October 23, 2007 -- Nashville, TN
Due to the hour, this post will be neither long nor particularly witty.
We just got back from seeing the Tuesday Night Opry at the Grand Ole Opry House near Opryland... and we had a great time. The show is also broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville. The Saturday night version of the show is supposed to be the oldest continuous radio program in the U.S., having been aired weekly on WSM since 1925. After experiencing the show tonight, I'm convinced that Garrison Keillors' "A Prairie Home Companion" is a parody of it... right down to the similarity of sponsors -- Grand Ole Opry's Martha White Biscuits and Prairie Home Companion's Powder Milk Biscuits. I've been in the audience of both and they feel very similar. And that's a good thing. I like 'em both.
The show we saw tonight included Jeannie Seely, Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson, Mel McDaniel, Rebecca Lynn Howard, and the bluegrass group The Grascals. It was a contrast of the very old veterans and the relatively young newcomers. Little Jimmy Dickens, for example, is 87 years old and still performing... and telling the funniest jokes I've heard lately. Rebecca Lynn Howard is still in her 20's and has a string of song writing and performing accomplishments behinds her... and what a voice! They were all just great and we thoroughly enjoyed the two hours.
Prior to the show, we walked over to the Opryland Hotel and had drinks and dinner. It was a tad expensive but we rationalized it on the basis of, well, "we don't do this very often and we deserve it". In other words, "just because". Dar has fallen in love with this hotel and would leave me in a minute if someone offered her a job taking care of the plants and gardens in the conservatory.
Earlier in the day we drove over to The Hermitage -- the home of the 7th president of the U.S., Andrew Jackson. This 1000 acre estate was a cotton plantation and self-sustaining farm during it's day. We toured the grounds and the mansion, learned about life at that time, and the personal nuances and eccentricities of the man Jackson. He was a character with charisma, a natural leader. The experience prompted the purchase of a couple books that'll keep me busy for a few weeks.
The rain has been nearly constant the last two days. Parts of Tennessee west of here have gotten upward of 6 inches of rain... badly needed rain. We haven't been able to do much of anything outdoors, but what we did do was extremely satisfying. I don't think either of us would have changed a thing we did the past two days.
Here's the plan for tomorrow: get up early, quick breakfast, and get the bus transformed into travel mode. Then, get the wheels turning by no later than 10am. We're heading for the Knoxville TN area for the next few nights.
Good night all.