison – not too excited about a possible album – compliments from everyone.”
His following memory includes his wedding day. “My marriage to June Carter on March 1st, 1968. A beautiful day in Franklin, Ky.,” he writes. Read the rest of his letter here.