More to Learn in Nashville

October 17, 2017 Paul Groves

As we toured Nashville, one of my favorite sights was the Parthenon built in Centennial Park. It seems a little odd to see a Greek building in Tennessee, but Athens is a sister city to Nashville. My interest is increased because we just visited the Parthenon in Greece earlier in the year as part of our world cruise. Also, we had seen THIS Parthenon and the statue of Athena in the movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. Another interesting building in Nashville is the AT&T skyscraper that our tour guide called the Batman Building. I thought she was talking about the fact that with the two towers, the building resembled Batman’s cowl, but she really meant that the building was featured in a recent Batman film as the home of Wayne Enterprises. I guess I will need to catch up on my Batman films.

I don’t have a lot of prior knowledge or expectations when I visit places. I was impressed with how interesting the Country Music Hall of Fame was when we visited. I am interested in artists like Garth Brooks who made the music that I danced to in my CW dancing days, but the stories of how country music developed, how the various talented musicians that appeared in the background of the music added so much to the sound. I was also fascinated by the musical artists who came to Nashville, such as Bob Dylan, and added the sound to their music. It is great to learn these new things. It is also fun to see the various costumes of the performers… boy were some of those performers thin!

As I grew up, I certainly heard of the Grand Ole Opry. It was not my cup of tea, but I especially remember Minnie Pearl with her hat and price tag. Hearing the history of the show and getting to attend an actual performance was a big highlight of this trip for us. The show is broadcast live as a radio program so the breaks for commercials were fun to experience. Anyway, this was a great show… four half-hour segments with four different hosts. Fun!

Before we left town, we toured the auditorium where the Grand Ole Opry was presented for years and years. This is the Ryman Auditorium. Ron remembers attending a show in this auditorium long ago, unfortunately all he really remembers from this visit was how hot and uncomfortable it was. The Opry moved to its new, modern home when the auditorium was showing its age. Luckily, after remaining vacant for several years, some country western stars raised money to refurbish and reopen the auditorium. The acoustics inside the auditorium are reputed to be amazing. It certainly was impressive to visit a building that housed so much musical history. I really liked the row of colored windows that make up the back side of the theater.