Merle Haggard high on Macon, praises hospital care at concert

lfabian@macon.comApril 25, 2012 

Merle Haggard will be keeping up with Macon, he told hundreds of fans Wednesday night at the City Auditorium.

He said he always keeps track of places he has been in prison and in the hospital.

The 75-year-old country singer canceled his Jan. 17 concert when Dr. Carmine Oddis said his double-pneumonia could not be ignored.

“I wound up here in the hospital several days with you. I forgot how many, they had me under some really good dope,” Haggard joked. “Macon’s got the best dope in the hospital I’ve ever seen. I thought I’d died and gone to Jamaica.”

The entertainer took the opportunity to credit those who got him on the road to recovery and discovered and treated stomach ulcers Haggard said could have caused him to slowly bleed to death.

“There’s about 75 people here from the hospital and I want to thank you publicly for the kind of treatment you gave Merle Haggard,” he said. “It was absolutely wonderful.”

A Macon Centreplex employee was so excited to see him walk onstage, she was jumping up and down.

“He looks so much better than he did the last time he was here. He was a sick man,” she told a co-worker.

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